Prayers for the Time of COVID-19

This is a growing collection of prayers to guide our petitions to our Father in heaven in this pandemic.  You will find prayers in the following categories to help express our prayers in specific ways for the particular needs of different people and circumstances.

The Virus
The Sick
The Vulnerable
The Emotionally Distressed
Families
Christian Service and Witness
Healthcare Workers
Scientific Research
Government Leaders
Media
Employers, Employees, and the Economy
Schools
General Prayers for This Time of Pandemic

The Virus

  • For God to restrain the spread of the virus.
  • For God to end the virus pandemic.

Lord, you who are the refuge of the poor and needy,
we ask that you would save us
from the pestilence that stalks in the darkness
and the plague that destroys at midday.
Be our sun and shield.
Be our fortress.
Be our comfort this day.
May we not fear any evil
but rather trust in your might to save and your wisdom to guide,
so that we might rest  always in the shadow of the Almighty.
In the name of the One who heals our diseases. Amen.

The Sick

  • For the infected.
  • For the sick.

God our Healer, please heal and help all who are sick, sustain their bodies and souls, and contain the spread of infection.

God our Healer, please provide all the necessary rooms, beds, equipment, protective gear, and medicines that are necessary for the care of the sick.

Jesus, during your ministry on earth you showed your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need your loving touch because of COVID-19.  May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses. Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine.  Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease.  Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them. 

O Father of mercies and God of all comfort, our only help in time of need: We humbly ask you to behold, visit, and relieve those who are sick.  Look upon them with the eyes of your mercy; comfort them with a sense of your goodness; preserve them from the temptations of the enemy; and give them patience under their affliction in your good time, restore them to health, and enable them to lead the remainder of their life in your fear and to your glory; and grant that finally they may dwell with you in life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us pray to God the Father Almighty, that he would cleanse the world from all evil; deliver it from pestilence and famine; set free those who are in captivity; restore the sick to health; and bring those who travel to a haven of safety.

The Vulnerable

  • For our elderly.
  • For those suffering from chronic disease.
  • For the poor, especially the uninsured.
  • For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless.
  • For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed.
  • For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system.
  • For incarcerated people who cannot be physically distant or quarantined.

God our Strength, please protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease.

God our Refuge, please provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.

God our Refuge, please expand our heart for the internationals who have come to study and work here from around the world, and who are starting to join our church.

God our Refuge, please help the refugees who are placed here to find their place in St. Louis, and that you would use our church to show them the love of Jesus in word and deed.

God our Strength, please help those suffering addictions to avoid returning to the abuse of alcohol and drugs.

Dear Lord, we lift to you our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions.  Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty and, for many, preventive isolation from loved ones.

Almighty God, by your Word you laid the foundations of the earth, set the bounds of the sea, and still the wind and waves.  Surround us with your grace and peace, and preserve us through this coronavirus pandemic.  By your spirit, life up those who have fallen, strengthen those who work to rescue or rebuild, and fill us with the hope of your new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Look with mercy, O God our Father, on all whose increasing years bring them weakness, distress, or isolation.  Provide for them homes of dignity and peace; give them understanding helpers, and the willingness to accept help; and as their strength diminishes, increase their faith and their assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty God, whose Son took upon himself the afflictions of your people: Regard with your tender compassion those suffering from anxiety, depression, or mental illness; bear their sorrows and their care; supply all their needs; help them to put their whole trust and confidence in you; and restore them to strength of mind and cheerfulness of spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O blessed Lord, you ministered to all who came to you: Look with compassion upon those who through addiction have lost their health and freedom.  Restore to them the assurance of your unfailing mercy; remove from them the fears that beset them; strengthen them in the work of their recovery; and to those who minister to them, give patient understanding and persevering love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Emotionally Distressed

  • For those who live alone and feel loneliness.
  • For those who are anxious and fearful.
  • For those who are angry.
  • For those who are lamenting many losses, especially for those who are grieving the death of loved ones.

Oh God, you who promise new mercies every morning:
where I am low, lift me up;
where I am weak, carry me;
where I am vulnerable, shield me;
where I am heavy-hearted,
grant me new strength and refreshment for my soul.
May I walk in the way of life today,
faithful to what you have entrusted to me for this day,
no more and no less.
Let me not become anxious over the things that I cannot control
but instead receive your grace to face these things trustingly.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

O God, you know that we are set in the midst of many grave dangers, and because of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright: Grant that your presence and protection may support us in all trials and carry us through every temptation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O God our Ever-Present Help, you heal the broken-hearted, and turn the sadness of the sorrowful to joy.  Let your fatherly goodness be upon all whom you have made. Remember in pity all those who are this day destitute, homeless, elderly, infirm, or forgotten. Bless the multitude of your poor.  Lift up those who are cast down. Mightily befriend innocent sufferers and sanctify to them the endurance of their wrongs. Cheer with hope all who are discouraged and downcast, and by your heavenly grace preserve from falling those whose poverty tempts them to sin. Though they be troubled on every side, suffer them not to be distressed; though they are perplexed, save them from despair.  Grant this, O Lord, for the love of him who for our sake became poor, your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Most loving Father, you will us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of you, and to cast all our cares on the One who cares for us.  Preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide from us the light of that love which is immortal, and which you have manifested unto us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Lord, you who were alone in the wilderness and in the garden,
be with me in this time of singleness and solitude;
and when I feel tempted to believe
that I have been abandoned by friends and forsaken by God,
may I sense the sweet presence of your Spirit
and the ministering care of your angels,
nourishing me in my hour of need,
so that I might know that I am never alone
but rather filled and fortified by your very real presence.
In your name. Amen.

Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding: Deal graciously with those who mourn the loss of loved ones and friends. Surround then with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness and strength to meet the days to come; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Families

  • For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future.
  • For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children.
  • For parents struggling to teach their children at home.
  • For marriages and family relationships enduring great stress, anxiety, and conflict.

Our Father in heaven, please help mothers and fathers to work together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children.

Our Father in heaven, please present parents working outside the home with creative solutions for childcare.

Holy Spirit, as families adjust to everyone being home as businesses and schools close, we ask that you guide people in their new realities.  Give spouses grace for each other.  Prompt worn-out parents to speak words of kindness and encouragement to their children.  Help children find creative ways to experience the beauty of all you have created and continue learning.

A Prayer for Wearied Parents
Oh Lord, you who hold all things together,
help me not to lose my mind;
you who calmed the tempest,
help me not to lose my temper;
you who promised rest to the weary and heavy-laden,
speak a word of peace to my body;
you who healed the blind,
open my eyes to see your presence;
you who speak and things come to life,
help me to hear your still, small voice
over the din of my own noisy world;
you who welcomed the children,
please take care of my own;
you who promised to be with us always,
be with me here and now in my hour of need.
Though I struggle to believe these things are possible,
I pray them nonetheless in the name of
the compassionate and wounded One for whom nothing is impossible.
Amen.

A Prayer for Stir-Crazy Children
I feel tired and bored and my feelings are all mixed up and out of place.
But you can help me,
and I thank you that you know exactly how I feel
and that you have a special place in your heart
for children like me—and that you love me very much.
Please give me that peace that you told your disciples you have lots off.
I need it. Thank you.
In your name I pray. Amen.
PS: Please help mommy and daddy too.

Almighty God, Jesus said let the little children come to me and do not hinder them.  In your eyes all generations are valued, known, and loved.  Give us a heart and love for the next generations.  Take away any fear or resentment due to unhealthy expectations, and give us compassion and mercy.  Comfort all students who are exiles from their schools and groups of friends.  Please provide for children who rely on their schools for regular meals.  Comfort those in their final year in college or high school, now that expectations of joyous celebration give way to grief, confusion, and concern.  In this season of disorientation, please give our next generation wisdom, patience, character, and a power to trust you.  Remind us all that you still reign and that you are still good.  O Lord, pour out your blessing upon our younger generations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Christian Service and Witness

  • For Central Presbyterian Church and our church community.
  • For pastors and other church leaders faced with the challenges of pastoral care while physically distant.
  • For churches in St. Louis.
  • For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city.

Our Father in heaven, please show us what it looks like to see your transforming work through the renewal of Jesus Christ.

Our Father in heaven, please inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.

Our Father in heaven, please make us creative agents of love and compassion and
courageous servants of others in word and deed.

Our Good Shepherd, please give abundant wisdom and strength to pastors, ministry staff, elders, and other church leaders learning new ways to shepherd and care for people while physically distant.  Call them into deeper communion with you; nourish and restore their souls and refresh their bodies each day.  Fill them with your Holy Spirit so that can be instruments of your grace to others, to be your means of comfort, compassion, empathy, lament, peace, truth, wisdom, and hope within the body of Christ and beyond.

Our Father in heaven, please open the hearts of our neighbors to see the brevity and fragility of life and their need for your salvation.  Give us wisdom to know how to share God’s love with them.  Pour out your Spirit so that many people come to a saving knowledge of you in Christ Jesus.

O Lord our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served, but to serve: We ask you to bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage, that they may strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall, and, being inspired by your love, may worthily minister to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy, for the sake of him who laid down his life for us, your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: I hold up all my weakness to your strength, my failure to your faithfulness, my sinfulness to your perfection, my loneliness to your compassion, my little pains to your great agony on the Cross.  I pray that you will cleanse me, strengthen me, guide me, so that in all ways my life may be lived as you would have it lived, without cowardice and for you alone.  Show me how to live in true humility, true contrition, and true love.

Healthcare Workers

  • For frontline health care workers.
  • For doctors, nurses, administrators, lab workers, chaplains.

God our Healer, please provide safety, protection, health, and strength.  Please keep their families safe and healthy and provide for their needs as they comfort and love others.

God our Healer, please help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.

God our Healer, please help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic.

God our Healer, please deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).

God our Healer, please give them compassion for every patient in their care.

God our Healer, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that that many would ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel.

Almighty God, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ went about doing good, and healing all manner of sickness and disease among the people: Continue in our hospitals his gracious work among us; console and heal the sick; grant to the physicians, nurses, and assisting staff wisdom and skill, diligence and patience; prosper their work, O Lord, and send down your blessing upon all who serve the suffering; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Scientific Community

  • For the global scientific community, working to understand the disease and develop tests.
  • For public health officials to communicate well.
  • For researchers working to develop a vaccine.

Lord of creation, give the scientific community knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.

Lord of creation, please guide and empower the research doctors developing better tests to diagnose the virus, to create vaccines to prevent it, and to identify protocols to eliminate the disease’s spread.

Government and Civic Leaders

  • For President Trump, Vice-President Pence, Congress, and all the agencies of the executive branch of the federal government collaborating to coordinate care.
  • For governors, state legislatures, and state agencies collaborating to coordinate care.
  • For mayors, city councils, and local agencies collaborating to coordinate care.
  • For non-profit organizations and philanthropic foundations working to provide care.

King of kings, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic.  Fill them with wisdom, compassion, civility, and patience to deal with complicated problems on many sides.

Father, guide our leaders making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, countries, and the wider world.  We pray that they seek your wisdom daily and  communicate clearly, truthfully, and calmly — with each other and with the public — and that their messages are received and heeded.  May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, send down on those who hold public office in federal, state, and local governments and leadership in other civic institutions the spirit of wisdom, charity, and justice; that with steadfast purpose they may faithfully serve in their offices to promote the well-being of all people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Media

  • For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information.
  • For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed.

Lord of truth and wisdom, please give daily guidance, wisdom, and stamina to journalists and other media personnel working hard to report vital information accurately.  Help them communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.

Lord of truth and wisdom, please help us all to be people of the truth, to discern truth from error, and to find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors.  Keep us from anxiety and panic.

Employers, Employees, and the Economy

  • For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship.
  • For business leaders and non-profit organizations making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees and the people they serve.
  • For those who still serve the public and risk exposure in their daily work.

God our Provider, please keep people suffering layoffs and financial hardship from panic, please comfort them, provide for their needs, and inspire your church to support them generously.

God our Maker, please give leaders of institutions wisdom to make difficult decisions that affect their employees, and help them to lead sacrificially.

God our Provider, please restore a flourishing and just economy.

God our Provider, please help us act with kindness, patience, and restraint, and not with panic or greed.

Jesus, we thank you for your faithfulness in how you have guided and equipped people in their jobs and have provided in the past.  It can be scary and overwhelming not knowing how bills and obligations will be met or to not be able to provide for families.  As people feel financial strain during the uncertainty, bring them comfort and peace, reminding them that you are there for them.  Provide for them in their times of need.

O Lord Jesus Christ, in your earthly life you shared our toil and you made holy our labor.  Guide those who maintain the commerce and industries of this land during this pandemic.  Help them be wise, compassionate, and creative in such uncertain times.  Sustain our local businesses as they seek to stay open and to care for their workers.  We grieve and lament with those who suffer want and anxiety from lack of work, and we cry out to you for your provision.  Grant them comfort, strength, and patience.  Guide the people of this land to use our public and private wealth that all may find suitable and fulfilling employment and receive a just reward for their labor.  Lord, these are trying times; please sustain and strengthen our faith and trust in you, and give us peace in the midst of this devastation.  Amen

Lord, we are so grateful for all the people who continue to work each day so that people are able to eat, obtain medicines and household supplies, and receive other vital services.  We ask that you bless and protect them as they serve.  Give them grace to handle disgruntled customers during shortages of supplies.  Keep their bodies healthy as they pack, load, and deliver supplies.  Keep delivery cars and trucks running smoothly.  And please protect them all from contracting the new coronavirus.

Schools

  • For teachers struggling to learn new methods of teaching and care for students online.
  • For students struggling with learning online and missing their teachers and friends.

God our Wisdom and Teacher, please continue to grant the light of knowledge and wisdom to students who are struggling to study at home apart from the presence of teachers and the structures of life at school.  And grant all teachers the graces of strength, patience, and perseverance in learning new methods and caring for students from a distance.

General Prayers for This Time of Pandemic

A Prayer during Times of COVID-19
by Rev. Richard Bott

In this time of COVID-19, we pray:
When we aren’t sure, God,
help us be calm;
when information comes
from all sides, correct and not,
help us to discern;
when fear makes it hard to breathe,
and anxiety seems to be the order of the day,
slow us down, God;
help us to reach out with our hearts,
when we can’t touch with our hands;
help us to be socially connected,
when we have to be socially distant;
help us to love as perfectly as we can,
knowing that “perfect love casts out all fear.”

For the doctors, we pray,
for the nurses, we pray,
for the technicians and the janitors and the
aides and the caregivers, we pray,
for the researchers and theorists,
the epidemiologists and investigators,
for those who are sick,
and those who are grieving, we pray,
for all who are affected,
all around the world…
we pray
for safety,
for health,
for wholeness.

May we feed the hungry,
give drink to the thirsty,
clothe the naked and house those without homes;
may we walk with those who feel they are alone,
and may we do all that we can to heal
the sick—
in spite of the epidemic,
in spite of the fear.

Help us, O God,
that we might help each other.

In the love of the Creator,
in the name of the Healer,
in the life of the Holy Spirit that is in all and with all,
we pray.

May it be so.

A Prayer for the Church in the Early Days of the COVID-19 Pandemic
by Rev. Walter Henegar

Almighty God,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend,
you who sit enthroned over the flood—
we are staggering in the surf of breakers
bringing bad news, and worse news,
while an invisible menace laps at our doorstep.

Father of all mercies, have mercy on us.
We are anxious, exhausted, angry, and sad.
We need your peace that surpasses understanding
to guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Be our refuge and strength;
be our very present help in this time of trouble.

Even in this trouble we thank you:  
for green Spring life that refuses to wait for death’s shadow to pass;
for technology that unites exiles and draws the solitary near;
for your church that prevails in catacombs and quarantine;
for your own Holy Spirit who is socially present with us, always.

But forgive us, Holy Lord:   
for hating our unwashed neighbors in our heart;
for opening our hearts to unfettered fear;
for closing our hearts, and our pockets, to any in need;
for loosening our grip on your precious and very great promises.

Assure us, our Gracious Redeemer:
that our sins are nailed to the cross of Jesus;
that we are clothed in the righteous white robes of Christ;
that you will never leave us nor forsake us;
that nothing – nothing – can separate us from your love.

Great Physician, we pray for those most vulnerable to this virus:   
for the elderly, the weak, and those with chronic conditions;
for the poor, the hungry, and the isolated;
for those already infected.
Deliver them from this evil,
and prevent the rest of us from carrying it to them.

God of Hosts, we pray for the caregivers on the front lines:  
for doctors and nurses and healthcare workers;
for police and firefighters and government officials;
for parents in the home and under-shepherds in the church:
Guard and guide them; shield and sustain them.

Rock of Ages, we pray for the newly unstable:  
for those who have lost jobs, lost businesses, lost savings, lost homes;
for those facing the likelihood of losing even more—
Hide them in the cool shadow of your wings;
provide every good thing for them
that you, as a good Father, know they need.

Indwelling Spirit, empower your people to serve: 
to get wisdom, and live by it, and share it freely;
to embody peace amid the strife of tongues;
to present our bodies as living sacrifices;
to suffer with Christ in patient endurance.

Give us all fresh confidence that there is:  
no future where you are not present,
no sorrow where you are not near,
no tears not kept in your bottle,
no locust-eaten years you will not restore.

And so we trust you, our generous Provider:  
if the curve does not flatten,
if the market does not pull up,
if the shelves go empty,
and if all our accounts drain to pennies—
Even still, let us rejoice in the Lord, our strength;
let us take joy in the God of our salvation.

In the name of Jesus we ask, Amen.

Prayer for a Pandemic
By Cameron Bellm

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 or 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 that 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.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Amen.