Sometimes it is difficult to keep a prayer life going when trouble seems so extreme. It’s hard to know what language to use. Actually any language is fine: God understands English. One of the commonest prayers in the psalms boils down to ‘Help me’. But if you can’t think of what to say, there are some ideas below.
If you are ill yourself, remember that God is always with you. If illness makes prayer too great an effort, remember that God’s presence with you is in no way diminished by your inability to pray. Hold on to his name as you breathe in and out. In his final illness, Harold St John said, ‘I am too weak to pray, I am too tired to love Him much, but I’m just lying here, letting him love me.’
We cry out to you in this time of trouble.
Remember, and do not forget your people in their extremity.
Bless with wisdom and decisiveness those who lead us through this crisis.
Bless the work of scientists who search for a vaccine.
Bless all NHS staff. Bless all those who provide us with food. Bless all essential workers. Give them health, energy and endurance.
In your mercy, remember us all.
Help us to care for each other: for loved ones, brothers and sisters, neighbours and enemies.
Help us to find purposeful ways of using our time as we stay indoors.
O Lord hear our prayer and let our cry come to you.
Answer us from your holy hill.
In the name of our Lord Jesus who loved us and gave himself for us,
Dr Beth Dickson is Senior Lecturer in Glasgow University’s School of Education and is a Trustee of Partnership UK