Prayers during a Pandemic: For Those Grieving

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today we pray for people experiencing grief. We know that COVID-19 is not the only tragedy people are living with right now. Even as a global pandemic rages, we are affected by other disasters, struggle through other crises, and grieve other losses.

Today we pray for people who are grieving losses of every kind.

We pray for those we don’t know and for those we do, including [names of people who are grieving]. We name their griefs in recognition of their suffering. [Name the tragedies, crises, and personal afflictions we know our loved ones carry now or that we carry.]

We pray for those suffering grief that they prepared for and grief that came unannounced. We pray for those living with grief that they cannot envision ending, that they do not know how to survive, and that is reshaping their life in ways unimaginable. We pray for those whose hearts feel like lead, whose bodies are exhausted but cannot rest, and whose minds cannot make sense of the tragedies they are facing.

We  hope for them rest, comfort, and companionship. We hope for them friends to hold their grief. We hope for them all they need, every moment of every day.

We are thankful for the depth of love that grief reminds us we are capable of.

At Eternity's Gate - WikipediaAbove, Van Gogh’s At Eternity’s Gate.
 

Prayers during a Pandemic: For Children in Foster Care

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today we pray for children in foster care as well as those who recently left the foster care system, especially college students who may be struggling to find a place to “come home” to.

Today we pray for children in the foster care system and those who have recently graduated from it. We pray, too, for foster parents, respite foster parents, and social workers serving in foster care. We pray for all those who love and support children and foster families.

We pray for those we don’t know and for those we do, including [names of people involved in foster care, including ourselves].

We pray for children who may fear entering the foster care system but who are not safe in their biological parents’ homes. We pray for them confidence that they will be cared for. We pray for them soothing of conflicted feelings about pursuing their own safety. We pray for them assurance that they are loved and remembered. Our hope for them is safety, security, affection, support, and the meeting of all their physical, social, and emotional needs.

We pray for foster families, that they retain optimism, hope, acceptance, and compassion, that the welcome they share never wanes but that they are sustained by broader communities of support and kindness. We pray for just treatment of children in foster care, positive relationships between them and other children and adults in their foster homes, and ethical treatment throughout their engagement in the foster care system.

We are thankful for children in our community and grateful for the opportunity to meet all their needs. We are thankful for foster families and those who protect children.

The Siblings Painting | Max Liebermann Oil Paintings

Above, The Siblings by Max Lieberman shows a young child and a baby playing together on the floor. The older child holds a doll, which the younger one examines. Every child deserves a safe, loving family.

 

Prayers during a Pandemic: For People with Immunocompromisation

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today we pray for people who are immunocompromised and those with underlying or pre-existing health conditions.

Today we pray for people with immunocompromised health and other health conditions that make them vulnerable to viruses or make recovery from illness more challenging. We pray for those who are ill and those who fear they will be ill, as well as all the people who care about them and for them, including physicians, nurses, home health aids, and friends and family.

We pray for those we don’t know and for those we do, including [names of people we care about who are ill or who have had illnesses that make them vulnerable to further sickness].

We pray for all those with AIDs, cancer, diabetes, and malnutrition, as well as other conditions that suppress their immune systems. We pray for those who use medications that make them vulnerable to other illnesses. And we pray for all those in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, foster homes, ICE detention centers, and group homes who may be more vulnerable to the spread of disease because of where they live.

We pray for them health, safety, security, and access to medicine, good healthcare and sanitary conditions. We hope for them peace of heart and assurance. We pray that they are able to rest from any worries they might have.

We are thankful for every member of our community, for each unique contribution they make, the gifts they share, the ways they leave, and the models they provide.

 

 

Prayers during a Pandemic: For Those Not “Safe at Home”

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

In this pandemic, we have a duty to others to physically isolate from them–to stay “Safe at home.” But, for many, home is the most unsafe place in their lives. Today, we pray for victims of violence within families.

Today we pray for those for whom home is not a safe place: for all victims of domestic violence. We pray for children, adults, and the elderly who are abused or neglected. We pray for people hurt physically and emotionally by their intimate partners, parents, and others whom they cannot safely flee. We pray for those who support them, love them, care for them, and advocate for them, including friends, extended family members, social workers, shelter workers and volunteers, 911 dispatchers, and others. We pray especially for police officers responding to domestic violence calls for help, that they have wisdom in responding to and keeping the most vulnerable people safe.

We pray for those we don’t know and for those we do, including [names of people who are victims of family violence, including ourselves].

We pray for people who have been hurt, are hurting, and fear being hurt. We pray for those with few places to turn for help. We recognize the reality of their pain. We pray for them resilience, comfort, hope, assurance, inner strength, peace of heart, and confidence. We hope for them safety in all forms.

We hate violence in families. We want for ourselves the courage to fight for justice for them, for an end to system of oppression that keep people stuck in unsafe situations, and for a culture change to end the entitlement of abusers. We seek the courage to name oppressors and perpetrators and hold them accountable for their actions so that they, too, can live with peace of heart.

We are thankful for members of our community vulnerable to abuse and the gifts they bring. 

Above, Eugenio Zampighpi‘s A Happy Family. All members of a household deserve respect, which is the root of love.

Need help?

  • If your life in in immediate danger, call 911.
  • The National Domestic Abuse Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.
  • Lundy Bancroft’s website

 

Prayers during a Pandemic: Inspired by John Prine

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today’s prayer is a little different. It’s inspired by John Prine, one of our favorite singers, who is critically ill with COVID-19. So it’s for John Prine, but it’s also for all the people John Prine’s music reminds us to love, too.

Today we are thankful for musicians who call our attention to those in need. We pray for all artists who use their gifts to expand our hearts.

We pray for those we don’t know yet whose words we sign, share, and carry with us, and we pray for those we do know. We pray specifically for [names of artists and singers whose work inspires us].

Inspired by the work of John Prine, we also pray today for

We are grateful for voices that call us to kinder thinking, action, and words. We are grateful for their words and seek to have hearts open and tender to their call to remember the vulnerable.

Prayers during a Pandemic: For people experiencing homelessness

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today, we are focusing our prayer on people who do not have adequate permanent homes.

Today we remember those who are homeless, who live in camps, who live in motels, who live in homeless shelters, who live in unsafe housing, or who live in unstable conditions. We especially pray for the 1.4 million school children in the US who are homeless as well as all children birth to 5 who are without a stable and safe home of their own.

We pray for those we don’t know, and we pray for those we do know, including [insert the names of friends, family, neighbors, and others who live or work in care facilities]. We pray for all those who support them, including shelter workers, social workers, and advocates for people living without homes.

We pray for those who lack access to shelter, food, water, sanitary showers and toilets, and other basic human rights. We pray that their material needs would be met and that all forms of injustice that keep them oppressed fall. We pray for the resources to provide and the courage to demand care for our most vulnerable. We seek to always rebuke systems of oppression that prevent every person from resting in safety, no matter the personal risk of doing so, and pray for their eternal dismantling.

Our hope for people without safe and stable housing of their own is that all would have the care and the community they need and that all those who seek shelter would find it. We hope for them warmth, good rest, an opportunity to retreat, and safety.

We stand in solidarity with those who lack safe, stable housing, and we are thankful for their presence among us.

A painting shows two children sleeping.

Above, Albert Anker’s 1895 Two Sleeping Girls on the Stove. Every person deserves a safe, warm, stable place to rest whenever they need it, without worry of eviction and without regard to money.

Prayers during a Pandemic: For Teachers

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today, we are focusing our prayer on people teachers at every letter.

Today we remember teachers, including childcare center teachers, those in pre-K centers, those teaching kindergarten through 12th grade, and those who teach college and beyond.

We pray for those we don’t know, and we pray for those we do know, including [all those who serve as teachings, including ourselves]. We pray for their families, friends, and neighbors who support them, the administrators who guide them, and the students who learn from them.

Our hope for teachers is peace in the midst of rapid transition and change, clarity of mission and role when they may feel overwhelmed, energy and strength when they are challenged, and support as they care for themselves and others around them. We pray for them assurance that the lessons they have taught so far will be put to good use and that the students they love will be safe and cared for.

We are grateful for all teachers, for their work with vulnerable students, and for their roles as leaders in our communities.

Above, Jan Steen’s School Teacher (1668) shows four young pupils working, two of them writing and others with papers in their hands, and their school teacher works with one of them, a child rubbing their eye with one hand and pointing to a word on the page with the other. In the next room, visible through a curtain, a person in a red cap has their back to the viewer.

Prayers during a Pandemic: For the Elderly

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today, we are focusing our prayer on older people around the world.

Today we remember those all those who are older, around the globe. We remember those who are only beginning to enjoy the pleasures of old age as well as those who are preparing for the end of their lives.

We pray for those we don’t know, and we pray for those we do know, including [the older people we know, including ourselves]. We pray for all those who love and support them, including family members, friends, neighbors, and workers in healthcare, eldercare, and other fields.

We pray for those whose aging bodies sometimes surprise them with changes, unexpected or not. We pray for those who are transitioning to new roles as retirees, especially those for whom economic downturn or health concerns have forced into unplanned retirement. We pray for those who suddenly serving as caregivers for children in their family as well as those who are grandparents-as-parents who now have children in their home during the school day. We pray for those who worry about their health, their safety, and the future of the world.

Our hope for older people is that they experience wholeness and coherence in their lives, that they accept themselves and others and find acceptance in the love and support of others. We pray for them safety in a world that too often capitalizes on their fears. We hope for them hope about their future and the future beyond them. We hope for them a release from all fear.

We are grateful for older people, for their contributions in the past, now, and in the future. We are thankful for their presence in our lives and in our world.

Above, John Prine sings “Hello in There.”

 

Prayers during a Pandemic: For Essential Workers

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today, we are focusing our prayer on people who fulfill essential duties in our society and who we have asked not to leave their work, even at risk to themselves.

Today we remember those whose employment we deem essential and who we’ve asked to risk their own health to continue to work. We pray for those who provide our food, water, sanitation, and healthcare, including those who manufacture, inspect, transport, and make available the goods and services we need to survive.

We pray for those we don’t know, and we pray for those we do know, including [all those who work in agriculture and food distribution, those who work in healthcare, those who work in public safety, those who work in sanitation, and those who work in needed manufacturing, including ourselves]. We pray for all those their families, friends, and neighbors who support them. We pray that the dignity and necessity of their work will always be recognized and honored. We pray for a collective recognition of the value of labor and respect for those whose work keeps us fed, safe, sheltered, and healthy.

We pray for those whose work tires them, for those whose bodies collapse at the end of the day and for those for whom even rest is exhausting. We pray for those who are both necessary and undervalued. Our hope for them is dignity, self-worth, and justice. Our prayer for all of us is solidarity.

We are grateful for every one who labors for the common good and for all hearts that remember them.

File:Painting of factory workers by Toni Anton Wolter.jpg

Painting of Factory Workers by Toni Anton Wolter, from the public domain. This painting reminds me of one of my favorite memories of childhood: the day each year when Buck Iron, the foundry where my father worked swing shift for much of my childhood, opened its doors. The blackness of the interior–everything metal, everything dark–underscored the seriousness of the work. I was delighted to touch the controls of the crane that lifted scrap metal, but it was also clear that this day was special: the one day of the year when the doors were open and the outside light came in. Other days, men died, and I knew my own father had scars–on his forearm, on his inner thing–from work. Though he showered at work, his clothes were often so dirty that us kids were assigned the task of beating them, away from the backdoor so we didn’t track the dirt back inside, before they could be put in the washing machine. In this painting, I see men working together, proud of their effort, but risking their lives.

Prayers during a Pandemic: For Those with Babies on Their Minds

Our family is taking time daily to pray about the current global health crisis. Our prayers will likely reference the Christian tradition, but we’ve written with an ecumenical and agnostic audience in mind.

If you’d like us to pray for you, let us know. If you’d like us to write a prayer for you or for a concern you have and share it here, just ask. You don’t have to share your name if you don’t want to, and we won’t share it or any other identifying details about you here or elsewhere.

Today, we are focusing our prayer on people who are pregnant, those who have recently lost pregnancies, those who struggle with infertility, those with young children, and all the people who love and care for them.

Today we think of people who are pregnant, those who have recently lost pregnancies, those who struggle with infertility, those with young children, and all the people who love and care for them.We think of mothers and fathers soon-to-be, who recently are, and who yearn to be. We remember the people who love them–their children, their parents, their partners, and their friends. We think of the doctors, midwives, doulas, and many others who care for them. We especially lift up those who do not have the social or medical support they need as they face scary times without the strong care of a community or  healthcare, as well as those experiencing high risk or complicated pregnancies. We pray for them strength. 

We pray for those we don’t know. We pray for those we do, including [names of people who are pregnant, have recently lost pregnancies, who wish they were pregnant or had children, or are new parents, and those who care for them, including ourselves]. We hope for them calm minds, clear thinking, healthy bodies, and peace of heart.

We hope for assurance for all people with pregnancy and babies and young children on their hearts and minds that the fears they have are normal, and that, if their fears, depression, anxiety, or anger are too much for them to carry, they are not too much for others to carry for them. Our prayer is that they allow others to share their burdens, physical, mental, and emotional.

We receive a gift when others ask us for comfort and assurance. We are thankful for the gift of vulnerability that others share with us when they invite us into their lives and ask for our care. We seek to be worthy of that gift always.

Image result for klimt hope

Above, Hope II (1907) by Gustav Klimt. A pregnant woman bows her head, Three women at her feet also bows their head in prayer. Are they are in a posture of prayer? Of grief? Both? A small skull near her abdomen reminds us of the dangers of pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy, but the rich colors and patterns on her robe remind us of the beauty of the world. Klimt called the painting Vision but because it continues themes from another painting of a pregnant woman titled Hope, it is known as Hope II. Even this reminds us that the whole world is pregnant with possibility.