Prayers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Prayers for those with the Coronavirus, those who care for them, and those who are suffering from anxiety during this stressful time.


The Other Side of the Virus,
An Opportunity to Awaken...

Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But,

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
       You can hear the birds again.

They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
       The sky is no longer thick with fumes
       But blue and grey and clear.

They say that in the streets of Assisi
       People are singing to each other
       across the empty squares,
       keeping their windows open
       so that those who are alone
       may hear the sounds of family around them.

They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
      is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

 Today a young woman I know
      is busy spreading fliers with her number
      through the neighbourhood
      so that the elders may have someone to call on.

 Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
      are preparing to welcome
      and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary.

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.

All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.

All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
      To how big we really are.
      To how little control we really have.  
      To what really matters.
      To Love.

So we pray and we remember that

Yes there is fear.
     But there does not have to be hate.

Yes there is isolation.
   But there does not have to be loneliness.

Yes there is panic buying.
    But there does not have to be meanness.

Yes there is sickness.
    But there does not have to be disease of the soul

Yes there is even death.
     But there can always be a rebirth of love.

Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.

Today, breathe.

Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic-
     The birds are singing again
     The sky is clearing,
     Spring is coming,

     And we are always encompassed by Love.

Open the windows of your soul
          And though you may not be able
          to touch across the empty square,

          Sing.

- Written by Fr. Richard Hendrick, OFM, March 13th 2020

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A Prayer for Our Uncertain Times

May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake.

May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.

May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health and making their rent.

May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close remember those who have no options.

May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go.

May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.

May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country, let us choose love.

And during this time when we may not be able to physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.  Amen.

Submitted by Fr. Michael Graham, S.J.

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We'll Get Through This

I’m a garbageman, I can’t work from home and my job is an essential city service that must get done. It’s a tough job, from getting up pre-dawn to the physical toll it takes on my body, to the monotonous nature of the job, at times it’s hard to keep on going. 

Us garbagemen are gonna keep collecting the garbage, doctors and nurses are gonna keep doctoring and nurse-ering. It’s gonna be ok, we’re gonna make it be ok. I love my city. I love my country. I love my planet Earth. Be good to each other and we’ll get through this.

Right now though, right now I am feeling an extra sense of pride and purpose as I do my work. I see the people, my people, of my city, peeking out their windows at me. They’re scared, we’re scared. Scared but resilient.

- Found on Twitter: Jester D TGM   @JustMeTurtle

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Pandemic

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
 
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
 
– Lynn Ungar, March 11, 2020 (posted with permission of the author)
   for more from this author, view: http://www.lynnungar.com/poems/

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A Coronavirus Prayer

Loving God, Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.

We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.

We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.

We ache for ourselves and our neighbors, standing before an uncertain future. 

We pray: may love, not fear, go viral. 

Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.

Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.

Call us to profound trust in your faithful presence,

You, the God who does not abandon.

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An Examen for Times of Anxiety and Depressionrobin-in-tree.png

I pause (breathe in and out) and thank you for this day. For the challenges, the emotions, the struggle. For in all this, I grow closer to you.

I pause (breathe in and out) and ask that in the darkness, I see your light and in my fear, I feel your strength.

I pause (breathe in and out) and remember that today, As in days before, I have survived. When I’ve wanted to run, I’ve stayed. When I wanted to hide, I’ve faced the day.

I pause (breathe in and out) and ask for forgiveness for The days I falter and the disease takes over. I ask for compassion and love when I’m unable to give those to myself.

I pause (breathe in and out) and resolve to love myself more tomorrow. And always feel your spirit surround me in safety.

I pause (breathe in and out) and rest.

- By Erin Roush

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An Examen in Caring for Others

What interactions with others were significant to me today?
What care and compassion did I show?
What was going on in my head during these interactions? Was I truly present?
What control do I have over the circumstances of these individuals?
Did I do all that I could in this point in time?
What can I do for tomorrow?

Prayer for Compassion

Merciful God,
Open my heart and mind to be fully present to those I interact with throughout the day.
Allow me to listen to others without passing judgement or haste to solve what I cannot change.
Give me patience and understanding and grant me grace in my shortcomings.
Be with me in times of fatigue and lift me up with the strength to carry out your compassionate love to all those I meet. Amen.

- By Ashley Henkes, Hall Director, Residence Life

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An Examen to Become More Loving

Creator, thank you for my many blessings, especially ______________.

Be with me at this moment,
and guide my thoughts to those places
where I could have been more loving in my day
and consider how I will improve. 

Help me to see those places where I was loving
and strengthen those parts of me
so that I can better do your will.

Thank you for all the love I’ve been blessed with
and help me in the moments ahead.

- By Ellen Hurst, Senior Teaching Professor, Economics

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An Examen for Life During COVID-19

Take a moment to settle. Take a deep breath. Get comfortable. Like a rock settling on the bottom of a lake after it’s thrown in, let yourself settle.

1.   Acknowledge how you are feeling in this moment. If being calm is hard, acknowledge it. If you find yourself frustrated or stressed, acknowledge it. God wants to be present in all parts of our lives—not just the easy or serene moments.

2.   Ask for light and insight as you prepare to review your day. For some that light may come in the form of a sense of the Divine. For others it’s from a deep sense of your true self.

3.   Take a moment to think about how COVID-19 has impacted your life. Even as we are being asked to distance ourselves from one another socially, ask yourself what connections you find yourself grateful for?Who makes you feel grounded and connected to God?

4.   Public health issues have a way of making us recognize how interwoven our lives are with others in society. It can help us realize who we may often choose not to see or connect with. Is there a person or group of people especially affected by COVID-19 that you don’t often choose to see or connect with normally? What connections to others are you becoming more aware of? Who do you normally choose to reach out and connect to? Who do you avoid or refuse to see? If you can, picture the faces of these people. What connections do you take for granted in your life? What connections impact you the most?

5.   Note the emotions you feel when you think of these individuals without judging or overanalyzing. Simply acknowledge them, pay attention, and listen to where God may be speaking.

6.   As you think of the ways we are connected or disconnected to one another, pick a connection (or lack thereof) that seems important, significant, or is manifesting itself the strongest. Pause and reflect on where you’re being invited to grow from that moment. If you are a person of faith, take a moment to pray with it.

7.   God gifted us with limitless creativity and imagination. Even in this time of separation and possible isolation, what is one way you can maintain meaningful connection to others—whether directly, through technology, or intentional focus and attention?

Take a deep breath and moment of quiet. When you are ready, return to your day. 

- By Susan Haarman, Loyola University Chicago 

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Prayer in a Time of Anxiety

It seems that I return to you most easily when I need comfort, O God.
Hello… here I am again, knowing that you are waiting for me with love and warming light.
In the shadow of your wings I find respite and relief that feeds my innermost self and renews my soul. Day and night, you are my refuge.

These uncertain days of news conferences and quarantines tempt me to assume the worst for my loved ones, myself and my community. “Pandemic” is a frightening word, and I can easily feel confused or helpless to respond. Now I am relying on you to lead and guide me, to put my anxiety in its place. Help me see it as a human response that keeps me conscious of the seriousness of this moment, but do not let it overwhelm my spirit. Buoyed by your love, I choose each day to let peace reign in me. Breathing deeply of your calm, I repeat, again and again, “You are here.”

Good and gracious Companion, my family and friends need tranquility and assurance. Help me to offer them your tenderness. Those in my community who are suffering need care. Help me to be generous and to keep contact with the forgotten. Our world calls for cooperation among national leaders, scientists, health care providers, and all who are instrumental in overcoming this crisis. May my prayers and support be with them all.

I have come back to you, and I will return, knowing that your open arms will never fail. God of hope, may your love blanket the earth, as you teach us to live more generously today than yesterday. May my anxiety be transformed into love.

- Author requested to remain anonymous

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Prayer for a Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable.
May those who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May those who have the flexibility to care for our children when schools close remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel a trip remember those who have no safe place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May those who settle for quarantine at home remember those who have no home.

As fear grips our country, let us choose love during this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace to God and our neighbor.

- Prayer by Cameron Wiggins Bellm

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Prayer for People Critically Ill or Facing Great Uncertainty

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.

Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.

Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.

- Adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 765
Prayer originated from episcopalrelief.org/what-we-do/us-disaster-program/faith-based-response-to-epidemics/

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Prayer in Time of Illness

Lord Jesus, you came into the world to heal our infirmities and to endure our sufferings. You went about healing all and bringing comfort to those in pain and need. We come before you now in this time of illness asking that you may be the source of our strength in body, courage in spirit and patience in pain. May we join ourselves more closely to you on the cross and in your suffering that through them we may draw our patience and hope. Assist us and restore us to health so that united more closely to your family, the Church, we may give praise and honour to your name.

- Prayer originated from https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=1822

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Prayer for the Sick

Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need. Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in your healing presence. Show your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits. May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking you for all your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed. Amen.

- Prayer originated from https://www.catholic.org/prayers/prayer.php?p=229

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A Coronavirus Prayer

Jesus Christ, you traveled through towns and villages “curing every disease and illness.” At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.

Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care.

Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbors from helping one another.

Heal us from our pride, which can make us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.

Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.

Be with those who have died from the virus. May they be at rest with you in your eternal peace.

Be with the families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace.

Be with the doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace.

Be with the leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.

Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace.

Jesus Christ, heal us.

- Prayer originated from https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/02/coronavirus-prayer


Pope's Prayer for Protection from Coronavirus

An English-language translation of the Pope’s prayer is below:

O Mary, you shine continuously on our journey as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick.

At the foot of the Cross you participated in Jesus’ pain, with steadfast faith.
You, Salvation of the Roman People, know what we need.

We are certain that you will provide, so that, as you did at Cana of Galilee,
joy and feasting might return after this moment of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the Father’s will
and to do what Jesus tells us:

He who took our sufferings upon Himself, and bore our sorrows to bring us,
through the Cross, to the joy of the Resurrection. Amen.

We seek refuge under your protection, O Holy Mother of God.
Do not despise our pleas – we who are put to the test – and deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

- Prayer originated from https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/pope-francis-prayer-our-lady-protection-coronavirus.html

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burn brighter

ignatius calls us
to go forth
and set
the world on fire

we embrace this metaphor
because we believe
our purpose
is inextricably linked
to helping others
clarify and attain theirs

but how do we
set our world on fire
in this age of sickness,
uncertainty,
and fear

how do we
serve and lead
when we
are disconnected
from each other
and the physical space
that unifies our team

who will show us
how to press on

lives perish
while the flames
of leaders
around us
dance erratically
in the blistering
winds of change
their lights
flicker
to near extinction
their sparks
barely visible
struggle
to light the way

we cannot wait
for them
to lead

let us turn
to our God
and
to the sacred light
of the Holy Spirit
that burns
in
each of us

let our spirits
draw closer
to each other
in spite of
the distance
between us
and march boldly
into tomorrow

maybe it helps
to imagine
this time
as a dousing
of gasoline
tossed onto our
already steady
burning flames
of
purpose and love

let this accelerant
consume and quicken us
for the greater good

shine on
my friends
may the bright flames
of our spirits
burning in unison
create a bonfire
that
sparks hope
ignites faith
Illuminates love
and lights the way

in this uncertain age
a time when
our brothers and sisters
yearn for
peace and light
we are called
and stand ready
to do magis
to do more
than we did
before

to
burn
brighter

- by Ray Angle, Assistant Vice President, Career and Professional Development, Gonzaga University

 

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