Heavenly Father, you are the maker of heaven and earth. We marvel at your creation: the rebirth of the land after a long winter, the warm breezy days and cool nights of spring, trees and grass showing their first colours and buds for the new season’s growth. We are grateful that you have made us in your image for you are the God of all comfort, the God of compassion. We celebrate your abundant goodness, mercy and grace. Out of our thankfulness we proclaim all your wonderful deeds.
Father, we know you never promised to spare us from every terrible thing we face in this world – its trials, sorrows and pain. Rather, you promised to be with us when we are confronted by these trials. We are lifted out of our pain by our relationship with Christ, who suffered and died so that we could have eternal life. Help us refocus our attention on you, Lord, the mystery and magnificence of your power in our lives. We can see this magnificence in the beauty of nature, the laugh of a child, and the love that bonds us together. You have given us everything we need to be whole in the face of brokenness.
Times of revelation
We pray for this world, O God. We are terrified by a new virus racing through humanity. Our world has changed and many believe we are being offered a glimpse into the abyss. We face a global mortality rate that is unprecedented and it is easy to give into fear.
“Who do we turn to when
all the vain things that charm us most,
the things about which we would easily boast
are only now a reluctant sacrifice
artifacts of our misbegotten pride
His blood flowed down
from a thorned crown
a life given in exchange for mine
love so amazing, so divine
a life that was given for me, though small
Demands my soul, my life, my all”
– When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, by Isaac Watts.
Teach us not to give in to the great merchant of fear and his agents here on earth. We live in apocalyptic times, times of revelation, the time that shows us where we fit into the story of creation when we ultimately take our place with you in the room you have prepared for us. We are daily given glimpses into the new heaven and the new earth and need only focus on the coming kingdom to surely set aside our fears.
We pray for your children who work in health care and pray for an extra measure of protection over them and their families. We pray for the researchers who work to find the key to minimizing the effects and an eventual vaccine against this virus. Give them strength and insight, make clear the necessary science and knowledge to overcome this virus. Be with those who have fallen ill and their families who fear the worst. We pray for your comfort and healing. We pray for our governments and our leadership who have been tasked with making decisions affecting nations.
Blessings of strength
Lord, hear our prayers for your blessings on the pastors and musicians who prepare and participate in online worship this week. Guide and inspire our leaders in these special activities and also those who lead and participate in programs that seek to keep us together in faith. We ask a blessing on the lives of all in our church families. Blessings of faith, blessings of fidelity, blessings of strength, blessings of health, blessings of courage, blessings of discernment and wisdom.
We ask you to go with us this Good Friday as we journey the road to Golgotha with our brother Jesus. His victory has been foretold from the beginning.
May we go with the joy in anticipation of the risen Christ, the assurance of his victory over sin and death and the peace of his reign.