O God our Healer, as the coronavirus continues to spread, come to our aid and support us. May those who are working on a vaccine discover one with a high percentage of prevention. Heal all those who are sick and give support to their families. Help us to be cautious, attentive and positive as we face these times and conditions. Jesus was lifted up that we might be lifted up each day. May we, in whatever way possible, lift up others pointing them to Jesus and encouraging them in your way. Bestow your grace on us so that we can continue Jesus’ healing ministry with others. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.
Eternal God, your Word tells us that “for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Today, we hold onto you for strength, comfort, faith and hope. Walk with us today and strengthen our faith, so that we may comfort others. Fill us with the joy of your presence and the hope of a new day when we will once again know some sense of normalcy on our pilgrimage through this world. With a sure faith in you O Lord, who gives what is good, may we share your love, hope and joy with all we meet this day. We pray in Jesus name. Amen.
Gracious and loving God, there is none like you. You are “our refuge and strength and a very present help in trouble.” We thank you for the strength of your steadfast love that upholds us and gives us support during these days of illness and the death of so many people throughout the world. We thank you for your love which communicates to each of us how much you love all people, and how you grieve with us at the death of each friend and loved one. You, O Lord, revive our hope and give us faith to walk in the power of your love. We rejoice in your presence, and the strength you provide. We give thanks that you continue to be our strength through these days of trouble. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Loving Father, Keep our steps steady in times of change. May all our sadness be turned into dancing, and our mourning into singing praises to you. Knowing that you are present in our world guiding us toward healing and hope, the joy of your presence and our salvation strengths us. Make your face shine upon us as a medicine for our tears and our fears. Put joyful songs of praise in our mouths and your Spirit in our hearts to set us on the path of faith, assurance and service to others. In the name of our Lord and Savior we pray. Amen.
Lord God of all creation, as we begin this new week, may we be remember that the deliverance of your servants throughout history was always because of your faithfulness and love. Help us to not sink into fear but have faith in your deliverance, and help us remember that you are always near. May we feel your steadfast love that you shower upon us in our fear. Remembering that the resurrection of your Son swallows up death and darkness, our hearts and lives are turned to the light of day. May that light of love grow within us and guide us through the darkness of our trouble times. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Walking With Jesus
Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Matthew 14:28-31
Have you ever noticed that it’s often in the most challenging times of life that we sense God’s presence most clearly? That seemed to be true for Peter and the disciples who remained in the boat in the middle of a storm that day. The only time God comes to us is not just when we are in trouble or feel that things are beyond our control. Oh no. God comes to us even when we are not aware of his presence. However, when we experience difficult trials and challenges in life it seems to clear up our priorities and cut through some of the many distractions of our everyday life. That seems to be when we see God more clearly. Perhaps we rely to much on safety and stability for an abundant life. Most of us spend a lot of time and energy trying to establish a safe, stable, and secure life for ourselves and our families. But so often we see our ordinary achievements as stability, and we forget how much a part of our lives God is and desires to be. Then when tragedy strikes in the form of illness or job loss or the end of a relationship or some other tragedy we suddenly recognize that we need for God.
When I was in seminary my husband lost his job with a company he had been with for twenty-two years, he started up a new business and in three months he had a heart attack. We both felt that the odds were totally against us ever recovering all the losses, especially his health. I felt I needed to quit seminary where I was spending four days a week, and come home to work full time at the University where I still was teaching part time. I felt I was needed at home to help keep some stability in our lives. We prayed together about this and after the prayer he looked at me and said, “You know Sue, I believe that God will get us through this. I feel that God will heal me, and I know that you need to be in seminary right now. Please, do not quit.” His reassurance of God’s caring presence in our lives was so strong that it boosted my faith as well, and he was right. God did strengthen and heal him and his faith and my faith grew stronger in the process. His new business grew and I finished my studies in seminary, and was called as a pastor. It was a time that felt much like Peter sinking in the waves because of his fear and Jesus reaching out to save him.
I am sure that you have had frightening times in your life as well. It may be now with the threat of a deadly virus that is lurking in places we cannot see. Whatever the moment, when we submit totally to the fears that threaten our lives, and lose sight of Jesus, we only need to call out to God who will be there with a helping hand to pull us up out of our fear. He will be there to walk the waves with us, and we will know that He is God and we need Him every day and every hour of our lives. Just as Jesus reassured the disciples in the boat and reached out to hold of Peter from sinking, so also God will respond to us with compassion and support. He urges us to “take heart and have faith in Him at all times.”
1. When have you felt that you were sinking and called out for God to save you?
2. What is your story of learning how to trust God in all circumstances?
3. How can you have that same faith every day regardless of whether things are running smoothly or there is tragedy, trial or devastating condition
Dear Father in heaven, as your Son reached out to save Peter from sinking in the raging waves, reach out to those who are sinking today in fear, and despair. Fill us with your Holy Spirit that we will boldly reach out to others who need to see Jesus in the midst of their suffering, fear, loneliness and disappointment. Fill us with the assurance of your love, forgiveness and mercy we pray, in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.
God of hope, the reality of so many losses that people are experiencing during this pandemic leaves me speechless in knowing how to bring comfort to those who are suffering. My words seem inadequate, and I am left with only the hope that my prayers for them bring comfort and healing, and the small acts of assistance give them support. O God, we wait patiently for you to bring comfort and healing to all who are ill and to the hearts and lives that are broken. We wait in trust and hope for your divine healing, for your Word tells us that “All who wait upon the Lord will be rewarded.” In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Gracious Heavenly Father, your love for the world and all its people strengthens my hopes for a new time when corona virus is under control. I pray for you to strengthen and encourage those who are working on a serum for this pandemic. Help us to wait with care, continue to live in protective ways, pray for those who are ill, and help to serve all who are infected. Fill us with your love so that we may share your grace and mercy with others. Give us patience and wisdom to prayerfully live through these days. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Loving God, we know that if we follow close to you, nothing shall be able to separate us from your love. We know that our feet are prone to wander, and our hearts are prone to hardness. Give us the grace today to make your word our home, so that we may know you more clearly and serve you more completely. Keep our feet on your path of love and service and keep our hearts burning with your Spirit. In Jesus Holy name we pray. Amen.