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Corrymeela

Prayers for Community in a Time of Pandemic

13 Mar 2020

The 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:

3 July 2020

God of community, God of our deepest self: in this time of isolation and protective separation, the truth of our connection has risen to the fore. Although our fear-based structures are more fragile than we thought, the bonds of human kindness contain the strength of godly love. We give you thanks that beneath this worldly tumult and within our beaten hearts we know that God is with us and will be with us still.

Amen.

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2 July 2020

God of extraordinary kindness, God of ordinary folk: as we reform ourselves in these rebuilding days, we are bound to mimic the behaviour of others. May we not get distracted by those who sound and fury signify nothing. Remind us of a divine potency alive in those who quietly carry on with compassion; whose simple goodness, their gift from you, can recreate the world.

Amen.

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1 July 2020

God of the prodigals' return, God of the rivals' reunion: when the son neared the father, he bowed as a servant and relinquished all familial rights. It was the same gesture Jacob made when he came near Esau in fear. Their repentance and humility were immediately engulfed in a full-bodied embrace, into a restoration of what was lost and a fuller celebration of what was found. As we return to patterns of work and life, and find ourselves face to face again, may we be restored will all our humility and repentance intact.

Amen.

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30 June 2020

God of eternal life, God of letting go: throughout this long season and over a century of days, you have remained constant as we've rediscovered ourselves. There is more change ahead. This pandemic is not finished. Nor are we. As we continue to be transformed, may we cling to kindness and mercy; to courage and trust; to faith and hope; to undying selflessness. May divine love be made flesh and given breath in the life that changes with you.

Amen.

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29 June 2020

God of the second mile, God of the turned cheek: some who receive more hardship respond with greater love. Their faith runs all the deeper and their hope becomes like rock. With acquired humility they keep accumulating lessons and accomplish more beyond a terminal sentence than those who barely start. We give you thanks for saints whose shortened lives contain enough for several books; whose every thought and prayer and pause deserves an extra page.

Amen.

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27-28 June 2020

God of prophets at the door, God of cool cups of water: justice is hard to define and harder to apply, but love lived out in public is never out of reach. Help us all to welcome the instinct in ourselves to do the right thing in the moment we're in. As we greet the one before us with the kindness we'd expect, may our reward be no stranger than an offer of a drink.

Amen.

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26 June 2020

God of caught breath, God of welcomed pause: so much has happened so quickly that we can lose a sense of time. As we continue to pace and prepare ourselves for more unknown to come, we are grateful for the faithfulness you promise: the 'strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow' we find morning by morning. Give us that song. Have us hum it by heart. May we share the new mercies we see.

Amen.

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25 June 2020

God whose face is never seen, God whose image shall not be made: you knew -- even before we melted gold to worship a beast -- that we would be quick to put our face, our skin, our accent, our culture up on a throne and give it your name. Save us from this idol that we want. Remind us that you not you are not the best version of us, so that might rank ourselves in second place. Show us again that to be divine is to relinquish power, to empty one's self in love. May we find you again alive in community rather than lifeless in our reflection.

Amen.

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24 June 2020

God of honest conversation, God of ever-listening saints: how we wish we'd found the words and the courage in the moment to say what needed said when loved ones were much closer, and the time was almost right. Remind us of the time we have alive with you right now. Yours is an ear alert for prayer; ours a communion in which to listen. Help us in silence with you, in words for others convey both love and concern, and may those who hear and those who speak receive the message of your peace.

Amen.

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23 June 2020

God of human touch, God of spiritual embrace: this biggest event of our lives will live on in our tissues, something our bodies are actively learning to hold. And so the kindness we show to ourselves, and the support we offer each other, is not just for right now. May the soothing techniques we practice and centring breaths we take hold us in this moment and train us for moments to come, so that without thinking we can find ourselves again, in your presence.

Amen.

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22 June 2020

God of midsummer light, God of midwinter snow: as our tilted earth rounds the bend and turns along its course, we note the connection we have with those around the world, whether they are basking in the fullness of the season or rejoicing in the sun's return. May we know that even though our highs and lows rarely coincide, the story of this year and the shared rhythm of this life provides a commonality with all, even those to whom we are opposed.

Amen

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20-21 June 2020

God of uncovered secrets, God of fearless truth: to have faith in your goodness is to trust that after all we would hide is revealed, and all of our whispers are heard, your undying love will remain, and your truth will stand unchanged. May we forgo our protection of self, and find life made whole in shalom.

Amen.

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19 June 2020

God we see in familiar faces, God in the strangers we think we know: as we meet again and see each other on the street or on a screen, give us a moment to look again and discover how people can change. There are worlds within each person we love, and also within those we don’t, and steps to take from point a to point b that we can walk together. As we set out for the good ahead may we greet what’s new inside us.

Amen.

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18 June 2020

God of sisters and brothers, God of growth through conflict: we see raw heartbreak when our children realise how elusive fairness can be. We gasp with them as they learn that even childish pranks and playful teasing can draw real blood. Young tears can signal a realisation that words and actions born from fear can harm the ones we love. May our growth in this time out reassure each other. And as members of a family you maternally adore, may an unquestioned bond now hold us as when a sibling seeks forgiveness. 

Amen.

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17 June 2020

God of revelation, God of unveiling: the truths that many would pretend to discover are truths that others could never avoid. May this time be the time of conversation about matters that lie underneath fears and prejudices, and beneath a wilful blindness.

May your revealing of what has always been change us and what is to be, so that in acknowledging each other and the sins brought to light we might never find such cover again.

Amen.

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16 June 2020

God of constant assurance, God who is forever new: a life of faith is not without risk. There is no telling what lies ahead when we choose to let go of what has been. But as we set off on this next adventure of finding our newer and truer selves, remind us that it is in becoming that we remain the people you created us to be. 

Amen.

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15 June 2020

God of the community well, God of our individual needs: having gone through this together we will draw from these days a shared experience for years and years. Yet each of us balances this pandemic’s challenge with private struggles and dissimilar circumstances. May we take into account the additional weight that we and our neighbours will carry, so that as we lend (and accept from) each other support we can draw out more lessons from this well of community, and bring home all that we can.

Amen.

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13–14 June 2020

God of the plentiful harvest, God of the shaken–off dust: there is enough work to be done

and enough good to be found that no defeat can be final, no success a time to stop. As we set out to help heal this world, remind us that our own power will always be insufficient, but that your limitless spirit can speak through the words we proclaim of the good news of heaven come near.

Amen.

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12 June 2020

God of our healthy fears, God of our courage and faith: there is a strengthening pull wanting to carry us back to what they call normal. But there is also cautious resistance and a reluctance to embrace all that was. Help us in this in between. As we venture out and relax restrictions, may we not forget the dangers, nor lose sight of what we’ve gained in a time of self–imposed limitation. Strengthen our patience to let this play out; and may the lessons we carry help us pull through.

Amen.

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11 June 2020

God who weeps with us, God who rejoices with us: as we mark the seriousness of this pandemic, and lament the extent of our brokenness, give us the faith to see that the power that lies beneath us and that holds us fast to you is the power of justice. Remind us of the presence of joy in the hearts of those who know that love and beauty and kindness will last when all that is empty fades away. 

Amen.

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10 June 2020

God of each moment, God of all time: years from now 2020 will still be present in our collective memory; not just for ourselves or our families or this town, or this nation, but for all people, everywhere. May this shared experience, with its sorrow, its anxiety, its lessons and revelations be the beginning of a new ‘we,’ the us you’ve been with from the start.

Amen.

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9 June 2020

God of the scales held in her hands, God of the scales that fell from his eyes: we pray for those who have waited far too long for justice; and for those who have taken far too long to see that systems said to be balanced and blind work for some but not for all. May repentance come quick, not from a fear of being condemned, but in the hope of being set free from the seesaw of us–them, win–lose, and from the blindness of seeing only what we want to be true. 

Amen.

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8 June 2020

God of cathartic tears, God of embodied joy: how good it is has been to see a familiar face, to hear comfort in a dear friend’s voice, and to share our grief with someone who knows. As we move through this unbounded and exhausting time may we note the moments when we’ve been our most human: when our bodies instinctively responded to the truth of being alive and a part of something greater. 

Amen.

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6–7 June 2020

God of holy relationship, God of distinct inclusion: with you and in you togetherness matters. Remind us that ours is not a life of living for ourselves. In being with and for each other, may we discover that how we relate to how we are different shows the essence of who we each are. 

Amen.

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5 June 2020

God of grace and beauty, God of the crooked shore: we give you thanks for those who reveal your grace with a wisdom they wear so lightly, in a strength they only use to lift up other people. The generosity that some show in conversation, and in lessons they impart through open silence, provides a glimpse of divine light to be found in stories yet to be told, in questions we still want to ask.

Amen. 

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4 June 2020

God of spring and God of summer: the first cutting has occurred and the birds are picking through the heaps, looking out for harvesters who will come to scoop this up. The beauty of these long rows draws our eyes up and our minds back to what has happened these last few months. We ask that you would be with us as we consider what we’ve lost and also what we’ve found. May we mark these moments well. The birds see now the valueof what will feed many through the winter.

Amen.

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3 June 2020

God of one and God of all: from our many may a unity appear. Help us find a way to hold our differences together. Bring us to the recognition that to be most fully human is to champion the full humanity of others. Your earthly image cannot be found in the mirror, but in the eyes of varied faces that reflect the incarnated divinity in our own.

Amen.

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2 June 2020

God of law, God of order: sometimes there are no words for the vanity on display. Remind us that when we use your name for loveless purposes that divide, we speak a clanging noise and your voice cannot be heard.

Amen.

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1 June 2020

God of righteous anger, God of rippling peace: somewhere, far from sight, the tempestuous sea and this quiet bay connect in one great body of water, linked to rivers and streams that extend a backward reach to headwaters far beyond our shore. May we on this earth, separated by vastly different experiences, kept apart by distance and the barriers we make, be united by your spirit, that the pain of one might be borne by all through the channels of your peace.

Amen.

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Earlier prayers are available through our resource page.

For prayers from Easter through Pentecost 2020:

https://www.corrymeela.org/cmsfiles/Prayers-for-Community-in-a-Time-of-Pandemic---Easter-to-Pentecost-2020.pdf

For prayers from the date of lockdown to Easter 2020:

https://www.corrymeela.org/cmsfiles/Prayers-for-Community-in-a-Time-of-Pandemic---Lockdown-to-Easter-2020.pdf

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Prayers for Community in a Time of Pandemic

© The Corrymeela Community, 2020