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Prayers of Pandemic from the Diocese of Newark

Bishop Hughes has invited members of the diocese to write and share their own prayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prayers can be sent to Canon Wright at awright@dioceseofnewark.org for posting. Please include the name and town of your church.


 
Prayers for our nation

Good and Gracious God, we have many issues facing us in this country today. Not only is the pandemic making every aspect of our lives more difficult, but also profound social injustices continue impacting so many people. Help us to recognize the pernicious effects of the income gap between the rich and the poor, the lack of adequate health care coverage, hunger and food insecurity, racial injustice, and gun violence. As we gain in awareness of these issues, help us also to find actions that can address them. Give us wisdom, courage and fortitude that we need to guide our country to a safer and saner place. And so we pray. – Amen.  

– Provided by the Online Community of St. John the Baptist Prayer Team and  
Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John the Baptist 
Church of the Saviour, Denville 


 
Prayers for our leaders

Good and Gracious God, we pray for all those holding authority. In our church, we pray for our bishops, priests, deacons and lay leaders, and for all leaders of all religions; in government, we pray our state governors, the mayors of our cities, and our president; for our legislators and for those in the justice system; and for government leaders throughout the world; in business, we pray for those who are making decisions that affect our economy and the livelihood  and the wellbeing of the people. Help our leaders to act with courage, compassion, integrity, and from a place of wisdom. And so we pray. – Amen. 

– Provided by the Online Community of St. John the Baptist Prayer Team and  
Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John the Baptist 
Church of the Saviour, Denville 


 
Prayers for resilience

Good and Gracious God, the pandemic continues to wreak havoc with our social order. Help us find ways to mitigate the virus’ impact on our lives, and grant all frontline workers the stamina and fortitude needed to meet this continued stressful situation. Bless and protect all those affected by the raging wildfires in the West and the storms and flooding in the South. Give them and us strength and courage to face the widespread damage to homes and livelihoods, and help our society understand the pernicious effects of climate change that makes weather extremes so destructive. Shield and protect our teachers, students and those in education in this school year that is underway. Help us to face each of these challenges with equanimity and grace. And so we pray. – Amen. 

– Provided by the Online Community of St. John the Baptist Prayer Team and  
Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John the Baptist 
Church of the Saviour, Denville 


 
Prayers for the election season

Good and Gracious God, We are troubled by the rhetoric today regarding threats to the upcoming elections. Talk of voter fraud, voter suppression and foreign government meddling in USA elections are casting doubt that our nation can hold a fair election. Help us to find ways to ensure the voting rights of American citizens; may we recognize and dismiss social media interference; protect and strengthen our postal system and its workers as we promote voting by mail during the pandemic; help our leaders work on a peaceful transition of power. Shield us from fear, anger, and anxiety about our elections in the upcoming weeks, and show us any and all right actions we can take to work together for our common good. And so we pray. – Amen.  

– Provided by the Online Community of St. John the Baptist Prayer Team and  
Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John the Baptist 
Church of the Saviour, Denville 


 
Prayers for the grieving

Good and Gracious God, we continue to experience grieving in this difficult time. All of us are facing loss and curtailment: loss of contact with our families and friends; loss of livelihood or savings; loss of activities and plans; and negative impact on health and on wellbeing. Help us to move through and process grief and grant consolation in our distress. We remember all who have died during this pandemic: those who died from the virus, and so many who died alone. Welcome them into the Light of your face. And so we pray. – Amen.  .  

– Provided by the Online Community of St. John the Baptist Prayer Team and  
Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John the Baptist 
Church of the Saviour, Denville 


 

A Hymn for the Pandemic
May be sung to the tune of Hyfrydol (Hymn 460 in The Hymnal 1982)

God, we call on You every new day,
Bless us in this time of trial.
Separated from friends and family,
As we guard against virus so vile.

Mission, Ministry still go on as we
Meet by Zoom for both worship and work.
Stewardship, Finance, and Pre-schools and Outreach all go on,
As our duty we will not shirk.

Prayer and praise take on new importance
As we try to make sense out of this.
God, we wonder when we can gather
Safely in Your house that we miss.

Education and unemployment and mental health have all come into play.
Normal will never be normal again we sadly fear,
Gracious God, hear our prayer today.

– Martha R. Boughner, St. James’ Upper Montclair


 

A Servant’s Prayer

I am here, Lord.
You know me well, for you made me.
Strengthen
   my arms that they might carry the burdens of my brothers and sisters in need;
   my back and shoulders that they might not break beneath the yoke of fear and oppression;
   my heart that it might bear the grief of those who suffer.

I am here, Lord.
You know me well, for you made me.
Open
   my eyes that they might see your glory in the stranger;
   my ears that they might hear your voice guiding me when I am lost;
   my mind that it might discern your truth amidst the noise and confusion.

I am here, Lord.
You know me well, for you made me.
Bless
   my hands that they might feed and clothe my brothers and sisters who are cold and hungry;
   my lips that they might speak words of comfort, encouragement and truth to the down-trodden;
   my soul that it may stand for righteousness in face of adversity and injustice.

I am here, Lord.
You know me well, for you made me.

Hear your servant’s prayer, o Lord.
Prepare me for the tasks you have set before me,
Make me your instrument healing this broken world, and
Let me bless others as you have blessed me.

All this I pray in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

– Alethia Carter Stone, St. Paul’s, Morris Plains


 
 Bedtime Prayer
 
O God
Please be sure I don’t have bad dreams tonight
And protect us from any harm
I love you
And protect everyone
In Christ’s name we pray
Amen.
– Edith, 7 years old, St. Elizabeth’s, Ridgewood (submitted by Sheryl Jordan)

Prayers of Pandemic - Bedtime Prayer


 
Holy God,
We are a people reeling from sickness
In our bodies and our souls.

The virus is a killer among us,
Increasing our fear at just being alive.
That would be enough.

The virus of racism is a killer among us as well,
Where black people are always on alert,
Weary and wary;
And white people have been immune
And ignorant and indifferent.

We all need healing, Holy One,
From our fears of the breath-taking virus
And our surrender to the soul-taking one.

Heal us from the virus that has stolen our souls.
Heal us from privilege.
Set us all free.
Infuse us with the blood of true community
With one another.

Amen

The Rev. Fain Webb, St. Luke and St. Mary, Hope/Belvidere


 
Dear God - For this day, help me to keep my heart open.

Help me to observe the beauty around me; to appreciate all that I see.
Help me to notice the blessings in my life, and to ignore those things that do not measure up to my expectations.
Guide me dear God to be of service to others, and to go through this day with humor and grace, and no regrets.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord we pray. Amen.

Joyce Hart, St. George’s Maplewood


 
Dear Lord,

Thank you for keeping me safe and well thus far; and also my family and friends.

I am in a safe place; as is my family, and for that too I am grateful. 

Thank you for the increased opportunities to stay in connection or reconnect with other family or friends, near and mostly, far.  Thank you for providing me with a regular source of income, food, and shelter.

Whereas I have these many things to be thankful for; please help me to never forget to raise awareness of the extreme needs of individuals with no family, or home, or income; and with little or no food.  Keep me constantly aware and vocal about those who are ignored or cast aside because of their ethnic background, mental illness, or dysfunctional families.

I ask you, God, for the means, and ability, and above all courage to respond in meaningful ways where I am able.  Amen

Pat S., St. George’s, Maplewood


Oh God of love and peace, help us to survive each day,
in the midst of things we cannot understand,
To those of us who are afraid, give us courage
To those of us who are exhausted, give us strength
To those of us in despair, give us hope.
Comfort us in our struggle, O Loving God,
Walk with us through this time of crisis,
Grant us and our loved ones’ safety, security and stability,
and help us to learn the lessons you are giving us at this time, so that we may all work together to rebuild our lives, and make the world a better place.
In the name of our loving Creator we pray, Amen.
Sr. Monica Clare, Community of St. John the Baptist, Mendham


Lord, have mercy.
How often have we prayed that Kyrie,
            unsuspectingly, that the mercy we so deeply need is now,
            among us, stealing breath and life, spreading fear.
            Your people are all people, yet
            We cannot even be together in Your Name.

How is the earth not shaken out of orbit
            and hurtling into space
            from all the cries and pain
            in the hearts of parents and children?

This further shattering of earth’s peace –
            were all the guns not enough?
            Did we not do enough damage
            to earth’s fruitfulness by mines and bullets?

Do we not have, already, too many resting places,
            for bodies too numerous to count?
            Bones, shuffling about, bones seeking rest.

Release us, Lord. You who heal the soul,
            how dreadfully we need you
            to heal the world.

Let the world be your remembrance
            of rescuing the Israelites.
            You sent plagues to free them.
            Send this plague away to free us.

The virus, like Pharaoh, is so cruel.
            Let your people go, Lord,
            away from this alien Egypt
            that the world has become.

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy.
            Kyrie eleison.
            Christe eleison
            Amen.

Teresa Donati, All Saints, Leonia


Dear God,
We pray for strength during these unprecedented times.  We look to you for guidance.  May you empower us to find a way to get through this.
Please heal those who are sick and take care of the ones we lost.  Heaven has gained many angels.

God, protect our children helping them through the challenge of our time. Help them understand that we will get through this.
Protect the people who are suffering. Protect those with businesses that are struggling. Protect our nurses, doctors, and all who are on the front lines taking care of the sick.

You are our God and have done wonderful things creating a beautiful earth and heaven. Preserve the beauty, the minds and the souls within. We thank you and love all you do.
Amen

Dawn James, St. Gabriel’s Church, Milton/Oak Ridge


 A Call to Prayer

The weak shall wither, the strong shall strive,
God didn't give us the spirit of fear, remember, keep hope alive.
Onward Christian Soldiers, for this is the battle cry,
with the cross of Jesus press on and lift it high!
So high that all can see, that God is in control, and Christ our Lord is King!
The Word of God shall lead the Way, the Way no one can see,
the Truth, the Life, will shepherd us on to Liberty.
For this is, the battle cry, with the cross of Jesus, press on and lift it high!
So high that all can see, that God is in control, and Christ our Lord is King!

Gordon Nelson Jr., Trinity and St. Philip’s Cathedral, Newark


 
The Chorister’s Prayer – for Quarantine

Bless, O Lord, us thy singers, who once sang within thy temple.
Grant that what we sing in our homes, may yet be heard in the world,
And what is heard in the world, may lead all closer to thee,
Until we’re choirs again. Amen.
– Anne Matlack, Grace, Madison


 
This is a day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Not within church walls under the radiant colors of stained glass,
But online on YouTube, Facebook, or FaceTime.
Not sitting in pews,
But from our kitchens, bedrooms, dens, basements or backyards.
Not facing forward to the altar and pulpit,
But face-to-face on Zoom virtual coffee hours or ear-to-ear on evening prayer teleconferences.
Separated but not alone.
Celebrate our new connections on walks or phone calls, via snail mail, email or text, with care packages and grocery deliveries.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Amen.
– Pam Kuhn, Calvary Summit


 
A Prayer for a Great Awakening

Creator, God, Lover of our souls,
We come to you with heavy hearts in this liminal space, this threshold time between what was and what is yet to be.
We are frightened by the changes and instability all around us. We name the losses we are experiencing; the loved ones, friends and neighbors who are gone. The loss of work, of income, of a sense of safety and camaraderie. We grieve the loss of what we knew as Church. Gone, for now, is the physical contact and the ability to be together in our sacred spaces. We deeply miss communion, worship, singing, and the warmth of hugging our beloveds in Christ.
In our exile we hold before You these things we took for granted.
May your grace surround us in this time of isolation.
We seek your healing for the sick, and comfort for those who are grieving.
We remember those who are suffering emotionally and physically asking Your compassionate care be upon them.
We ask blessing and protection for all those who are at risk and for those who are working.
For healthcare workers, for the grocers, farm, and food workers, for the children, teachers and parents, for police and prisoners.
We pray for your Church, for our bishops and priests and deacons and all who serve you.
We beseech you to grant wisdom and guidance to our scientists and leaders.
May they be inspired by the Holy Spirit to develop the needed medicines and policies to safeguard all of your children.
Strengthen us in faith, guide us in hope, and hold us in love.
In this moment of great awakening, may we realize the blessings of cleaner air and deepening connections, of families rediscovering joys and laughter in togetherness.
We pray for guidance and perseverance as we envision a new more sustainable and loving world. Bring us closer to realizing Your beloved community, where those with privilege help those with less, where those with power empower those who have been powerless. And where the eyes of all are opened to realities previously unseen.
May we be resurrected by this crisis emerging anew, as a more authentic expression of your body in Christ. Amen.
– Glen Hoffs, St. George's, Maplewood


 
Thank you, dear lord.
For allowing the light to shine upon me in the morning
You bring hope into my life that this day filled with healing. I pray that the nearly one hundred thousand souls who have transitioned from this life are genuinely in a glorious place and have found peace in heaven.

I am grateful, dear lord.
I am grateful to greet in the afternoon with a full heart. By taking the opportunity to let go of fear caused by pain and suffering felt because COVID-19 has tested people all over the world.  I seek comfort in believing that I can do my part by staying informed and feel safeguarded that practicing social distancing will shield us under your wings to end this pain.

Thank you, dear lord.
And finally, dear lord, as I rest my head in the evening, I reflect upon the resilient front line workers. New virtual realities are now a daily part of my existence, and I appreciate the strength to know that you are with me and that I am not alone, so I force myself to rest quietly and sleep at night in hopes of seeing another day.
Amen.
– Adrianne Harrison-Surgeon, Christ Church, Short Hills


 
Today we remember the unnamed, the lost, the wanderers. We pray for those who died alone and unnamed. We ask that, in the spirit, they know the comfort of a loving God. We pray for the lost in spirit, in faith, in sorrow. We ask that, as they find their way, the path is well lit, walking in companionship with the one can guide them home. We pray for the wanderers. The restless spirits. The homeless. The people without a place to call their own who walk our streets, sleep in our doorways finding shelter where they can. We ask that they are blessed by the kindness of strangers, the gift of shelter, and the comfort a loving God who keeps them in his sight and heart.
– Sandra Lee Schubert, St. John's, Boonton


 
Holy Spirit, be present within and among us as we tackle the tasks of this time of pandemic.  Grace us with your wisdom.  Bring forth our own skills and insights.  Strengthen our ability and will to listen to each other – and to you.  Inspire us to reach agreements about how we best proceed in this journey to build your kingdom on earth. In Jesus' name. Amen.
– Valyrie Laedlein, St. George's, Maplewood


 
Dear God, my heavenly Father, watch over me today and protect me from harm and protect all those I come in contact with so that I cause no harm to them. Please give courage to those suffering. May they have faith in accepting  your will. Please bless the nurses, doctors and caretakers of the sick. Give them strength to carry out their mission and soften their sadness when their best is not good enough. Amen.
– Annie Varela, St. Gabriel's, Oak Ridge


 
Most gracious and loving God, may those who are troubled know that you are always near and that you will never lead them astray. We pray for those who feel lost and alone. May those who cannot find their way, when all seems so out of joint, be assured of your steadfast guidance. And, in that moment, may it be a light in their darkest hours. We pray for those who are in turmoil. May your entire human creation rejoice in the splendor of your blessings and look to you  as a source of strength and love now and always. Amen.
– Ellen Bomser, St. John’s, Boonton


 
Remember the angel in the tomb
For us this is not just a 2000 year old story.

We see illness and death around us.
We may feel like we are in an empty tomb.
     Even if we are not grieving someone’s death
     our friends are grieving.
All we have to do is remember:
Remember that God is with us now.
Remember that God loves us now.
     In our grief. In our isolation.
     In our longing, hungering, yearning for an end to the pandemic.
Remember to reach out:
     If others hurt. If you hurt.
Remember God’s love is here with us:
     Love does not need touch.
     Love crosses the boundaries of space.
     Love is in the smiles and waves of others on Zoom.
          In the telephone calls. In the food deliveries.
Love is in the angels.
     In us.
     As we bring light. As we receive light.
     Even if it is one small candle.
Remember the angel in the tomb.
– The Rev. Rose Cohen Hassan, St. Andrew and Holy Communion, South Orange


 
Prayers for Ourselves
Help us be your Light and Love in this world

Good and Gracious God,
We come to you in a broken and suffering world.
Help us to remain hopeful by remembering that we are not alone, that You are always with us, guiding us.
Help us to work together, each of us contributing as we can,
for the benefit of the common good.
May we be carriers of your Light and Love in this world. May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. And so we pray. Amen.
– Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John Baptist


 
Prayers for Those at Risk
Help us remember those with special needs

Good and Gracious God,
So many of your people need our attention, prayers and assistance in this difficult time. We pray especially for:
Those with disabilities;
Immigrants;
Prisoners;
Those in nursing homes;
Grieving families and families in distress.
God of forever kindness, hear our prayers. And so we pray. Amen.
– Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John Baptist


 
Prayers for Essential Workers
For their physical, emotional and spiritual health

Good and Gracious God,
Please protect and guide the many people who are tirelessly working to assist others during this pandemic:
We are grateful for doctors, nurses and aides who are directly caring for those who are ill, as well as the support staff of cleaners, food preparers, transporters;
We are grateful to police, firefighters, EMTs, all who are in the first line of offering assistance;
We are grateful for garbage collectors, retail associates, warehouse workers and drivers who are making it possible for others to shelter-in-place.
Wrap them in your Light and Love. And so we pray. Amen.
– Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John Baptist


 
Prayers for Remedies
For breakthroughs in testing, in treatment, in vaccines

Good and Gracious God,
We pray for the researchers and scientists in our country and throughout the world, who are working to find new ways to help us get through this pandemic:
With faster, easier and more widespread testing;
With treatments that can help people with the virus recover safely and quickly;
With a vaccine that can protect our most vulnerable people from the virus;
Help our scientific community to work together for these breakthroughs, for our common good. And so we pray. Amen.
– Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John Baptist


 
Prayers for Healing
For all who are suffering during this pandemic

Good and Gracious God,
So many people are suffering physically from coronavirus.
We ask you to restore their breathing, relieve their fear and pain, grant them rest and strength, and especially help them to know that You are right beside them;
So many more people are also affected by this virus:
Comfort those who are suffering from fear, anxiety or despair during these difficult times;
Help those who need medical attention for other conditions, and for those suffering extended illness. And so we pray. Amen.
– Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John Baptist


 
Prayers of Thanksgiving
That God is using this difficult time to “grow” us

Good and Gracious God,
We are grateful for grace-filled learning
As a church, we understand we are more than our beloved sacred spaces;
As global citizens, we see that our actions have a profound effect on each other, on animal and plant life, and on the environment;
As neighbors, we are increasing in kindness towards each other;
As individuals, we have been given relief from busy schedules and invited to journey inward;
As Christians, we can hear the call to be Your hands, Your feet, Your voice in the world. And so we pray. Amen.
– Pat McKenzie, Oblate, Community of St. John Baptist


 
Most gracious and loving God,
May those who are troubled know that you are always near and that you will never lead them astray.
We pray for those who feel lost and alone.
May those who cannot find their way, when all seems so out of joint, be assured of your steadfast guidance. And in that moment, may it be a light in their darkest hours.
We pray for those who are in turmoil.
May your entire human creation rejoice in the splendor of your blessings and look to you as a source of strength and love now and always. Amen.
– Ellen Bomser, St. John’s, Boonton


 
Gracious Lord God, Creator of the universe and all humankind;
We come now to your throne of grace, praising you, to ask for your healing.
in this time of worldwide pandemic from Covid-19.
Please look upon all your creation with your mercy and loving kindness.

We pray for healing for all those infected with this virus and all sicknesses;
healing in body, mind, and spirit, that all may be restored to their proper journeys in life;
to glorify you and live in righteousness with all humanity.

We ask special protection upon all those who care for the sick,
the doctors, nurses, technicians, hospital staff, home-health aides, emergency workers,
and family members who put themselves in harm’s way to render urgent service to others.

We pray for those who are actively dying that they may not suffer;
that they be lifted up into your care to receive eternal rest in you.
We pray for all families who have lost loved ones;
that their grief may be comforted and their unexpected sorrows
turned into joy as their loved ones have taken shortcuts to rest in you.

We pray for the living that they obey the shelter-at-home mandates
to eradicate this plague and be wise in their choices to protect themselves
and others from all infection and spread of this virus.
We pray for our leaders, that they be protected
and act swiftly to bring help to all those in need.

We pray especially that our governments immediately stop all political bickering
and responsibly act swiftly in this extreme urgency because lives are at stake.
We pray for all worldwide economies that they may recover, and that those in power understand
that our common earth home and its entire people are in need of equitable care.
We pray that it may be available and delivered to all as needed.

We pray especially for the scared, the unemployed, the lonely, the poor, the homeless,
and all those who are in any way marginalized and worried how to care for their families,
that the safety net they need will be made known to them and help rapidly forthcoming.
Teach us, gracious Lord, to learn from this worldwide tragedy
how to be in right relationship with you, all Creation, and each other,
Guide us loving God, to mend all our ways so as to glorify you.
All these things we ask, in your mercy, putting our trust in you,
through the power of the Holy Spirit,
in the name of the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
– Mary Ballard, St. Peter's Morristown


 
Dear God,
Thank you for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us. I am praying to you now asking for your peace and grace during this difficult time amidst the COVID 19 pandemic. We are all sheltered in place and worry about our families, friends, and all people in the entire world as we are faced with so many challenges right now. Take care and provide strength to those fighting this disease and those taking care of them and all the essential workers who are unable to shelter in place and risk their health and lives for us. We are faced with deaths we cannot understand and a way of living that is new and very strange. Provide us with your strength and your understanding to get through this time and come out more resilient in ourselves and stronger in our faith. Amen
– Anonymous


 
Pray with me for the well-being of my lost love, Chloé – in France or wherever she might be – that she is held safely in the arms of God when she is afraid, and that she may walk with the hand of Jesus when she is uncertain.
– Jack Kelly, Good Shepherd, Wantage


 
Our Heavenly Father, in this chaotic and confusing time we put ourselves in Your hands, asking for Your love and Your help to get us through the current global morass and on to whatever will be the new normal. We ask You to be with the essential workers in all fields, who are giving 100% of themselves to aid those in need. And a special blessing, please, to the people we don't necessarily think about, the ones who are routinely there in our daily lives: the owners and workers in mom and pop shops, neighborhood restaurants, copy stores, and all who provide the local services we take for granted.  Please help us through the road back when it is Your will to get us there. In many ways, the world has messed up. Please give us another chance. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
– Verna Fitzgerald, Our Saviour, Secaucas


 
Our dearest Holy Father, we see your fortifying hand everywhere in the world around us.
We come to you to ask that you to shine down your special favor on our health care professionals and volunteers.
Give them strength, so that they may go on, both for their patients and in their own lives.
Give them clarity, so that in the midst of tired shoulders, achy feet, and burdened spirits, they have the ability to know what to do next.
And dear Father, give them reconciliation. These selfless servants put themselves in harm’s way for so many reasons. Many of them are witnessing death; some for the first time. Help them find blessings and relief through their heartache.
We ask all this, through your son, our Holiest Redeemer, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
– Julia "Jewels" Quelly, St. James', Hackettstown