By David Prairie
O Righteous Father,
You are good. Your steadfast love endures forever, as does your faithfulness and truth to all generations. Glorify your name in all the earth with the glory you had with your Son before the world existed, especially by giving eternal life to all you have given to your Son. Eternal life is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. As your children, your people, and the flock of your pasture, we fear not, knowing that it is your good pleasure to grant your kingdom as an inheritance to us.
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created. Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing! To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever.
O God, our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, which you commanded by your servants, the prophets. Forgive us, Lord.
And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved. You, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which you loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, have made us alive together with Christ—by grace we have been saved—and have raised us up together with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ, so that in the coming ages you might show the immeasurable riches of your grace in kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
We come to you now at a time where we, looking around, recognize that things are out of our control. But we gladly confess that nothing ever has been, nor is, nor ever will be out of your control. We don’t need you now more than ever, because there has never been a time when we have not fully needed you, but perhaps we are now more in tune with and aware of our great need for you, and our lack of control. We look to you. We truly have no other place to look. To whom else shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life.
Grant us, Lord, that we would not be anxious about anything, but that in everything, with all thanksgiving, we would make our requests known to you. And may your peace which surpasses all understanding guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, the one who took our illnesses and bore our diseases. In making our requests known to you, we submit the following:
- Please help us to express our love for you by continually seeking you and your kingdom first, by having no other gods before you, and by not being ruled by a spirit of fear, but by letting the peace of God rule in our hearts.
- Please help us to follow the example of Jesus as we seek to love our neighbors well by caring for the sick, the poor, the outcast, and the vulnerable. Let us humbly count others more significant than ourselves. Let each of us look not only to our own interests, but also to the interests of others. Give to your servants discernment to know whether to express our affections for one another in person or from a distance.
- Teach us, during these uncertain times, to love our families well. If we have extra time at home with our spouses and children, let us relish the opportunity to endure such historic times together. Give us patience with one another, especially as we navigate what we don’t yet know.
- Provide wisdom, endurance, and strength to the countless healthcare workers who are logging tireless shifts responding to increased demands. Protect their health and reward their efforts. For those studying the virus and seeking to provide cures, we pray hasten their research and clarify their thoughts.
- Cause journalists, reporters, and media outlets to broadcast and publish information truthfully and without bias. Give consumers and viewers clear judgment as we take in statistics and stories. Let us filter all things with logic, reason, common sense, and prudence. Let us not politicize, downplay, or overreact to such issues.
- Equip us, not with fear, but with sound minds, fully aware of your power and love. Help us that we would not be overcome with panic, but with assurance of your presence.
- For those who have been diagnosed with this illness, we ask you that you would grant healing. We pray for the spread of the virus to stop, and for the afflicted to recover.
- For those who have lost loved ones as a result of this sickness, we pray for comfort, and we ask that you would grant to them the hope of eternal life that is found only in you.
- We pray that, when we or others we know and love fall ill and test positive, you would let us face these trials with our confidence not ultimately in the healing of the body in this life, but in the promise of a resurrection from the dead. Remind us that the last enemy to be defeated is death itself, and that the grave will have no more success holding the bodies of Christians than it did holding the body of Christ.
- During these uncertainties, let us cross paths with others who need the hope that is only found in the gospel of Jesus, and let us boldly and transparently share that good news with them. Draw many who do not yet believe to yourself, reveal your Son to them, call them by your grace, put your Spirit within them, and adopt them as your children.
- Give abundant measures of grace to missionaries scattered among the nations. Make them to bear much fruit in this season. And when travel bans are lifted, send more workers into such places, that the glory of God may cover the dry lands as the waters cover the sea.
We pray all this and more, longing for the day when a great and innumerable multitude from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages are standing before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes which have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Hasten the day when God dwells with all his people, and they with him, and when he wipes away every tear from our eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things will have passed away.