Prayer for Worship Shared Online

God, this is our first or second
or maybe third online worship day,
and we are grateful
to those first century writers,
Paul, James, Jude,
maybe Peter, Priscilla,
who sent letters to congregations,
and began the holy tradition
of remote worship,
the live stream of a live Savior.

Those letter writers have blessed us
ever since that time
and now they guide us into
our new way of being the community
at prayer and praise.
Even our communion liturgy
comes in part from Paul’s
holy and somewhat irritated feed
to the church in Corinth.

And, so, we ask your blessing
on all the ways we try to be church,
grateful for the new gifts of technology,
the old gifts of scripture,
the deep well of shared prayer,
and the Spirit which always
blows where it will

and translates into all languages
the words of our mouths
and the meditations of our hearts.

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Prayer for employment in the time of coronavirus

Christ who loved carpenters,
fisher folk, farmers,
fabric merchants, shepherds, and scribes,
we pray for those who are losing jobs
because of the pandemic —

those in the airline industry and hospitality,
those in restaurants and retail stores
of every kind,
those in local and interstate
those in cinemas, live music,
theatres, sports complexes,
local gyms, exercise studios,

school custodians and coaches,
university dieticians,
barbers and hairdressers,
personal trainers and receptionists,

museum docents,
and those involved in manufacturing
of so many products.

We pray for those whose jobs
have become dangerous
because of direct risk of infection,
or equally direct risks
of fear, addiction, frustration,

those who serve a vulnerable population
in residential facility,
therapeutic service,
correctional institution,

and surely we pray for framers, upon whom
so many others depend.

For those whose work hours and loads
have increased, we pray,
as well as many
who are dealing with a public
often ready to vent an internalized anger
on the inconvenience
of a long line or a missing product.

For those who are hunting
for a way to work from home
or wondering
whether they will lose their home,
we pray for refuge.

We pray for those who miss their work
or miss their volunteering
who miss colleagues or customers
audiences or clients.

On this Saturday,
we pray for all of those who suddenly
don’t welcome the weekend.

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Prayer for those who need meetings

God, in a world where many groan
at the mere mention of another meeting,
and take a tiny secret relief
in missing them
during this time of quarantine,

I pray for those of us
who need our meetings,
with their imperfect twelve steps
and their chips and slogans —
AA, AlAnon, NA, OA,
Gamblers Anonymous, and many others,
with other shapes and formats —
support groups, recovery groups,
survivors’ groups, Alzheimer’s cafes
all the meetings of hope.

Sometimes the online versions
are simply not anonymous enough,
or not human enough.

We are experts at social outcasting,
but social distance is hard.
We could meet outside of
shut churches and community centers,

but they have closed all the coffee shops
and left the liquor stores open.

Be with us, God,
(who so often feel like your least
and your lost,)
not just one day at a time
but now one person at a time.

Some days these prayers are for everyone and some days they are for very specific people. Blessings for those, including myself, for whom this prayer is very real. May we all keep on keeping on.

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Guest Posts — Tracy Howe … song — Neighborhood Song COVID19


Be blessed my friends by singing with Tracy out your window, in your home, everywhere you are!  In English and in Spanish Maren

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Pity-Party in a Pandemic

God, hear our whines:
Some of us are really disappointed
that we had to cancel a trip
or annoyed at a quarantine birthday.

Some of us had Broadway tickets,
were going to play in March Madness,
had amazing spring break plans,
or wanted to savor special moments
at the end of senior year.

Some of us are really, really lonely
(but nothing help-worthy is wrong)
and some of us
could really, really k…
use some time away from our kids.

We are cranky and disappointed.

But we cannot really say so —
when people are grieving or ill,
losing their employment,
working tirelessly in medical facilities,
responding to crises,
creating vaccines,
making decisions for cities or schools
businesses, entertainment venues
churches or whole countries.

We should be praying in intercession
for all the important things,
not holding tight to the last
box of wipes and frozen pizza
for our petty pity-party.

But you have always called
our whining — psalms.
You let us pound
the small fists of our frustration
against your strong and gentle love,
not pushing us to “amen”
until we’ve finished everything
we need to let go.

Thank you. Amen.

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Poems and Prayers in a Lent of Coronavirus — Sometimes just something a little light …

John wrote later and forgot some of the details

Well remembered is the young boy
with his small lunch
who found his way to Andrew,
who brought him to Jesus,
when they were far
from the nearest dwelling.
Jesus sat the crowd on the ground

Irish soda bread — would take a miracle to share among too many

and fed them generously
both bread and fish.

John’s account missed
how later, full and ready to listen,
collecting all the leftovers
the crowd seemed twitchy.

It was an older woman
who came to Andrew and said,
“see if the teacher
can do anything with this.”
And she handed him
one roll of toilet paper.

A conversation of companion animals

But it is my bed in the daytime

Said the labradoodle to the beagle —
“If you asked me last week,
I would have said the most wonderful
thing in all the world
would be if the people never left the house.”

Replied the beagle,
“Petted us all day, woke us up to play
when we were trying to sleep,
noticed what we got into …”

“What we chewed …”

“Sat in our afternoon sun …”

Commented the Siamese,
“Careful what you wish for.”

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The Deer`s Cry in a Time of Quarantine (for St. Patrick’s Day)

We arise today
Through God’s shelter to steady us —
God’s hope to lead us, God’s wisdom calm us,
God’s eye to find the smallest home from school,
God’s ear to hear the oldest afraid to go out,
God’s word in our prayers,
God’s hands in our washing,
God’s way in our cancelling,
God’s shield in our quarantine,
God’s saints to remind us, long ago and now,
when we are alone or among others.

Christ hear our cry, like the cry of the deer today
against the passage of this illness.
Christ be with each of us
that we may become a community.

Christ before us when we are tempted to hoard,
Christ behind all who seek a vaccine,
Christ in those who care for the sick,
Christ beneath those who have lost their work,
Christ above those who are grieving.

Christ in China, Christ in Italy,
Christ in Iran, Christ in South Korea,
Christ in Washington, New York, California.
Christ across all the globe
and Christ in every neighborhood.
Christ on the right hand of loss,
Christ on the left hand of recovery.

Christ in the heart of everyone filled with fear,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks comfort,
Christ in the eyes that notice a need for help,
Christ in the ear that listens to a neighbor.

We arise today through a mighty strength
to live as God’s people in a time of pandemic.

Often called The Cry of the Deer or St. Patrick’s Breastplate this prayer is attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints whose special day is March 17. Many versions have varying length. I have taken the shortest and most simple for today. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for protection.

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