Almighty and ever living God, we seek your guidance in our lives in all that we do and say. May our prayers be a constant dialogue with you throughout this day. May we live in a relationship with you and in steady consciousness of your presence in our work, in our homes and in all our relationships. Through a continued awareness of your voice in our hearts, may your will be done in our lives. Make your dwelling place with each of us throughout this day and all our lives long. We pray in Jesus Holy name, Amen.
Gracious God, thank you for our families, friends and neighbors, for our daily bread, for the rain and the dew that brings growth from a parched earth. We thank you for all the many ways you bless our lives. Thank you for being with us, in us, and all around us as we spend time physically separated from others. Be with all who have lost their homes in the California fires, and protect all those who are fighting the fires. May this day we spend time sitting quietly in your presence, reading your Word and listening to you speak to our hearts. Give us the grace to listen for your voice in the Words of Jesus, and recognize your Son and our Messiah as he comes to us in the silence. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord we pray. Amen
Gracious God, We give you thanks with our whole heart for all the blessings of being your children, and sharing the joy of relationship in you with others. Give us the qualities of character we need to do what you have put us here to be and do in your name. May your Spirit lead and guide us to the works of grace you desire for each of us this day. As we continue to work from home and share your love with others via virtual communication we give thanks to you for increasing our faith and strength of soul. In the name of Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.
Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and those who live on it will die like gnats; but my salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never be ended. Isaiah 51:6
These words from the prophet Isaiah were spoken to a people who were coming out of exile and returning to Israel. They are in the same geographical area, Mesopotamia, where Abraham and Sarah began their faith journey. They are starting over, which shows how far backwards the Israelites have gone. When they look backwards in their history they see people like Abraham and Sarah and many others who were strong, but when they look at themselves they see they have become weak in their faith and in living out their faith. But in looking back to some of their ancestors they gain some encouragement for their future.
God tells them to also look up to the heavens and down at the earth. These are things that all human beings take for granted. We just rely on them to always be there, but God says even these things we depend on will change. Yet God assures them, “My salvation will be forever, and my deliverance will never end.” Sometimes it seems like everything is in flux in our lives and in our world, changing so fast that we can’t keep up, or adjust.
With the onset of COVID-19 and its devastation, with millions of people dying and so many terribly ill, I wonder if we have taken good health and health care for granted just as we take the solid earth beneath us, or the sun coming up in the morning. God is saying to us today, as well as to the exiles in Isaiah’s day, that we can only depend on God and look ahead to God’s faithfulness.
I am surrounded by people in our twin communities of Bryan-College Station, Texas who have the coronavirus and many have died. Businesses have been forced to close, and many who are still open are losing money because of declining business. Many people are out of work, and do not know when they can return to work. Many are becoming homeless. Schools are struggling to discover how to educate our children and youth. Everything is in flux and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. We need to hear and trust in the message of God that Isaiah brings today. God’s salvation will be forever and God’s deliverance/faithfulness will never end. We need to act on that faith that God is our deliverer.
Perhaps it would be good for us to remember how our ancestors must have felt when they left their homeland to come to a land they had never seen. They must have depended on God for their deliverance. All those who put whatever they could haul in a covered wagon and made their way to new lands from the east coast to the west coast of our nation must have trusted in God’s deliverance/faithfulness. We too can trust in God for our deliverance. God is calling us to bring God’s Grace and love and assistance to all we can so that others come to know and believe in God’s faithfulness.
1. How can you be involved in helping those who need assistance?
2. How can you be God’s Hands in God’s work of deliverance?
3. What is God laying on your heart to do to help others know God’s faithfulness/deliverance?
Loving God, help us to see and understand that living in your Spirit is being a part of all that is, for you are God of all. and in all. In that awareness we pray for all who are suffering, all who are living in fear of COVID-19, all who are struggling with loneliness, loss of income, returning to school and learning in new ways, or mourning the loss of a loved one or friend. Increase our unity of spirit and soul in prayer and study of your Word, as we struggle at being physically separated from others. In Jesus Holy name we pray. Amen.
Heavenly Father, during these days give us the wisdom to persevere in the chances and changes of life, so that we recognize that you are always there with us even when we cannot see or feel your presence. In the solitude of our homes grant us a sense of the church universal, so that we can be surrounded by the communion of saints during this time of sheltering in. Watch over all who are infected with the corona virus and bring healing and comfort to each one. In the name of our Lord Jesus we pray. Amen.
Lord God, as our Shepherd may your strong hands ever lift us from our sinful straying ways. Keep reading the deepest longings of our hearts, and encourage us to abandon all our ways of rebellion, living only for ourselves and not caring for others first. Help us to assist our brothers and sisters in ways that lift them up spiritually and encourages them in faithfulness to you. Seek us out of our hiding and lost places and lead us to pastures of peace and safety. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Loving Father, when all the world seems threatened by evil and a deadly coronavirus, remind us of your protection, your love for all people and your creation. When we take justice into our own hands, help us to remember that we risk committing further injustice and destroying what you sent your Son to redeem. Keep us from dealing with others in harsh ways and cruel actions, and lead us to reflect your love, your patience, your gentleness even when evil threatens to engulf us. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
Father in heaven, as young Solomon prayed for wisdom so we ask for wisdom and understanding to live in our time so we can bless those around us. Replace our earthly wisdom that tears down, with your wisdom which encourages and strengthens our faith and witness to your love and forgiveness. Fill us with your peace and give us grateful hearts so that we share the goodness of your love and mercy with those around us. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Giving and forgiving God, we pray for forgiveness of our tendency toward favoritism. Help us not to befriend only those who can benefit us, but to give openly to others as you give to us. Give us the courage to reach out to those with whom we may feel uncomfortable. Remind us that you sacrificed your Son for all humanity and continue to minister to all. Teach us to accept all with your grace and love as Christ has accepted us, and spare us from being judgmental and looking down on those with whom we disagree. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.