Prayers during Pandemic

Center into prayer with me.
Photo by D. Dehler
March-April-May-June 2020

We are in a time of uncertainty and many are thrust into making changes in the way they live their lives.  St. Alban's is unfortunately closed to in-person worship and meetings until further notice.  We are providing Facebook LIVE worship opportunities on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. EST, Wednesdays at 11:00 a.m. EST and other times throughout the week.  You can access these services HERE or check our website

I am writing prayers each day.  I will add the most recent to the top of this post.  I invite you to pray with me. 

June 18

I thank you for giving me these last months to write prayers to you. For giving me the words to pray and to share them in a way that others may pray with me.

It started as a Lenten practice, a commitment to The Way of Love, and stretched out as the pandemic spread.

You know my prayers don't end, but for now, this practice of writing and sharing them is going to stop, at least for a time.

Be with all who have prayed with me and all for whom we prayed. For this world, through the hurt and pain help us find comfort and health. Grant us the peace that passes all understanding and let that peace begin in the hearts and minds of all of us.

Give others the words they need, the silence that fills, the hope to keep moving forward.

Thank you for this process.
Thank you, always, for your guidance and love.

Forever committed to your service,

June 17
Thank you, God, for putting people in our lives who are our cheerleaders, support systems, honest-talkers, butt-kickers, risk assessors, motivators, and genuine friends. We certainly need them all, every day.

June 16

Holy One,
Thank you for this day and these friends.
Thank you for nourishment and refreshment.
Thank you for revealing what can be found in both the darkness and the light.

June 15
Give me courage to grow through adversity, humility to recognize growing edges, patience to wait for outcomes, and love to heal broken hearts.

June 14

We dug deep into the Gospel today. Matthew told us that you sent the disciples out to tell the lost ones of Israel about you.

You set some rules for going out -- no one was to take anything with them because they would find people who would take them in, provide them lodging and food, so they could continue to learn about God.

You also told them that this would be hard work. That these men (and probably some unnamed women) would have their lives threatened. They could lose relationships. They could be chased out of homes and towns.

And these were sent out to talk to people like them. Jews, not Gentiles or others. They were being sent to tell their sisters, brothers, parents, aunties and uncles and friends, as well as people they did not know, that they were not living in ways that showed they loved God.

Eventually, they would branch out to other communities. But for this time, they were given authority to heal and teach in God's name within the Jewish community.

I wonder if they were sent out today if the messages would be that we need to pay attention to those who have been separated from society because of the color of their skin, the people they love, the ability of their body or mind. That justice and mercy and kindness are for each of God's beloved children in equal measure?

Or is we who are being sent out?

This work is still difficult. Voices are silenced. People are harmed. Relationships are shattered.

And still, you send us out to teach the world about how much God loves us all. You send us to act with love to all our neighbors. You teach us that loving you means loving others.

Help us trust your words of encouragement as found in today's Gospel that tell us that the words we say will come from you, through the Holy Spirit, especially when we feel like we do not have them or can not speak them.

Let there be mercy, justice and kindness for all.

June 13

Holy and forgiving God,
These times we are in seem to be more complicated than ever before. People are having a difficult time having civil conversations, if they are even willing to converse.

Disagreements aren't minor. The chasm between opinions is deep and wide. Folks seem to be unwilling to listen to one another. Many would rather tear down and rip others apart if they do not agree.

Facts seem less important than opinions and historical facts can be misrepresented or misunderstood. It can be hard to discern fact from truth.

People are cutting off relationships because they cannot manage a civil conversation where they can listen and hear one another. And, whether they agree or not, be willing to learn. It seems easier to turn away from a relationship than to find ways to understand one another.

Society is bound up in partisanship and is forgetting the command to love you first so that we can love one another better. That loving others is the greatest way to express love for you.

Give us courage to enter into difficult conversations. Help us listen to information that might challenge our hearts and minds. Teach us to admit that we don't know everything and we have the capacity to learn from others.

Forgive us as we stumble through this time. Keep us from hurting one another. Let our hearts be bound to one another as they are bound to you. Help us to forgive.


June 12
Facebook Free Friday

June 11

Heavenly Father,
There are some days where the pandemics of COVID-19 and racism are in the background of daily life, and the responsibilities and complexities of daily living move to the foreground.

It's easy to blame a bad mood or poor attitude on the pandemics, to say that "if only" these things were not impacting so much of life, the act of daily living would be so much easier. And yes, the pandemics do affect us, but so does life.

Weather changes, sleep habits, a disappointment, a difficult conversation, a too-too busy schedule, an empty bottle of milk, a mistake, ... these things still happen. But, I fear, the emotional toll of what is happening in the world around us seems to amplify our responses. At least some days.

I am thankful for surprising messages of support from strangers that remind me and others that there is goodness and kindness that can be found in unexpected ways. Every day. But especially when it feels like life is too heavy and burdensome.

Help those of us who struggle some days to find peace, mercy, hope, justice, and love. Surprise us with messages that remind us that we are each abundantly loved.


June 10

Holy Spirit, you have been blowing strong winds for the last couple of days. Actual wind, yes, but also winds that bring change.
Change of heart.
Change of mind.
Change of relationships.
Change of attitude.
Change of systems.
Change of behaviors.
Changes that reflect our faith in God, in our following the Way of Jesus, and in our understanding of self as we relate to our baptismal promises.

You are blowing strong winds across this country as a result of tropical storm Cristobal.
Winds that are moving farther north than has ever been recorded.

Are these winds beckoning us to new life in you?
Are they here to sway our hearts toward compassion and love of all our neighbors?
Are these brisk winds blowing as a physical reminder that you are God?

Let these winds blow justice, mercy, and kindness. Let them blow hate away.

When they slow, let us feel the calm so that we can share the love that passes all understanding-- the love of you, our Creator, Redeemer and Advocate.

June 9

Lord, it's hard to know that our loved ones are struggling with illnesses, memory loss, and other life changes where they seem to have no control.

The struggle to understand what is happening to their body or mind is real. Caregivers, family members, and friends do their best, but often they, too, are struggling to understand.

The work of illness is hard for all those involved.

I ask you to be with our loved ones, who are in the throes of illness and caregiving. Grant them courage in the days ahead. Allow them to feel all the emotions with patience and grace. Give them mercy through their suffering. Let them know they are loved.


June 8

God, in your mercy, hear my prayer.

Fill me with your fires of justice.

Pour over me waters of forgiveness.

Charge me with the energy of change.

Then, merciful One, grant me slumber.

Let me rest in the love and hope that can only be found in you.


June 7

Holy One (in three), today we celebrated the Holy Trinity, one of the most complicated concepts in Christianity.

Or is it?

At the root of faith in you is relationship.

The idea that you are one in three and three in one just means we are given multiple ways of reaching to you in ways that resonate with us.

At times we might need you to be a parent figure. Other times, recognizing that all of creation comes from you, the Creator. Sometimes we need a teacher, healer, miracle worker or Redeemer. And then there are the times we need to feel your presence as Advocate and partner.

You are more than any of us can imagine. And that makes you a mystery for some and a partner in life for others.

Thank you for being all and everything we need.


June 6

I call upon the Holy Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, to help this world and these people feel the pain of creation, the passion of loving others, and the winds that bring transformation.

Let us remember that we are here, on this sphere in space because God created the heavens and the earth and all that grows and lives upon it.

Let us remember that Jesus came into this world to remind the people that God desires to be in relationship with all of humanity. That Jesus came to teach us what love looks like.

Let us experience the Holy Spirit as she weaves throughout this holy creation, binding us to God and one another.

Help us to know the power of the three in one and the one in three and to recognize that we are because you are.


June 5
Facebook Free Friday

June 4

Creator of all things, you are watching as we humans struggle with prioritizing. The way we choose what is important to us is probably not what is important to you.

Help us see what you created through eyes that are willing to reimagine what is truly important in this life.

Help us to care for this creation with tenderness. To care for all of humanity with empathy.

Give us willing hearts to recognize that our priorities are not your priorities, and with this recognition, let us be transformed.


June 3

I am committed to learning more about racial injustice. Thank you for providing me resources to teach me and others, a book study to join and people in my life who are both patient and urgent in the great desire for the dismantling of systemic racism.

I am thankful that scripture tells us what is expected of us, that there are so many examples to help us recognize who is most at risk, and for Jesus, who taught us what it means to express our love for you through our love for all our neighbors.

I cling to you as you carry me through this tumultuous time.


June 2

God, here we are, another night has come after a day filled with activity leading toward racial justice. So many clergy, faithful people and others, devoted time today to peacefully protest.

Clergy silently marched through the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul to the shrine set up at the place of George Floyd's murder.

Many young people stood, kneeled and sat on the Minnesota State Capital grounds.

We know the sacred stories. The stories and parables that teach us what it means to SEE and acknowledge, heal and bless those among us who live lives marginalized by people unwilling to do the work to recognize the beloved-ness of every human being.

The depth of desire for reconcilation, reparations, equity and dignity for all is on display all around the world.

I recognize that there is much more I can learn. I know I lack in my education and understanding about systemic racism. I realize that I need to take responsibility to change my knowledge base so that I can be able to more confidently express what needs to be said and taught.

Forgive my lack of knowledge. Strengthen my capacity to learn. Embolden my desire to change.


June 1
Lord, listen to your children as they cry out to you.

May 31

Take the fires of Pentecost and burn away all that keeps me from loving you.

Blow away the ashes left from the chaff and bramble that were smothering the life and light of compassion.

Speak to me in the language I will most comprehend so that I can be taught.

Breathe into me the breath of a new day, a new way, a renewed willingness and a fresh start.

Bring the Holy Spirit, with her fire and wind, and let me know you better than I did before.

Come, Holy Spirit, come.

May 30
O God,
Feel the breath that is my prayer.
In. Out. In. Out.
Breathing in peace.
Breathing out pain.
In. Out.
With each breath, I pray.

May 30 bonus

I failed at Facebook Free Friday. It seemed that I had to keep looking to keep informed about what was happening in Minneapolis.

I didn't write a prayer before bed, either. That was intentional, because I had been so involved in my own way of prayer all day, there were no more words left for me to offer.

It reminded me of the story I see often enough where a child is overheard reciting the alphabet as if in prayer and when questioned the child says they don't have the words, but they trust that you will take the letters and make the words needed.

I believe that is the case. When words fail, when tears overcome, when the body is so weary, you hear the prayers anyway.

I so appreciate that about you.

May 28

After all the horrible news this week, I am thankful that tomorrow is Facebook Free Friday.

I don't know how much more I can take of the death and destruction occurring, not because of a fast moving virus, but because of the ideals of hate and intolerance within humanity.

What will it take for people to know what "human dignity" means? What "equity" means? What "loving your neighbor" means?

How can people understand the deep- seeded pain of racism?

When can we find peace in community with one another?

All I know I can do is try to find ways for people to listen to one another, to hear the stories of one another, to express understanding with one another. And pray. Unceasingly. Through tears and wailing.

God, please hear my prayers.

May 27

Lord, your children are crying. You hear them and cry with them.

Lord, your children are afraid. You are holding them and comforting them.

Lord, your children are angry. You, too, turned over tables to express your frustration at those who abused their power.

Lord, your children say, "enough." You tell them, "Yes, and enough is enough."

Lord, your children desire equity. You walked this Earth to teach responsibility to care for all people, with equity and love.

Lord, your children want change. You remind us that change comes when it is spoken about and acted upon.

Lord, your children need your love. You are there, in the midst of them. Give them hearts to receive.

Lord, in your mercy.
Hear our cries.
Help us know peace.

May 26:

Father, you must be grieving tonight. The pandemic has taken over 100,000 lives in just the United States. Other lives have ended by suicide, illness, accident and murder. So many grieve tonight.

Father, you must be hearing from so many who loved all these who have died. I'm sure you are holding them, gently, through their grief.

Father, your children are struggling to breathe, their sobbing overwhelms. Your children are struggling to see, their tears overflow. Your children are struggling to hear, their ears filled with screams.

Father, be with us, abide with us, comfort us, let us feel your embrace.

Father, teach us how to love.

May 25:  (Memorial Day)

Heavenly God, today, we remembered those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of country. Those lives lost during their service in the armed services caused dramatic changes in the lives of their families, friends and fellow service men and women. For me, I remember one of my friends whose father died during the Vietnam war. I know that many other families were like theirs... Forever changed.

I pray for the families who have given the lives they knew when their loved one gave their life for this country.

I pray for peace and better relationships between countries.

I pray for life and love.

May 24:

Holy One,
A warm day, a light rain, a phone call from dear friends. We long for connection and it comes with surprise messages and calls.

Thank you for friends, the seasoned ones and the new ones.

Thank you for warm days and rainy nights.


May 23:
Thank you for sunshine and rain. Thank you for flowers and toys. Thank you for good food and drink. Thank you for family and friends. Thank you, God, for this life, and all that it is.

May 22:

I made a decision today to make today Facebook Free Friday. I knew that I couldn't maintain a full Friday Facebook Fast, because I made a commitment to write a prayer every day, and I treasure these moments with you. However, I set my phone aside and didn't turn on my computer for most of the day.

I mowed the lawn. I read. A book. For fun. I cooked a nutritious dinner and went for a long walk. I spent time with my spouse.

I know that I rely on Facebook to help me stay connected to the world, to help me know what is going on with people I care for, but I'm realizing, especially during the stay safe at home time of this pandemic, that I tend to have my phone in my hand, looking at Facebook, way too much.

Thank you for helping me refocus my attention on other things today. For putting the idea in my head and giving me the courage and commitment to take this fast. I'm not sure if this will become a habit, but wouldn't it be nice if it did?

Draw my attention to you, dear One. Let me hear your voice. Give my eyes sight to see you. Fill my arms with your embrace. Abide in my heart, mind, and soul.

May 21:

I wonder if in between all the things we read you did when you were here you had to do paperwork, or some equivalent of keeping records, or preparing for the next day.

While this type of thing is one of my talents, there are days when I overburden myself with the busy work of perfecting the paperwork. This was one of them.

Mind you, I got a lot done, and I won't have to go back to this particular task until sometime in July, so that is very good!

Thank you for the gifts and talents everyone brings to the care of worship, communication and community. Give them satisfaction on work well done, respite from the computer screen, and something that provides Sabbath time in their very near future!


May 20:
God, bless this night. Give rest to those who struggle to get to sleep. Help others find peace after a tumultuous day. Be with those who work at night. Provide them a sense of satisfaction for the work they do. Heal the broken and the broken-hearted. Let them feel your love. Fill them with your grace. Feed their emptiness. Drive all fears away. Build up resilience, confidence and trust. Provide sweet dreams. Wake them from their slumbers and let them praise you and thank you as they begin again.

May 19: 

Yesterday, I was reminded about how to define "truth." What I appreciated was the way truth was described: that one person's truth might be different than someone else's truth. How someone experiences life, their context, their sightline, affects how they identify their truth.

The disappointing thing about different truths is how they sometimes keep us from talking to one another, because we might not have the vision to see, the ability to hear, the patience to learn the possibilities found when open to another's truth.

The beautiful thing about recognizing that people have their own truth is that we can talk about how we might see the world from different perspectives and open ourselves to changing our understanding of our own truth.

When people talk about how they understand you, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, they also have their own truth, because there are many ways to understand, to reflect, to interpret, depending on how it was taught and who does the teaching, as well as how they understand their personal relationship with you.

There is so much opportunity to grow and change when someone is willing to consider the perspective, the personal truth of another. Sometimes those conversations help solidify one's truth.

It isn't always easy to share truth. Even sharing my truth about my relationship with scripture, faith, the Trinity and your love for me and the world can be difficult.

Let me be more willing to share the truth of my faith journey with others and let me be willing to hear the journey of others.


May 18:

Holy One, I had one project I wanted to accomplish today, but I never did it. I kept busy, found things to occupy my time, did plenty of other tasks, but I just could not make myself do that one thing.

So it will wait until tomorrow. And it has to get done tomorrow.

I can berate myself for what I did not do, or I can look at what I did and be satisfied. Maybe I will be better able to focus on the project tomorrow. Perhaps I needed time to talk it through one more time before tackling it. In the scheme of things, will it really matter when it gets done, as long as it gets done before my self-imposed deadline?

Help me let go of the feelings that I sometimes have when I don't complete my to-do list. Remind me to let go of feelings of inadequacy. Let me forgive myself instead of scold myself.

In your name, Amen.

May 17:

Dear God,
Thank you for sending your son into the world to teach us how to behave in ways that reflect your love for each of us, back to the world.

Jesus did some pretty amazing things and told us some transformative stories and made some really great friends, all to show us how to love one another, which in turn expresses our love for you.

Thank you, also, for sending the Advocate, the Mediator, the Holy Spirit, after you called Jesus back to you. We need her to keep us connected and bound in our relationship with you.

Holy One, thank you for always finding ways to abide with us. Give us an open heart, open mind, and open arms to receive you.


May 16:

Holy Spirit,
Thank you for bringing joy to this broken, hurting world. It blows in the wind, through the trees, along the grasses, sands and water. We might not notice it, but joy is there.

Thank you for bringing hope to this fear-filled, frightened world. You place it in the eyes of the people we meet, in their smiles and in their lighthearted "hello."

Thank you for bringing love to this damaged, unforgiving world. We feel it during unexpected phone calls, cards and messages.

Thank you for being our advocate with the Father--for bringing our broken, hurting, fear-filled, frightened, damaged and unforgiving world to our creator, to share our human frailties.

Thank you for being our connection with the Son--to show him our joy, our hope and our love, to share our human strengths.

We need you, we feel you, we know you, we love you. For you bind us to one another, to God, to Jesus, and you give us courage and strength when we most need them.

Thank you.

May 15: 

Heavenly Father,
During this time of pandemic, where we have been physically distancing as a part of staying safer and healthier, birth and death are still happening. Sicknesses, like cancer, don't stop. Treatments continue.

What breaks my heart is when someone enters a hospital alone and their family member or trusted friend has to leave them at the door as they are swept away for their care.

For some, that is the last time they will see their loved one alive. It may be the last time they speak to one another. Maybe one last hug. Hopefully, one last "I love you."

For others, new life bursts forth, and the other parent misses it, misses those first moments, first hours in the life of their child. And they miss the opportunity to support their partner.

In between are those who send their loved one in for chemo or surgery or some other treatment. They cannot hold the hand or be in the recovery room.

These are what break my heart most.

I can only imagine that your heart breaks as well. Even when you are present for your beloved child, you know that those who have walked this life with that child are left, waiting, wondering, worrying, until they meet again ... or they get word that their loved one has gone into your arms.

Please be with all these, but especially with those who have waited and lost those last minutes of the life of their loved one. Comfort them in their quarantine.

(Of note, our dear friend, Bob O. died this evening, alone, in the hospital.)

May 14:

Holy One, today, a pastor friend posted a video reminding me that sometimes, when any one of us is looking for a certain outcome, you may respond with a resounding, "no." I wonder then, if, with our desire to return to some semblance of the way things were, you are telling us "No. I need you to live your life differently. I want you to care for others in ways you haven't. I have new expectations for you."

Our faith in you, our relationship with Jesus, our partnership with the Holy Spirit requires us to behave in ways that bind us to you. You abide with us. It is only fitting that we hear you when you say "no," and change.

Guide us through this transformation. Hearing the word "no" can result in disobedience, rejection and fear. Help us, instead, hear the word "no," and listen more deeply, study more intently, and love more abundantly.


May 13:

Holy Spirit, today I read a short chapter of a book for others. The chapter taught about listening. How listening begins with silencing our mind and body and being aware of the sounds of nature, of our own bodies. Once we have quieted, it is much easier to open our ears to truly listen to others. To focus on someone else and respond appropriately.

I know that when I stop and listen it is more likely that I will be available to hearing you.

It can be so easy to talk, ask, thank and praise and not so easy to be still and know that you are God.

Help me to make time to intentionally stop talking to others, to you, so that I can listen for all I need to learn about the love of God, the expectations of Jesus, and the quiet guidance of you, the Holy Spirit.

May 12:

Lord, help me. I'm tired. I'm impatient. I'm struggling. I'm on edge. I need better sleep, more exercise and healthier food.

Lord, help me. I'm awakened to the needs of so many. I'm patiently waiting with others for clarity. I'm confident that I am doing what I need to do. I'm comfortable with my companions. Netflix, Disney + and streaming videos are therapeutic. Crafts keep my hands moving and provide beauty. And it's okay to eat cake.

Lord, help me. I want to behave better. I need to forgive more, study more, read more, love more.

Lord, help me. I'm doing the best I can, even in this tumultuous time.
Bear with me.
Bear me up.
Bear hug me.

Seriously Jesus, I could really use a big, healing, forgiving, heavenly, loving hug. Maybe that would make it all better.


May 11:
Holy, healing God,
I'm trying. Really, I am. Yet my emotions ride this roller coaster and the ride never seems to stop. Clacking up a steep incline to drop at an alarming rate with a quick twist this way and then that. When my stomach catches up, the ratcheting begins and up, up, up we go again, this time, dropping and rising, turning up side down. Anticipation turns into screaming, laughing, crying and the desire to stop, get off and find safety on the ground.

If this were an amusement park, I might want to run to the back of the line to ride again. But it isn't. I want to linger in the safety, the calm. But it doesn't seem like I can.

Instead, it feels like I can't get off. I can't change my circumstances. I lack any sense of control I might have once had. Or at least the illusion of control.

I know I need to trust that you are behind the controls of this roller coaster, and I do. It is just that roller coasters are not a sustainable place to live. I want to get off.

I want to find you, instead, in the garden, on the path, in the comfortable, familiar places that calm me.

Help me get off this ride. I promise to surrender to you.

May 10:
Dear God,
Thank you for mothers!

May 9:

Dear God,
When I decide I want to make a post on Facebook, it asks me what's on my mind. I know it's all part of the Facebook world, but what if I considered, instead, that it was you asking that question? What would happen if I used it as a prompt to stop and talk with you? To share my day, my thoughts, my desires, my fears, my love, with you?

I know I don't need to have a formal way to pray to you, to talk with you. That's the thing about a long relationship. I can just tell you what's on my mind and in my heart. I love that about who you are for me.

Thank you for always being interested in what's on my mind.

May 8:

God, I keep hearing we are in "unprecedented" and "uncertain" times. And we may be. But I wonder what would happen if each of us began listing the things in our lives that take precedence. What about the things we are certain of?

I wonder if we might shed some of our fears, wipe away some of our tears, look to what we know and use it to provide us solid footing as we move forward?

What am I certain of? YOU. Your love. Your companionship. Your steadfastness, grace and mercy toward me and toward the whole world. These are what take precedence. These are what top my list.

I ask you to be with all who need to turn their world view upside down and focus on what takes priority, precedence in their lives. To focus on all that they are certain of, what they know you have done and what you will do. Let all who fear, find joy and comfort in you.

May 7:

God, every day we wake and are offered opportunity. We can enter it with grumbles and groans, or with wonder and awe. We can end each day the same.

Our response to each day reflects how we view the opportunity presented when we open our eyes.

Let me respond with a grateful heart, an open mind, and giving hands. For each day you give to me, I want to be in service for you.


May 6: 

Jesus, I thank you for all the things to teach me. You model behaviors and attitudes that help me be in closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. The more I engage with the Gospels, the more I understand what it means to not only be, but to also live as a child of God.

There is a difference between those: to be and to live. One simply states a fact: I don't have to do anything to be a child of God.

But to live as a child, ah, that is another thing. Behaving in ways that reflect God's love to the world is best defined through the study of scripture. To know what you, Jesus, did or said in certain circumstances, guides me.

I don't know that I tell you how important these lessons are to me. So, thank you for being the example I need to live a life that reflects the love of God.


May 5:

O God,
You created the whole world, and, as the song goes, you've got the whole world in your hands.

I think we sometimes forget that. We forget that you hold the world ... all of it ... embracing it, showering it ... all of it ... with your love.

Instead, we build physical, emotional, economical, racial, and so many other kinds of barriers, thinking that some are more or less deserving of your love.

You would think that when the whole world is dealing with a pandemic, we would recognize that barriers need to break.

That instead of competing for resources, research and medical breakthroughs, we would clamor for unity.

That instead of arguing about what is more important, life or liberty, we would choose to feel your embrace ... of the whole world.

You love what you create. And you create this world and all that lives upon it. Help us not just feel the warmth of your loving embrace. Let us also feel you push us toward one another.

Give us eyes to see and ears to listen and feet to journey through this creation ... this whole world.

Let us learn more completely how to live with empathy, compassion, and to treat the world with the dignity and love.

Let our behavior toward this whole world reflect the love you have for all of creation.


May 4:
Holy One, as we make it through another Monday, we ask you to give us courage to enter each new day ... courage to adapt and grow as the way we live develops into new routines. Grant us patience in those routines, in the changes, in the adaptations. Help us believe we can do what we must do, for with your help, we can!
In your holy name, we pray,

May 3:
Thank you, God, for my dad. It was his birthday today. He is now 88 years old. He doesn't look his age. He's super active. He's more tired and his knees bother him more often.
Guard his waking, protect his sleeping. Guard his thinking, protect his speaking.
Let him know love. Let him share love. Abide with him.

May 2:
Dear God,
     This week reminded me of my life years ago when I was a stay-at-home mom with a decent Tupperware business.
     Balancing became a dance. Sometimes family would lead, sometimes the house, sometimes Tupperware. Then there would be the times when one or the other would cut in, change the music or pull me to the dance floor when I didn't want to go.
     I liked that time. I liked the dance. I liked the ability to switch partners -- or music -- or tempo. Sometimes the dance was smooth. Other times someone's feet got stepped on. But the music went on. And I lived in it's rhythm pretty well.
     Lord, you know how much my life has changed since then. And you know that those years prepared me to dance on this dance floor, with these partners.
     What this week reminded me of, was the balancing. With the pandemic, we all are adjusting. Some better than others. My past taught me how to adapt, to build upon, to learn how to be and do what I need to be and do. The things I am balancing, the way the dance goes, feel familiar, feel rhythmic, feel like I've found an old pair of dance shoes and they still fit.
     Thank you for helping me remember how what was can be what is.

May 1:
I know that it seems frivolous to pray for entertainment, but God, I'm thankful for the resources to be able to purchase streaming apps. We are able to spend time together watching programs and movies. I'm thankful for these times ... to escape, to learn, to share experiences that we can talk about later.
So thank you, God, for those who create and who provide programming that distracts and entertain and teach.

April 30:
Creator of all, thank you for skills and talents that can be shared generation to generation.
Hearing about or watching as your children demonstrate that they watched and learned and put into practice the tips and tricks to make cooking (or other talents) easier from you, who learned and honed from your parents, who learned them from their parents ... well, it's a priceless gift.
Thank you for giving us the opportunities to see how it all comes around, how the good examples can be passed down.
Thank you for those who came before and provided the desire and expertise to all who follow.

Thank you for family.

April 29:
One of the things you did, Jesus, when you came back from the dead and walked on this Earth another 50 days was teach us that even when the world feels like it has collapsed, life goes on. The work of faith moves forward.
You sent your followers out, away from their security, to face the world, to look forward, to know that they were prepared for what was to come.
We cannot, yet, go out. But we can prepare for what is to come. Like those early followers, we don't know what it will look like, or how different it will be, but because you have taught us, fed us, healed us and loved us, we can prepare for what comes next.
It's not yet safe or smart (in my context) to gather in our places of worship, yet, but we can begin to imagine what it will be like when we do. What an adventure it could be!

Normal is not what we feel now or will feel then, but that's okay. We will spread the Good News. We will figure out how to blend worship styles and methods and mediums. We will adapt.
For you abide with us, and we abide with you. Together, we will become what is needed most for this world to be reconciled to you.

April 28:
Even while physically distancing, we celebrate.
God, we thank you for moments that help us remember the vast beauty of living. For birthdays, anniversaries, glimpses of joy, laughter, memories. All these things which give us reason to be in relationship with one another because you are in relationship with us.
Thank you for weeks, like this one, full of birthdays and anniversaries, of children, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Moments that show us that life is still happening, that we may not be able to be together, but we can celebrate nonetheless.

April 27:
Jesus, I am thankful for the Gospel, for it tells your story. I'm thankful to those who provide commentaries, who study languages and history. For all those who strive to better understand.
Their determination, study and writing/lectures/podcasts are such important tools for me and others to better grasp your story.
I ask for clarity and the ability to share the Gospel, share your Commandments, your parables, your miracles with others so they can know you more deeply.
Trusting in your Word,

April 26:
Holy Son of God,
You walked with two of your followers along the road to Emmaus. For miles you listened and taught as these two people traveled from that locked, safe room in Jerusalem, escaping their self-imposed sanctuary/prison, to process what had happened to them, to the other followers, to those expecting a different kind of savior.
They walked. We walk. Trying to make sense of the story. Your story, our story: how they meet and blend and help us be faithful to you.
They walked to a place that no one knows anymore. Where is Emmaus? Which direction did they walk those seven miles away from Jerusalem? They journeyed with you, but did not know you until they arrived and you broke bread and gave thanks. It was there, in that moment, they recognized you.
Is Emmaus our turning point? Is it that place where we have to go to recognize, realize, reckon with our relationship with you? Is it that place where we have to go to know that you will always be with us, whether we know your presence ... or not?
One of the people who heard the sermon this morning, wrote a message saying it gave them peace to know that the location of Emmaus is unknown. It could be anywhere. It could be at 46th Street and North Emerson Avenue ... or at the foot of their bed.
Thank you, Jesus, for walking with us throughout our lives. For being made known to us in the breaking of the bread--whether that bread is broken at the altar or at the dinner table. Let us find comfort in your presence.

April 25:
Work began, with a very small handful of familiar volunteers (fewer than 10) practicing physical distancing, in St. Alban's Peace Garden today.
We are thankful, God, for the inspiration that came just over 5 years ago as a small seed of an idea to transform 1/2 acre of the church property into a garden that would help feed the hungry on the east side of Indianapolis.
This garden is tended by people who believe they are called to help the hungry in our community. Called. People from all over Indy -- some individuals, some from a variety of organizations -- come throughout the season to prepare, plant, tend and harvest thousands of pounds of fresh produce for area food pantries. The faith of the people, trusting you to assist us with this ministry, knowing you continue to help find people willing to help it flourish, is such a blessing.

Today, ground was turned over and seeds and seedlings were planted to bring us into the 2020 season.

Tend our garden, tend our hearts, open our hands and let us be the people we have been called to be--servants, gardeners, lovers of all your people.

In your holy name we pray.

April 24:
God, this past week was rough, but today, Friday came, bringing sunshine, some reading, a motorcycle ride, a walk and Zoom time with our group of friends. When the call began, a rainbow was in the sky at one of the houses.
A rainbow! You promised the world would never experience another flood. You showed us that pestilence and plague would not overtake those who believe in you.
A rainbow at the end of a difficult week is a perfect reminder of your love for this world you created, for these people who follow you.

Thank you for symbols that remind us we have not been left alone.

April 23:
Maybe this is how you, too, are feeling and these, too, are words you need to pray?
Lord, I feel better knowing that what I am experiencing is something a lot of people are experiencing. The complexity of trying to always "know" what is "best" to keep me and others safe.
It permeates all of life. Questioning what were minor decisions all the way through major decisions. Decisions that never seemed like moral or ethical dilemmas, but are, now.

Add in new ways of learning, teaching, sharing, worshiping, connecting and it's no wonder so many of us are bewildered and exhausted.

While so much of this feels like solo activity, I feel your presence. You are pushing me to take it all more slowly, more deliberately, more prayerfully. I might not want to, but you help me see and hear and know that it is okay to take time, to make time to make sense in this time.

Each day there is something more I learn about myself and about others. More I learn about depending on you. For these things, I give thanks.

April 22:
Today we celebrated your creation, God. In this era of creation, it was 50 years ago when people realized there it only one Earth and we needed to take care of her. People began to recognize that the cycles of life, the seasons, metamorphosis, were suffering from our self-focus.
And yet, throughout scripture we have learned about the gift of creation, and that we should give thanks to you for the vast beauty and bounty we receive.
Today, we specifically notice and honor creation. And we thank you for creating us to tend to the needs, to lovingly care for the Earth.

Help us continue to care for all you have made.

April 21:
Holy One, the constant reminders about the Coronavirus are necessary, but overwhelming. Knowing that this illness can be deadly for some, life altering for others and survivable by even more, keeps many of us in near constant communication with you.
We seek reasons to be grateful while we take precautions that will keep us and those we meet as safe as possible. We are learning how to live together in close contact, connect through technology with friends and family, and we long to reconnect in person with others.

But, to be honest, there are other, less positive emotions. We are worried. We are depressed. We are lonely. We are angry. We are impatient. We are afraid. We are tired.
And while we are full of emotions, some that aren't very attractive, you accept us. You listen. You heal. You love. There is comfort in all these things.
Please get us through this time, help us as we navigate all that we are feeling, keep our relationships intact. Give us the ability to forgive: ourselves, others, society, the virus. Embrace us and comfort us. Let us know your grace.

April 20:
God, that thinking coma I asked about? I think it's a real thing. It comes with a headache, too. And it forces you to sleep in and take a nap later. The brain feels fuzzy and the limbs, shaky. All this deep thinking, discerning, deciding, realigning, well, it's taking it's toll.
I'd like to thank you for the ability to use my brain to its fullest possibilities, but, right now, I'm not feeling thankful. Just tired, overwhelmed and pushed to the limit. My thankfulness comes in knowing it's time to take a break, rest and let go.
So thank you for the tipping point, the thinking coma, and the demand from my body, mind and soul, to stop.
In this moment of recognition, let me know you, feel you, hear you.

April 19:
God, is it possible to go into a "thinking coma?" Can our brains spend so much time thinking and mulling and considering and generating that they get to a point when they must shut down and sleep?
This world, in this time of safe at home, physical distancing, sure gives us time to think. A lot. So when it comes to night, when our minds have been tasked and tried, some nights the only thing left to do, is sleep.
Grant us peaceful, healing rest. Deep enough to turn off the noise in our heads; turning off the noise that keep us from freeing some of the space in our heads. Space we need so desperately to be able to hear you.

April 18:
O God, I've spent the day thinking about all the implications and responses we have when we think about the hero of tomorrow's Gospel: Thomas, the misunderstood, the doubter. He is all of us. Because he is all of us, we treat him with disdain: none of us wants to think we doubt, that our commitment to you requires putting our fingers in the wounds in Jesus' flesh to believe.
In this topsy turvy time in our lives, when we struggle to remember what day it is because most of us can no longer live the routines we trust, we just might need reassurance, like Thomas, that Jesus resurrected and breathed the Holy Spirit into each of us, to do your will in the world.

Thomas might have been the first to realize that resurrection means the world in which he, and all of the Jesus Followers, lived would be forever different. They would never be able to go back to the way things were.

I wonder if that's the Good News. That with resurrection comes a new way of living out our faith. That with the resurrection we will experience at the end of this pandemic, we will find new ways to live out our faith.

I wonder what that looks like. I wonder what it means. Even with that wondering, I know that the Holy Trinity will be with me, with us, as we step into these new, resurrected lives.

O God, give us courage to accept what is to come.

April 17:
God, I want to talk with you about productivity tonight. This has been a strange week when I consider productivity.
I mean, what, exactly, am I to do when the life I'm familiar with living--that run-run-run, stay busy life--dramatically shifts? How do I measure success?
Or, maybe the question is, why have I measured success the way I have? And...could success/productivity be redefined? Should it?

This time of change, of gaining time to refocus priorities, redesign work style, re-imagine life, is transformative.

Maybe, it's more important to realize that it's okay to let go of what was and find a better rhythm to life.

Maybe productivity should instead be measured in the fulfillment of leisure, crafts, cooking, walking, reading, resting -- of self care.

Thank you for giving me time to rethink what is important, what the definition of productivity needs to become, for helping me find new ways to be patient with my personal expectations, and for helping me let go of so many things.

April 16:
Thank you, Holy One, for helping people heal in heart, mind, body and soul. Thank you for colleagues and friends who help each of us heal in heart, mind, body and soul. Let us recognize the helpers; let us see the helper in ourselves. When we need helpers, give us courage to ask. When we are asked to help, give us strength to respond.
You are the ultimate helper. Let us always remember to come to you. Amen.

April 15:
God, you give us these amazing lives to do so many things. When our lives are disrupted and we cannot live them in familiar ways, we feel like a piece of us is missing. Or even pieces are missing.
And yet, you are with us, holding the pieces together, filling spaces with your love.
There is comfort in knowing you are present, but, God, it would be nice to be able to experience the gifts and love of others more tangibly, more personally, more physically -- to experience your love through them.
In these days when we long for physical time with others, help us to feel you in ways we might not recognize if we were not physically distanced from our friends and families.
And when you are filling the seemingly empty spaces in others, let those people know that they are not forgotten...that they are loved, by those they miss, too.
With the knowledge that you are filling us with your love, I say, amen.

April 14:
Holy Spirit,
blow through this world...
bring us comfort...
unbind our fear...
remove unhealthy bonds...
send security...
simplify the stress...
calm the chaos...
change us...
teach us...
cleanse our lives...
fill us with hope...
prepare us for peace...
heal our hearts...
lead us to love...

April 13:

Jesus, we are still learning how to live in ways that protect the vulnerable among us. We are learning what measures we need to take to stay healthy. We are learning how to be patient through the process, following the advice of scientists to do what slows the impact of the virus.
There are people who doubt and question the impact, who choose to flirt with it. I pray that their flirtation does not cause harm to others.
Please protect us.

April 12:

Holy One, thank you to dentists who share their personal phone number, inviting patients to call or text with any dental concerns. For their prompt responses, good questions and ability to check recent x-rays to make sure the right care is offered. Lord, we sometimes forget who can help in unexpected ways. Who can prescribe antibiotics or give suggestions to ease discomfort. Thank you for the caregivers. Amen.

April 11:

Thank you, God, for this quiet day of waiting. You wait for us as we wait for you. As the day breaks, let us meet again. Amen.

April 10:

Lord, have mercy.
It is Good Friday.
It is Good.
It is.
It is.
It is Good.
It is Good Friday.
Lord, have mercy.
I am bereft, broken, burdened.

I am weeping at the foot of the cross.
Wailing in my locked room.
Unbelieving the atrocity.

My soul aches.
My body, aches.
My mind, it too, aches.

The tears,
so hard,
so fast,
so wet,
have dried,
leaving my face

You said this day would come.
I didn't want to believe you.
Not like this.
Not now.

You said to wait.
Three days.
It will take
three days.

I don't
if I am strong
I don't
I am patient

As soon as I can,
I will come.
I will be there.
The tomb
where you are laid

You wait.
I will be there.

April 9:
Thank you, God, for the day that has now passed. In it, I was able to prepare our Agape dinner. We gathered at the table to pray and read scripture together. We cleared and cleaned the table, which had become our altar, and then, brought the light of Christ from that altar to our own garden, where we can spend time in prayer overnight.
I am thankful for this new expression of the Maundy. The intimacy of family joining together and sharing this meal in a way that we have never done before.
A part of me didn't miss the tradition. Part of me longed for it. Both provide time to be in communion with you. Both bring me to the garden.

With such gratitude for this time.

April 8:

One of my favorite parts of creation is weather, God. In an instant, it can transform the sky. It is untameable. Weather reminds me that I must trust something, someone, bigger than myself. Weather reminds me to respect what it can do. Weather sets creation in motion: from season to season.
Tonight's storm was one that could have caused me fear, but instead, it reminded me of a happy childhood memory of standing on the porch at my grandparents' homes, watching the sky, feeling the wind, sometimes pummeled by rain or hail. Those experiences taught me to respect the power of a storm.

Respecting weather and the results of weather is a lot like faith in you. It is a visible example of your power. Like the weather, I cannot tame you. I cannot control you. I can accept and respond to your power in my life.

So I thank you for the sunshine and the storm I experienced today. The warmth on my face, the peacefulness of the evening, brought joy. The lightening and thunder show that began on our walk was beautiful enough to set chairs in the front yard, watching and waiting for the wind to push the rain and hail through our neighborhood. It, too, brought joy.

Joyful for you.

April 7:
At 11:30 this morning my phone alerted me that I was scheduled to be at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Indianapolis where I was to gather with clergy from around the diocese to renew our ordination vows, attend the blessing of oils and gather for lunch. It is a sacred tradition to do these things during Holy Week each year.
As I swiped the reminder aside, I noticed I had a text from one of my clergy friends, hoping for some time to talk today.
Our expectations for Holy Week have narrowed as we remain safely in our homes, creating alternative ways to connect and support our clergy friends while preparing for changed ways to honor and remember the last human days of Jesus.
I wonder, God, as we re-view and re-design worship that has grounded us in the Passion of your son for centuries, if, in this re-construction we will find you in re-newed ways? Will we be able to set aside how we have "always done it" and find deeper relationship with you?

I know that even though I did not experience the worship service scheduled for today, in talking with not one, but two clergy friends, I felt my vows to you re-confirmed.

For you are present in all our acts of relationships, when we are focused on you and what you have called us to do and be.

My promise to you is renewed.

April 6:
Holy One...
Some connections are best made in the dark of night, under a full moon. Wonder and aha moments. Recognition and transformation. Time that looks like a walk around the neighborhood but, in reality is active prayer, time in conversation together and with you, the Third Cord in our strand, Giver of love and life.
You walk with us, giving us courage to talk through the complicated, the unfinished, the frustrating, the unknown and arrive back home with a little more clarity, calm and contentment.
Thank you for living with us: guiding and protecting us, balancing and broadening us.
In you we are complete.

April 5:
Thank you, God, for giving us one another. For relationships that provide support, comfort, companionship ... and space when it is most needed. That we can see in those closest to us, especially those sharing living and work space in our homes, the personal needs that provide mental and spiritual health during this emotional time.
Waves of uncertainty and fear well up and manifest in many ways. We need one another to ride those waves with mutual understanding. Sometimes we need space and time to cope.

While we know we can come to you with all of who we are and how we are, I give thanks that you have given many of us someone(s) to share and bear who and how we are in a tangible way.
Thank you for those we love and love with. Grant them peace, kindness, mercy and love. Amen.

April 4:
Sometimes, God, the hidden emotions, buried deep in the activity of preparation and adaptation surface as pimples and paper cuts.
Blossoming, burning blemishes on good intentions.
Quick blood-letting, sharp, then lingering pain, disrupting plans.

Reminders that it is important to pause, reflect and pray so that one can honestly respond to the current circumstances of living in a pandemic during one of the holiest times of the year.

For many Christians, we celebrate Palm Sunday in the morning. It will not be remembered in familiar ways. We will not process singing and waving palm branches. Instead, we will honor our Savior in our abodes, beckoning him to come in ... to our homes ... to our lives ... to our hearts.

As we recall the story, help us, all this Holy Week, allow the hidden emotions to surface. Let our fears and hopes be expressed honestly and freely.

Give us courage to live the visceral, raw responses of these holy journeys: the journey with Jesus into Jerusalem and the journey through the pandemic.

April 3:

God, I'm finding it very hard to stop working. To take time off. To be with you in Sabbath. With all the adjustments in our daily lives right now, it feels hard to simply stop.
Many are sharing spaces they have not regularly shared in, maybe, ever. Many are working from newly created home offices: at tables transformed into desks for work and school.
The bandwidth on our internet services is stretched to the limit and sometimes it's hard to put down, put away, those devices that keep us connected, not just for work and school, but with one another. Maybe the bandwidth of our lives is being stretched too thin, as well...
This busy-ness will turn into rhythm, I'm sure. For you will create in us clean hearts, longing for your presence. You will help us find time to rest in your loving arms. We will figure out how to live in this "new normal" we hope will be temporary, but know will last longer than we are prepared to admit.
For now, I ask you to fill me with such desire that I want to stop everything and be in your presence, bask in your light. To prepare for your son's triumphal entry into Jerusalem...and deeper into my heart.
My hope, my trust, my rest--my holy, life-giving rest--is found in you.

April 2:
Good Lord, I offer thanks for this night. I ask that you help those who struggle to find rest, to sleep well. I ask for those who must work, that they rest well during the day. Guide our dreams to safety. In you, we find our hope. Amen.

April 1:

Creator of all, we are learning each day how to live during a pandemic. Each day, we recognize the heroism of those on the front line. We appreciate those who bring us the news. We connect with one another using technology--and bless those who developed it all.
At the same time, we beg for those who are stricken by the virus to return to health. We call for accurate, rapid testing. We plead to scientists to develop a vaccine...a cure. We stay at home (those of us who can) and show gratitude to those who cannot.
We try not to forget anyone who might be affected by this pandemic, but realize that the list is affects us all.

Through all our various experiences, you are present. You weep with us. Sigh, cry, laugh, mourn, grieve, celebrate and live with us. You are in all our emotions. Lifting, holding, guiding, grounding and abiding with us.

You do not forget us. You do not forsake us. In you, we find forgiveness, grace, mercy, and most of all, love. In the midst of all we are, all we do, let us never forget or forsake you. Let us always remember that in you we find our strength. Amen.

March 31:

O God, I worry about all the people I know who are immuno-suppressed with life-long illnesses, cancer, recent surgeries and compromised health. I trust that they and those who care for them are doing everything necessary to keep them safe during this world-wide health crisis. Please surround them with your protective love. Let them know that they are not alone, that their lives-their gifts-impact others. Help the rest of us take time to reach out to them, pray for them and love them. Be their comfort, their strength, their peace. Amen.

March 30:

Tonight, Jesus, I ask you to shelter and protect those who are experiencing depression, anxiety and other forms of mental illness. I ask you to strengthen and support their loved ones, caregivers, therapists and psychiatrists. I ask you to embrace all of these in your loving arms, and help them find peace. Amen.

(I suggest reading this post in conjunction with the above prayer if you or someone you know needs coping mechanisms during this time.)

March 29:

Creator of all, this morning, people started posting pictures of bodies of water. This evening, landscapes. No people, just filling our Facebook feeds with photos of the Earth. These photos remind us that life is full of beauty. It is full of wonder. It is full of your presence.
Images of the world, the masterpiece you designed, give us hope.
For the sun will rise in the morning and bring us into a new day. And while our living is unfamiliar and uncomfortable in so many ways, we can simply look out the window, or at the thousands of photos being posted on Facebook to be reminded of your awesome love and commitment to us.

Praise be to you!

March 28:

Every day, Holy One, people around the world are learning how to live differently. Staying home, confined to homes with people they love, but have not spent such intentional, significant time together. Couples and roommates are setting up offices, setting workplace rules, setting up ways of being family in tandem with their roles as employees.
We might be changing our places of respite and sanctuary into work space. Disrupting our schedules that balanced work and home.
Our relationships at home can become stressful with these changes to our "safe spaces," as the reason we are staying home cause it's own kind of stress.

Lord, we need you to help us communicate honestly, share space gracefully, balance family-work-life wisely, and love one another when all the ways stress manifests within us.

Teach us how to "be" in ways that reflect your love.

March 27:

You called them your friends. Together, you walked a three- year journey, teaching, guiding, loving them, so that, when you left them, they would be the cornerstones of their community of faith, of friendship.
Your example of friendship guides many of us as we build our own circles of community around us. Thank you for showing us how to live together, as different as each of us are, teaching, guiding, loving one another through the many journeys of our lives.

Thank you for the friends who shower us with the feeling that we are never alone, that there is always someone who is there to help, that laughter, truly, is the best medicine.

Now, while we are separated by distances from six feet to six hundred to six thousand miles, we appreciate the many ways we can be together. Tonight, I am especially thankful for Zoom, which allowed our group of friends to gather for a few quality hours, from our homes in different cities and states. Help us to make every effort to do this again...soon.

For you are the model of perfect friendship. Ever present, ever loving. Amen.

March 26:

Holy One,
I'm not sure I can explain why, but today feels easier than the days over the past couple of weeks. Maybe some of my feelings can be explained through what happened throughout the day.
I participated in a conference call with clergy in our Diocese, sharing ideas, thoughts, concerns. I hope others can connect with their colleagues in similar ways. I had a couple of phone calls with people I deeply respect, who allowed me to honestly express myself. I hope others find people they can trust to be honest together. I enjoyed some time outdoors. I hope others can find joy in nature.

It can be hard, Lord, to figure out ways that meaningfully support our emotions in this pandemic time, this time that seems to change so fast we struggle to keep up or we choose to avoid for our own well being. May we find you in each encounter, each opportunity, each gift, and let us receive you with gladness and singleness of heart, mind and soul.

To you, giver of all I pray, amen.

March 25:

Thankful for the fog that drifted away, leaving a sun shiny day to enjoy.
Grateful for church members, calling one another and being in relationship.
Appreciative of social media opportunities to gather in virtual community.
Humbled by the outpouring of generosity I'm learning about each day.
Holy Trinity, I feel your presence throughout each day. I know that you come to me with joy, love, comfort and peace.
I know you ARE.
With unending praise...

March 24:

God of all strength,
I put my life in your arms. Embrace me.
I give you my mind. Teach me.
I surrender my heart. Love me.
For you are tender,
you are merciful.
You are everything I need.
Throw me from your embrace
to do all you have called me to do.
Fill my mind with deeper knowledge of you
so I can teach others.
Return my heart, so that I may love others.
Let me be your servant, love me like your child.

March 23:

Healing One, we cry to you this night as some go to sleep hungry or cold or in pain. Let those who can, feed, clothe, and relieve the pain. Be with those of us with new orders to stay home unless it is necessary to go out. Be even more with those who must go out to supply the needs of others.
Even as we are hungry, cold, and in pain, we feel your presence, the Holy Spirit among us, beside is, within us. For you will not leave us wanting. You supply our needs.

In your name we pray, Amen.

March 22:
Thank you, Jesus, for teaching is what it means to 'see'. That 'seeing' gives us the opportunity to be in deeper relationship with God and helps us know how to be better disciples of your love in the world.
As we enter a new week, open our eyes to the world around us. Let us see how creation doesn't stop transitioning season to season. Help us recognize your presence in nature and in one another.
Remove the blinders that keep us apart from your love.

March 21:

Hear us, God, as we call to you.
We are joining our voices in praise and thanksgiving, knowing that you are always present, and remain present in these times of trial.
And yet, are they times of trial? Or are they reminders of what is important to you--being in relationship with you means being connected with your creation?
Families are learning how to be together.
People are getting out and seeing how the cycle of life begins anew each Spring.
Friends are connecting more frequently.
People are paying attention to the way they live and breathe and move and have their being...and are, sometimes, finding that they are doing too much.
Let us rejoice that we are re-emerging from the lives we have been living into a new world, a new beginning.
Grant us awareness and attention to all those things that are important to being in relationship with you.
Let us know what we need to celebrate each day, and let us stop, see and share the glory of your name. Amen.

March 20:

Jesus, you taught us how to love the lost, the outsiders, the prisoners, the weak, the weary, the frightened and the outcasts. In so many ways, many people are beginning to understand these people in new ways because so many are experiencing what it means to be lost, an outsider, a "prisoner" (in their own home, at their work), weak and weary, frightened and, in our isolation, "outcast" from our communities. We are understanding better what it means to be separated from the world.

As we begin to feel these, maybe new to us, emotions and live these new experiences, help us look outside our own discomfort and begin to see those who live these emotions and experiences daily. Let us show compassion with new hearts, understanding from new minds.

Because we are in new times.
Use these times to transform us.

Let us take what we experience and use our transformed lives to be beacons of your light and love to all those we meet.

With joy, hopefulness, and thankfulness, we pray to you. Amen.

March 19:

Holy and healing God, source of all life and light, be with all those who are on the front lines. Especially we pray today for:
ER personnel
Nursing Home staff
Grocery store employees
Drug store employees
First Responders
All those in the medical field
Those elected to serve the public good
Scientists, researchers
All those working in news organizations.

Help those who are arm-chairing events: observing, watching, listening from afar -- to quiet our judgments, to discern with open hearts and minds, and to close our mouths and stop our fingers from creating disconnections in this time when physically connecting is limited and our fears are expressed broadly and virtually.

Heal us from discord, diseases, fear, anxiety, loneliness and depression. Release us from the feeling that we need to be in control.

Holy Trinity, we need you now to help us prepare our hearts, minds, bodies and souls for the unknown times to come. Give us courage to look to you, pray to you, submit to you, confess to you. Empower us to always give you thanks.

In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

March 18:
Heavenly One, please be with all clergy as we make decisions or follow direction to close our places of worship during this virus. We know that our faith communities understand the risks of remaining open, yet we know that being together, breaking bread and sharing the cup, are such important parts of who we are as people of faith. Give all of us grace and courage to keep carrying your Word into the world, through all avenues provided to us. Help others hear and feel your presence in their isolation. Strengthen your people with initiative to make calls and write notes to others in their faith community. Provide us opportunities to share our abundance as necessary, and fill us when we are in lack. Your grace, your love is complete. With that knowledge, give us hope for tomorrow. Amen.

March 17:
It is night and time to sleep, O God. Let this night be filled with healing slumber, peaceful dreams, calming minds. Let us rest. Use these hours of sleep to renew and refresh, strengthen and bring hope as we enter the new day. We pray these things in your holy name. Amen.

March 16:
Lord, have mercy on this country, this world. Be with those who are fearful and those who are grateful ... especially when we are one and the same. . Our minds and bodies are adapting as quickly as they can as the circumstances of our way of living change. Keep us mindful that there are those who must work in public and frequently face the stressed clientele in their midst. Nudge us to show appreciation for their work. Keep us humble. Let us share your love. Amen.

March 15:
Gracious God, you are helping so many people connect and reconnect with you through alternative ways of worship, bringing prayer and scripture into homes like never before. Worship communities are finding ways to connect with not only their own part of the body of Christ, but are branching out and experiencing different ways to hear your Word.

We sometimes show frustration with social media, but on this Sunday, social media became our conduit, our connection, our lifeline to one another. Many people experienced your love in new ways. We learned that worship and faith and prayer can enlarge and embrace more broadly than we might have imagined. We experienced communion across systems we do not understand and by experimenting with unfamiliar platforms ... and we felt your presence with and around us, wherever we were.

Thank you for showing us the broadness of your mercy, the unimaginable spread of your embrace, and the undeniable love you have for each of us. It is in your holy name we pray. Amen.

March 14:
God of all creation, look upon all of us this night. Grant us peaceful rest. Awaken us in the morning and place praises to you on our lips. Amen.

March 13:
Holy One, you graciously provide each of us with all that we need. Even in uncertainty, we see your presence in our lives. Help us help others see you ... In all of creation ... as spring begins to emerge from the Earth ... as birds migrate to their summer homes ... Thank you, Creator of all. Amen.

March 12:
Holy Spirit, you are blowing amongst us as many of us ponder and discern what you have in mind for our times together in the midst of an ever changing news cycle on COVID-19. Thank you for providing clarity to the leaders of schools, churches, civic and sports organizations--even when the decisions they make are disappointing to some. Keep our communities safe, whole and healthy as we limit physical contact with one another. Help those who long for connection to find alternative ways to be in community. Keep us ever mindful that what is best for the most vulnerable among us is best for all of us. Be with those on the front lines: health care workers, First Responders, National Guard. Protect our economy--especially for those who are food and healthcare insecure. Hold us all in your loving, protective arms. In your holy and life- giving name we pray. Amen.

March 11:
Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy immortal One, you have brought me through another day. Thank you. In it, You have surrounded me with people who are willing to continue to grow and develop the gifts you placed within them. Be with them as their unrealized gifts are surfacing from hidden places. Release them of any fears they may have, so they will continue to transform to your glory. Amen.