In this moment

A prayer for faith in the face of fear
Faithful God,
these are frightening times we find ourselves living through.
It’s like our whole world is on edge;
a massive cloud has descended,
casting a great shadow over all of life,
and hiding you from our sight.
Fear spreads faster than the virus itself;
manufacturing worry,
multiplying anxiety,
making us nervous.
We stumble along by faith and not sight,
not because you have told us to,
but because we have no choice.
It feels like treading a tightrope,
sometimes we gain balance as we look to you,
but more often we waver unsteadily,
swaying in the clamour of the latest news and views.
Like that father in the gospel,
bringing his son to be set free from the spirit which tormented him,
we do believe,
because you are God,
because you have never let us down,
because you have the words of eternal life;
yet we need you to help us overcome our unbelief,
because we do doubt,
because our minds race,
because our hearts wander.
So, enable us to have faith in you in the face of fear,
to know our days steadied by it,
to find the inward strengthening of our hearts by it,
to discover our lives showing and sharing it.
For we ask it, believing and not doubting,
in Jesus’ name.
Amen.

Sunday 10 May

VE DAY Sunday

On this Sunday when we mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day

  • Pray for those who work for peace and freedom throughout the world, that their efforts will bring an end to injustice and oppression.
  • Pray for ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland who serve as chaplains in the armed services on deployment at home and overseas, that their witness will be fruitful and effective.
  • Pray that as we remember the sacrifice and resilience of those who lived through the war years and the sense of closure and healing they experienced on VE Day, that our generation would be inspired in their ongoing resolve in facing the present pandemic crisis.

Monday 11 May

Global mission

  • Pray for PCI’s global mission workers, thanking God for his health and protection during the pandemic and asking his continued blessing upon their witness to the love of Christ despite the many limitations placed upon them during the current crisis.  
  • Pray for the work of PCI’s development partners Christian Aid Ireland and Tearfund, as they deliver coronavirus emergency initiatives amongst poor and vulnerable communities around the world. Remember Christian Aid Week (10–17 May), which this year has moved online, asking for generous giving despite our present difficult financial situation.

Tuesday 12 May

Care homes and hospital patients

  • Pray that as care homes become the new frontline in the battle against coronavirus, that God’s sheltering hand would be known among residents, his protection experienced by staff and his reassurance granted to family members unable to visit loved ones.
  • Pray for those in hospital at this time, whether suffering from coronavirus or battling other illnesses, that God’s presence would be very meaningful and real and that loved ones unable to visit would know his comfort, strength and peace.

Wednesday 13 May

Easing of restrictions of lockdown

  • Pray that as the focus moves from containment of the coronavirus to responsible lifting of lockdown restrictions, that decision makers will offer good leadership and that society will follow necessary ongoing restrictions with patience and perseverance.
  • Pray for businesses as they grapple with the need for modifications to working practices and conditions in the workplace, asking that God would give creativity and the ability to safely and flexibly begin to resume their work.

Thursday 14 May

Emergency services

  • Pray for first responders to those experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus in the ambulance and paramedic services, asking that God would use them to bring care and comfort to those experiencing illness and distress, while keeping them safe.
  • Pray for those serving in the PSNI and Garda Síochána, adjusting to new ways of policing, asking that they would continue to be able to help keep our communities safe and that God would protect them from the effects of coronavirus while they are serving the public.

Friday 15 May

Retail and manufacturing

  • Pray for retailers who provide us with essential items for everyday living, asking that God would help them overcome financial and staffing challenges caused by the pandemic’s interruption of the service they provide and begin to resume trading when the time is right.
  • Pray for the poor and vulnerable working in garment factories around the world who usually produce many of our clothes and are now being laid off without pay, asking that God would meet their needs and that the industry would find better, more just practices to reward their labour in future.

Saturday 16 May

University and students

  • Pray for universities and students asking that God would enable a good end to the academic year under unusual circumstances. Ask for a sense of God’s peace for graduates facing uncertainty about future employment prospects.
  • Pray for students and staff at Union Theological College as work continues to enable online assessment, asking God to give clarity and accuracy in final marking to reflect and reward a good year’s work interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.