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Prayers for Community in a Time of Pandemic

13 Mar 2020

Prayers for Community in a Time of PandemicThe current need for self–isolation and social distancing as exceptional measures speaks to the greater need we have as humans to be in community. The world needs community like never before.

In that spirit, we offer a series of prayers: 

9 April 2020

God who washes our feet, God who commands us to love: before the prayers in the garden, and the stations of the cross; before the tomb and the spices and the stone they put in place, there was this moment when you showed us what it meant to be divine. May we not forget that the power to defeat death was not what you wanted us to imitate.
It was to lay aside all other things and to love.

Amen.

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8 April 2020

God of the shared bread and the common purse, you broke bread with those who broke your trust and took more than they needed for themselves. You still do. May our shared response to a common threat lead us each to reconsider what we need and what we want, and how we divide what we have. Break who we are so that we can be more for others.

Amen.

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7 April 2020, John 12:20–36

God of the fallen grain, God of the children of light: it was in your being broken down that you were lifted up. It is in releasing our lives to others that we bear your lasting truth. As we head further into this week, a community dispersed, may our relinquishing of self and our selfless love for others broadcast wide the great good news that even in death there is glorious new life, and that darkness will not overcome it.

Amen.

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6 April 2020

God of Lazarus and God of Judas, your great love raises the dead and condemns what is wrong in this life. As we enter this holy, difficult week we know we will experience pain, and brokenness and hypocrisy; but also beauty, and mercy and undying love. Your death made clear what must come to an end: our fear, our waste, our selfishness. Yet we rejoice that in this dying lies our rebirth and that you will bring the world, and the grace–filled good in us, back to life. 

Amen.

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5 April 2020 Palm Sunday

God of crowds and God of crowns: in your humility, on the back of a donkey, at the start of a week of great pain, you showed a determination to save us not with overwhelming force but with self–giving, revolutionary love. May we see in your life and death, and in your resurrection, the way to face the foes within. May we overcome our fears, and put down our selfish wants; may we stop our tendency to blame, and fight for others first. As you shield us from what we can’t control, save us from ourselves.

Amen.

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4 April 2020

God of believers, God of deniers, God of those who don’t know: faith assumes uncertainty. The truth is hardly ever simple; the path ahead rarely clear. We turn to you in part because we know not where to go. Yet faith assumes assurance. Faith remains, with hope and love, when all else fades away. As we step forth with you today, grant us faith to trust ourselves, and let us believe in the good you provide that is well beyond our knowing.

Amen.

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3 April 2020

God who loves those we love, God who loves those we don’t; it is easy to empathise with people who behave as we do, and face what we fear. But when the us means those who seem part of the problem, our Christ–like compassion is tested. Can our us include those who take short–sighted decisions? Can our we mean those who put others at risk? Can this community extend to those whose actions threaten the whole? We pray that it can, because it already does. Your compassion has included us all.

Amen.

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2 April 2020

God of hills and valleys, the newsreader said we’ll see a peak in mid–April, just as we are set to celebrate resurrection. We enter this shadowy valley with verses half–remembered about your rod and your staff, and our not fearing. May the memory of your goodness follow us in these days; may your presence with us now provide a constant comfort; and may this darkened valley light up with the dawn of an Easter not bound by any chart or calendar.

Amen.

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1 April 2020

God of pastures and God of lambs, the new–born creatures of spring know nothing of the worry or anxiety of our last month. They know instead of the earth beneath them and the sky above, and a mother who cares for them daily. May we in this season remind each other of the steadiness of your providence, the instinct in your protection, the simplicity of your love. And may we then with confidence find our footing in this new–born world.
Amen.

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31 March 2020

God of pan–demos, God of all–people, how odd that it takes a global disease to show us that we are all one: one species, one family one genomic form, one people dependent on you. There are some among us acutely at risk to an invisible, indiscriminate foe. We join in prayer for them and us, that in our shared vulnerability you would cure us of this sickness. And the other one, the one that divides us, so that in healing we might become whole. 

Amen.

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30 March 2020

God of the seed and God of the branches, you promised that a grain of faith would be enough to move a mountain, or better yet, to make a nest for roosting. May we now see the ripe fruition of seeds planted long ago by grand, motherly types who sang us hymns we still can hum, who showed us kindness and quiet strength. May we then grow in this new season to plant a mountain–moving seed ourselves, a shelter for tomorrow’s wings.

Amen.

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28 March 2020

God of the heartbeat, God of the pulse: every day we ring a bell to call us all to prayer; at 9am and 9pm, for years and years and years. Its surprising note cuts through our talk and breaks our scheduled plans. It interrupts our conflict and disturbs our fragile peace. Today, though there are very few who are close enough to hear, may its peal reach out to those whose lives need reassuring sound, and bring to all the shocking news that you are always near. We ring it as we always do to call us all to prayer.

Amen.

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27 March 2020

God of honest emotions, God of cathartic tears, it would be sadder if in these days we didn’t need a good cry, a release from the body, a moment to name how it feels. We thank you that these tears are not tears of weakness but of witness. They speak to a God who wept as we do, and showed human love is divine.

Amen.

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26 March 2020

God of the one and God of the whole, be with those who are working from home today and those whose work keeps them from home. Be with those who won’t go beyond the front porch, and those who stay on the front line. Be with those who must choose between doing a job they know they can do and being the parent only they can be. May we each in our private worry hear your universal call to come, lay down heavy burdens, and find a welcome rest. And then with our burdens lightened, may we help to hold the whole.

Amen.

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25 March

God of the fire and God of the wind, God of the silent sound, when you speak to us, you do so in ways we may not expect but cannot ignore. Allow us in this time of frantic noise and eerie stillness to listen again to the wind and the earth, to the gentle whisper of you calling our name. And may we hear in your voice words of love and hope, the good news of your presence with us still.

Amen.

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24 March 2020

God of our going out and our coming in: each step we take today needs to make space for others. Each errand we run, each purchase we make, has to make sense for the whole. We must consider how our lives affect the lives around us. This is not new. It has always been thus. But going forward, in this next step, may this truth finally come home. 

Amen.

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23 March 2020

God of the neighbour, God of the stranger, many times we pass the homes of those we barely know. Yet you have always known them. Just as you know the people across the globe, who have faced what we now face, and those who will see what we now see. You’ve known us all, and love us all the same. The stranger is our neighbour in this little world we’ve made. May we never estrange the other in the new neighbourhood we create.

Amen.

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22 March 2020

God of the Sabbath, on this newest first day of creation,your people gather in creative waysto bear the image of God together. As we worship and worry,as we praise and pray,let us pause and acknowledge all that happened this week.And as we bring our fears and release our tearslet us see more clearlythat the world you have made is still good.

Amen.

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21 March 2020

God of stilled waters, God of calmed seas, on a night of a difficult crossing as your friends began to lose faith, you awoke and hushed the turbulent waves with the power of unearthly peace. May we respect the sheer force of what we cannot control and believe in the strength that sleeps in this storm. 

Amen.

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20 March 2020

God of the home and God of the pilgrim, we begin to dig in for an uncertain season, and embark on a journey together. This is a path we haven’t been on. Yet we know in each step you are there alongside us: a guide, a protector, a friend. May each day on the road bring us closer together closer to a land of grateful reunion closer to the place you call home. 

Amen.

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19 March 2020

God of the branches, God of the vine, God of the fruit that will last, when much of the familiar is pruned away –– the work routine, the school run, the certainty of our day – may we see what is good and true blossom in reassuring ways: colleagues working as one, children learning from home, families praying together. May these days of great disruption bear out what is always true: that we can reach others with the love you provide when our roots remain in you. 

Amen.

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18 March 2020

God whose breath hovered over creation, God whose breath brought wet clay to life: Be in each grounding breath that we take, The rise of our belly, the fall of our chest. Be in the kind word we extend, the offer of help, the note of concern. Be in the prayer that we whisper, and the laugh that we share, so that even in a time of chaos, we might breathe into life a new creation.

Amen.

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17 March 2020

God of the widow and God of the prophet, you told us a story of how a little oil and a little flour, and the kindness of community, saw a family through. Jar after jar was filled and stored. Remind us how a drop and a speck, a tap on the door, the willingness to believe in response to a need made all the difference in that story, and can make all the difference in ours. 

Amen.

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16 March 2020

God of the desert and God of the garden, your son went into the wilderness. And there he sat. And there he prayed. And there he dreamed of a life more abundant for others. As we root down for an uncertain time, and consider how we’ve grown apart, may we rest as needed and sprout new thoughts for those less able to rest.

Amen.

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Sunday 15 March 2020

God of new and renewed community, where two or three are gathered in your name, you promise to be there. You promise also to be in parishes that meet this week online, and in congregations that courageously keep on keeping on, and in churches that try something very different today, and even when we find ourselves alone. Our children sing in Sunday school that the church is not a building. Let us be the church together, wherever we are, gathered by your Spirit, as only your Spirit can gather. And may we find you already in our midst, as we close our eyes in prayer.

Amen.

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14 March 2020

God of experts and amateurs, in a time of great uncertainty, we begin to realise how little we each know. Yet you have placed within our community those who speak from reason, who know the science, whose profession it is to protect. May we hear the voices of informed wisdom, and give thanks for what is already here: the knowledge that overcomes ignorance, the love that overcomes fear, the community that includes the grace we all need. 

Amen.

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13 March 2020

God of the good news that spreads faster than fear, God of the courage that comes from the heart: Be with us as anxieties rise and with us as uncertainty grows. Be with us when children ask difficult questions, and with us when parents seem farther away. Remind us that to be a community does not always mean to be physically present beside those we know well. It also can mean being spiritually present with those who feel very alone; and that you as our God, the God made flesh, are also the God who calls us from the tumult and tells us to be still and to know that you are God with us. 

Amen.



Prayers for Community in a Time of Pandemic

© The Corrymeela Community, 2020

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