March 23, 2020 Reflection by Fr. Jim King

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In an attempt to continue our communication with all of you during this time of uncertainty, Fr. George and I will be sending reflections and words of encouragement to you remotely a couple times each week. It’s important during this time of isolation and social distancing to stay connected as a parish family. So, to keep connected with you and equip you with ways for you and your family to stay focused on your spiritual well-being at this time, we will be sharing our thoughts with you.

Today, I wanted to pass along a nice prayer that came from a friend of mine, Fr. Elias Villas, who shared it on Facebook. I found it to be very helpful and comforting, so I wanted to pass it along to you. Please incorporate it into your daily prayer routine. May God continue to bless you at this time and may He keep you all safe and healthy.

With love in Christ,
+Fr. Jim

20 Prayers to Pray During this Pandemic:
1. For the sick and infected: Lord God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
2. For our vulnerable populations: Lord God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.
3. For the young and the strong: Lord God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.
4. For our local, state, and federal governments: Lord God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.
5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: Lord God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.
6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: Lord God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.
7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: Lord God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.
8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: Lord God, provide them every necessary support.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Lord God, Protect them from disease and provide isolation shelters in every city.
10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: Lord God, help them return home safely and quickly.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: Lord God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.
12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: Lord God, keep them from panic and inspire your church to generously support them.
13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: Lord God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.
14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: Lord God, present them with creative solutions.
15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: Lord God, help them to stay patient and positive.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: Lord God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.
17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: Lord God, help them to creatively pastor their congregants and minister to their cities well.
18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are cancelled, whose graduation is uncertain: Lord God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in You.
19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: Lord God, May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.
20. For frontline health care workers, we thank You for their vocational call to serve us. We also pray:
Lord our God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy. Lord our God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
Lord our God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic. Lord our God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
Lord our God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
Lord our God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
Lord our God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel.

Lord our God, we trust that You are good and do good. Teach us to be Your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus Christ Your Eternal Son, who laid down His life for the sake of love. Glorify His name as you equip us with everything needed to do Your will. Amen. (Composed by: Jen Pollock Michel)

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