Prayer in an Epidemic (Psalm 63) - 16 March 2020

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands. It is good to draw near to you; to earnestly seek you; to have our dry and thirsty souls quenched with you, O fountain of living waters. We pray for those who don’t know you and have never known the joy that you are and the life you give. Father, we pray for those who feel themselves to be in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Maybe the parchedness is from their sickness or disease; maybe it’s from depression or mental darkness; maybe it has arisen from grief or regret; possibly it’s as a result of a long period of unsettledness and adversity in their homes or situations, or worry and fear in their community. Draw them near, fill them up, raise their heads to see you restoring, refreshing and reconciling. Hear our prayer, O Lord, and let our cry come to you!

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Be our help so that in the shadow of your wings we may rejoice. Bring us to cling to you, knowing that your right hand upholds us. We beg you on behalf of those hit hard economically and vocationally by this contagion, who have seen their retirement accounts depleted, their jobs vandalized, their paychecks wither away, and their lives thrown into a tailspin. Bring them to find that you are our all-in-all. Supply their needs, and help us all to show charitable kindness to one another. Hear our prayer, O Lord, and let our cry come to you!

But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped. We pray for our own land, as well as for all the countries of this earth, stricken so hard by the pandemic. O rescuing God, bring peace, lawful justice, prosperity, good education and solid medical care to flourish in all places. Hold up and replenish our medical establishments, doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, PAs and the like. Hold up and sustain our Law Enforcement Officers, paramedics and firefighters. Hold up those who are bearing the effects of COVID-19, giving them relief from the discomfort and strain. Hold up and defend those who are most vulnerable to the harshest effects of this virus. And O relieving, refreshing God, bring this disease to an end swiftly and decisively. Hear our prayer, O Lord, and let our cry come to you!


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