How long until we can touch our parents and beloved elders? (even as we thank you for each day we have with them.)
How long until we can have things on our calendar to look forward to that don’t involve staring at a computer? (even as we thank you for the abundance of celebrations and movies and live music and meals with friends that we have been granted up until a few months ago….even as we thank you for the gift which electronics can be to us.)
How long until we can gather together again to sing your praise? (even as we thank you for calling an assembly in the streets to overturn the tables of injustice and racism.)
How long until the dying ceases, the brutality ends, the anxiety abates?
How long until justice rains down like waters?
How long, O Lord?
How long until the coronavirus pandemic stops holding our lives and our world in the thrall of fear? (even as we are aware of the increasing numbers of both cases and deaths in Brazil, Mexico, India, Pakistan, and the United States.)
How long for the recovery of the people in six states in southern Mexico, hit by an earthquake this week, killing six people, and destroying many buildings? (even as we are grateful that the government’s alert system worked well, saving many more lives.)
How long until our LGBTQIA siblings in sub-Saharan Africa are free from criminal prosecution for their same-sex loving relationships? (even as the members of the lower house of parliament in Gabon have voted for decriminalization, a significant first step.)
How long until people dealing with cancer in Zimbabwe can get proper treatment, as the health care system has been compromised by the corruption of the health minister? (even as health care workers are making every effort to assist the sick and suffering.)
How long until the massive plume of dust from the Sahara Desert reaches the southeastern United States, bringing with it the possibility of multiple respiratory problems and straining an already-stressed health care system? (even as awareness is raised through technology and the efforts of the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.)
How long until the wildfires in Arizona, United States, which have forced the evacuation of many residents, are brought under control? (even as we give thanks for the firefighters and first responders working there.)
How Long, O Lord?
We’re not asking for a date. We’re asking for the faith that a date will come.
Prayers and Reflections from the Baptist Union
1. Reflecting on the world-wide situation
Let’s continue to pray for all our sisters and brothers across the world who have been, and are continuing to be, affected by COVID-19. We pray that all will know God’s overwhelming, steadfast love.
Pray for the countries currently suffering from the greatest outbreaks:
2. We pray for those who are particularly fearful at the moment.
Pray for those in our communities who may feel vulnerable and scared.
Pray that the love of God might be their peace. That they may know that even in the darkest times God’s love brings hope.
3. We pray for the most vulnerable and isolated in our neighbourhoods.
Pray for those who are currently self-isolating in our neighbourhoods.
Pray for older people who are concerned about shopping, regular hospital appointments and general day to day contact with other people.
Bring to God the regular activities for older and more vulnerable people provided by our churches. Pray for wisdom for church leaders to know how to keep people connected and safe.
4. We pray for the medical staff on the frontline of care, we pray that they will be sustained physically, emotionally and spiritually in the coming weeks.
Pray for medics in our own congregations.
We pray that God will be their shield and their strength.
We pray for wisdom and insight as to how to support those in our congregations and communities involved in frontline care.
5. Pray for our world leaders and for the leaders in our own country that they will seek the wisdom of God as they make decisions over the coming days.
Pray for physical strength for our leaders
6. We pray for all those leading the scientific response to COVID-19 across the world.
Pray for the scientists from across the globe as they look for ways to alleviate symptoms and as they seek a vaccine for the future.
7. Pray for all God’s people in this time of uncertainty and concern. That our eternal hope would make an earthly difference.
Pray for a sense of calm and clarity as well as strength to face what is ahead. That Christians will be 'beacons of hope' and 'carriers of the message of peace' at this time.
8. Pray for the work of BMS overseas
Pray for BMS Personnel overseas, our partners and local communities, especially those who are living in countries where the health services and infrastructure might not be adequate to protect a global pandemic.
Pray that God will use His servants to accompany people pastorally and missionally through this valley of uncertainty, fear and even potential death. May we be a people of Hope in encouraging others in the face of crisis to lean on God’s sustaining presence and unfailing providence.
9. We pray for others in all parts of our world who daily face the uncertainty of life.
We pray for those caught in war
We pray for those who face hunger today
We pray for those struggling with sickness and ill health because of other diseases, such as malaria.
We acknowledge the Lord’s sovereignty in and through all things and pray using the words of Paul to the church in Ephesus:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-21 (NRSV)
Go to the Top:
The World In Prayer. June 27th
(Many thanks to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America pastor/author, Nadia Bolz-Weber, for some of the prayer petitions.)
God who is called by many names, God of this earth and all its peoples, today we are crying out, how long, O Lord?
With Streams of Living Water”
Jesus Said: I am the Light of the World
Jesus said “I am the Bread of Life”
Jesus said “I am the Light of the World”