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A prayer for a time of pandemic

Thursday, 9 April 2020  | Rebecca Forbes




God of all history,

Here we are. In it.

It’s always felt like we were just in normality. But today, in the empty streets and the empty supermarkets, it is undeniable that we are living in unusual times. Just like that cloud of witnesses we have only ever known through the retelling.

This world is being rocked. The assumptions of this moment are being shaken.

Tiny creatures we cannot control are mutating and our leaders are not omniscient.

Our infrastructure is not omnipotent.

Our resources cannot be omnipresent.

But you are.

Lord, I beg that the cracks will show in such places that those who put their trust in intelligence, in organisation, in wealth and in human cooperation will downgrade each of these from gods to the gifts of the one God.

That selfishness will not breed more selfishness. But instead, that it will kill the old lie that each of us is good already.

That we will see a revival. That out of this brokenness and fear will come the truest healing there is.

Reshape your people to this time, Lord. Use us, in spite of our inadequacies, to protect the vulnerable, love the frightened, stand against injustice and speak with clear voices of your peace and truth.

Protect us from the temptations of withdrawal, self-protection, disengagement. Protect us too from panic, morbid fascination and selfish pseudo-heroism.

Take our inadequate, grubby hands and walk us through the noise and darkness (or the uneasy quiet) to the cross. And then, there, at that place of suffering, love and renunciation, wash us clean and give us what we need to be your people here. To be your people now.

Give us compassion. Give us prayerfulness.

For yours are the people and yours are the days.

Amen


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