Tag Archives: prayer

A Fourth Wave Prayer for Pastors

Loving Father,

As the Psalmist invites us, we enter your courts with thanksgiving. However, if we are honest, we also enter your courts exhausted and with a limp.  This season has been hard.  This fourth wave and its restrictions (including people’s reactions to them) will be the most challenging yet.  Although the previous waves were difficult, many of us felt like we got a glimpse of momentum over the last couple of weeks only to have it eclipsed by recent (needed) public health measures.  Although we may understand the importance of these measures as we partner with other sectors of society (loving our neighbours in the process), it doesn’t make it easy.

As shepherds and leaders of your flock, many of our people are tired, frustrated, anxious, and stressed.  We have healthcare workers who are exhausted, business owners who are devastated, parents who are stressed, and others who are extremely angry at the government and their decisions (some believing they didn’t do enough early enough and others believing that they are doing too much).  We need your wisdom, strength, and resolve to lead our hurting, diverse, and, at times, divided and disgruntled congregations. 

Therefore, as we lead through the fourth wave of Covid, may you grant us…

Persistence like Noah, who built an ark while enduring ridicule and abandonment of others. 

Faith like Abraham, who despite not seeing any sign of hope, trusted in you. 

Resolve like Moses, who led your people out of slavery only to have them grumble and complain the entire way. 

Ears like Elijah, who heard your voice not in the earthquake and wind, but in the still small voice. 

Heart like David, who, although deeply flawed and riddled with errors of judgement, sought after you. May we have the humility to regularly ask you to search our hearts and test our motives so we never confuse leadership resolve with prideful arrogance.

Peace like Silas, who was able to sleep in a prison cell while facing a very uncertain future. 

Trust like Paul, who led some of the most dysfunctional churches in history and did it with eyes firmly fixed on you.  May we have an abiding trust in you as we lead our churches in a way that decouples our identity from their “success.”

Jesus, you are the head of the Church and so we rest in your leadership, goodness, and grace.  If the last twenty months have taught us anything, you are good and you will see us through! Therefore, lead us into the future with persistence, faith, resolve, listening ears, soft hearts, supernatural peace, and abiding trust.

You have called us, you are faithful, and you will do it (1 Thess. 5:24)!

In your glorious name, Amen!

A Medical Grade Covid-19 Prayer


You are our Good Shepherd and we are your sheep.  As you lead us and we look ahead, the path seems uncertain and perilously dark.  Yet, we embrace your promise that we do not have to fear because You are with us (Psalm 23).  Although you never promised we will avoid pain, sickness, death, nor the ominous shadow it casts, you do promise to always be with us and because of that, we don’t have to be afraid.

As a result, we courageously march ahead into this microscopic war with its macroscopic implications.  The toll on human life is growing exponentially and we pray for those on the front lines of this battle.

We pray for the victims, especially those in hospitals, under the compassionate and skilled care of our medical professionals.  We pray for their recovery and for their peace.  As they suffer alone and, sadly, as some die away from the comforting embrace and physical presence of their family and loved ones, may you be their comfort in their pain.  We pray for all those who will labour for their last breath, may they know and embrace Jesus as their Saviour and Lord. 

We pray for the victims in this microscopic war.  Lord, have mercy!

We also pray for all the health care workers who are caring for the sick and dying with courage and strength.  Thank you for these brave men and women who are physically caring for these individuals.  This war is such that the victims are not on a battlefield geographically far away but in our local hospitals in isolation beyond our ability to physically comfort.  It is heartbreaking!  Our health care professionals are not just physically caring for our loved ones but holding their hands for us and telling them they are not alone.

Although this is not a war of ethical ambiguity.  Whether one is a pacifist or not, the decision of whether to fight this war is clear.  Although entering this war may not be ethically complicated, the war itself is.  For health care professionals it is filled with ethical challenges and conundrums.  With very limited resources, difficult decisions have to be made.  We can’t imagine the emotional and physical strain this would cause a human who entered a profession with a desire to heal.  Would you give each of them the wisdom of Solomon and the clarity of conscience as they practice their profession with compassion.  These are perilous times with impossible decisions, and we need you, Jesus!

Protect these health care workers who will rush the front line of an unseen enemy without either the defensive or offensive weapons needed.  With lack of Personal Protective Equipment, ventilators and therapies, this is a battle like none other.  Protect them as they courageously and vulnerably fight on our behalf!

We pray for those on the front lines of this war.  Lord, have mercy!

God, we pray for a vaccine and therapies to be developed and deployed in the days to come.  For all the scientists working in laboratories around the world, give them strength, clarity, and ingenuity.  You often work through human minds and hands, so we pray that you would use their collective and cooperative ability to find the therapies and vaccines needed in this battle.

We pray for the end of this war.  Lord, have mercy!

As we all do our part to shelter at home and give our medical professionals and scientists the time to effectively care for the sick and find a cure to this disease, may you help us to endure this storm as a society.  We pray for every relationship impacted by this.  We are all broken and during times like these, the cracks in our brokenness are split wide open.  We specifically pray for all those in the scourge of abuse.  For spouses, children, and other vulnerable people in the evil clutches of abusive relationships and with nowhere to go, God have mercy and protect all those who are imprisoned in their home.  May they find rescue and protection from their abusers.

We pray for the protection of our population as we shelter at home.  Lord, have mercy!

We also pray for every student trying to figure out how to learn from home in a new environment.  We especially pray for those younger students where the curriculum and social skills don’t transfer as easily from the physical classroom to a home and virtual one.  Help our educators in this adjustment and the parents who are trying to help their children grow and develop socially and academically, all while juggling other responsibilities.

We pray for our educators, parents and kids in this season.  Lord, have mercy!

We pray for all those who are fighting the war as essential workers.  They are the vital supply line in this war.  Often barely making a living wage, these individuals are risking their own safety so we can have food, utilities and needed services during this time.  Protect them and bless them as they serve us.  May they know the impact of their sacrifice and be celebrated as heroes in a society that often overlooks their important contribution to our societal fabric 

We pray for our essential workers: bless them and protect them.  Lord, have mercy!

This will be a long and drawn-out war with many direct and indirect victims and we need your strength, perseverance, guidance and peace.  May you help us in this war and may we fight it with love and compassion.

Lord, have mercy!

In the name of Jesus, the Great Physician, Amen!

An Honest COVID-19 Pastor’s Prayer

Gracious Father,

We need you! Overnight everything changed and we are lost, confused and trying to find our way. We entered uncharted waters, were given new boats to navigate (online ministry platforms) and there is a viral storm brewing on the horizon. We don’t know what the future will bring but we trust You are with us.

As such, we embrace the peace-filled promise that You have sent the Holy Spirit to comfort, lead and empower us and we embrace that truth as a precious gift. Tenaciously gripping onto that promise, we pray, not as a last resort but a first response. In situations like these, our weaknesses and frailty are laid bare and we have no other response but to desperately seek and call on you.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter the viral storm ahead, we as church leaders and pastors need creativity in ministry. If necessity is the mother of invention, then You are its father. We need your guidance and wisdom to adopt new practices and to do so critically and responsibly. Technology is not neutral, so give us eyes to see below the veneer of pragmatism and into the heart of impact.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter the viral storm ahead, we need to lead, plan and administrate well. This is going to be an all hands-on deck season. We need your empowerment to effectively organize the hands on the deck but also do so in ways that effectively help and not, unintentionally, hurt. Give us Your wisdom and empowerment to love and care for people in this season.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter the viral storm ahead, we need the courage to make tough decisions. There will be many as we begin to triage limited resources in the midst of overwhelming need. We need your wisdom and empowerment to do this well.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter the viral storm ahead, we need the energy to meet the impending demands that will exceed our capacity. With limited resources, limited experience, limited energy, we will humbly and desperately need your strength, wisdom and courage for the storm ahead.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter the viral storm ahead, we need your peace to reign in our hearts as fear rolls in. May you grant us the peace that passes all understanding and the joy that is complete in you. The journey ahead will be difficult, but you will be with us!

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter the viral storm ahead, we need Your words because ours are not enough. We need you to give us words of truth, hope and comfort. Our human ability will be dwarfed by the enormity of the situation and we need your words of truth, comfort and hope in this storm.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter into the viral storm ahead, empower us to courageously lead Your Church on the rescue mission you have given us. In a season where people will naturally move to self-protection, empower us to boldly lead into Your mission to seek and save the lost. For the church, this is not the time to hunker down and hide our light under a bowl, but the time shine it like a searchlight to those who are overwhelmed by fear, sharing the way, the truth and the life (abundant and eternal), Jesus.

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

As we enter into the viral storm on the horizon, we tenaciously hold on to you, tune our ears to your voice, and embrace Your promises of giving wisdom without finding fault, peace that passes all understanding, and strength for the journey. You are with us and you will not fail!

Come Lord Jesus, Come. Have mercy on us!

In Jesus name, Amen.

A Personal Prayer in a Global Crisis

Gracious Father,

Our world is in distress. Our world is in crisis. My heart is confused. My heart is broken.

I wrestle with hatred, the need for vengeance, and the desire to turn my back on the those in need with calculated apathy. Yet, I know that You and Your kingdom are real, beautiful and more powerful than anything I can even imagine, so I pray this prayer with faith and hope:

God, I pray for the unfathomable amount of refuges who are desperately fleeing terror and unspeakable horror into the unknown, away from everything and everyone they know. You are not ignorant to this Jesus. In fact, this is part of your incarnational story – a child en route with His teenage parents as refugees in Northern Africa, escaping tyranny and the impending slaughter of innocent children in Israel. May the refugees of our world find Jesus as their Comforter, Saviour and Lord in the midst of their desperation and may the Church of Christ love, welcome and embrace through radical hospitality those who are experiencing the terror of war. May I have the courage and generosity to feed the hungry, give a cup of cold water, and even the shirt off my back to those in need. These are not simply Your poetic words of suggestion but Your profound call for my life. As I love, may others see the love of You, Jesus, in my words and in my deeds.

Change me, Jesus!

God, may you teach me what it truly means to love my enemy. I admit, this has been a foreign and largely theoretical reality for me in North America. It is easy to say, “I love my enemy” in times of security but in the face of fear, it is proving to be extremely difficult. Your call for me to love is beyond my ability. I am not entirely sure how to love my enemy but I know it doesn’t look like apathy, fear, scarcity, prejudice, malice, revenge or hatred.

Change me, Jesus!

God, may you teach me to love my neighbour as the Good Samaritan did – loving my profoundly different neighbour in practical, costly and inconvenient ways. Help me to love those who profess belief in a different god, religion or ideology as I do. You never gave exceptions or exclusions to love! Forgive me for doing so in my actions and inactions to those who are different from me.

Change me, Jesus!

God, help me pastor and parent in the midst of brokenness. Help me lead the church in radical love of the other, different, immigrant, broken, lost, refugee, etc. Help me lead your church with wisdom, mercy, grace and lavish love. Help me parent my children who are learning how to navigate this world as followers of you, Jesus. May they see from my example, someone who loves like You, even in the face of fear.

Change me, Jesus!

God, as I look into the world you profoundly love, watch the news on TV, browse my Facebook feed, or read internet comments, I am reminded that our world isn’t much different than the one you found yourself in two thousand years ago. The idea of loving our enemy, the religiously different, those who hurt us, and those we are afraid of, are the very ideas that took large crowds of Your followers and left You with a small few – it is hard teaching. It is easy to say I will love all when I am not afraid, but when fear grips my heart, help me to love all – even my enemy.

Change me, Jesus!

Change me, Jesus! By the power of the Holy Spirit, change me!

May I have the strength, courage and boldness to storm the gates of hell with the advancing weapons of truth, love, compassion, forgiveness, mercy and grace – as I do, may I have the confidence to know your promise that the gates of hell will not prevail.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.