MSU stopped in-person classes yesterday, has been encouraging students to leave campus and return to their permanent residence, and has been cancelling gatherings of large groups of people. Most of us are a bit overwhelmed and still processing the concrete implications of this for our lives, while also being uncertain of what will happen in the next few weeks.
In thankfulness for and solidarity with the prayers that people are already offering throughout the world and in response to everything related to the coronavirus, I lift up this prayer:
Almighty God, we pray
- For those who are sick. That they might have knowledge of their illness, courage in isolation, healing, and the means to limit the spread of the disease.
- that you might sovereignly move in mercy to spare lives. May there be effective measures to limit the virus’s spread, the quick development of a vaccine, and may You guard against mutations.
- For wisdom for leaders on our campus and throughout the country and world. May all those who are responsible for cancelling events and/or closing schools, at any level, have the courage and strength and help in making hard decisions requiring much wisdom.
- For Christians to walk in tangible faith and love, and be ready to share the good news of hope. For wisdom for faith communities as they know how best to respond and take care of people’s physical and emotional well-being.
- For a spiritual hunger, especially among those who do not know Jesus, during this time of social distance (and Your hand in guiding people and resources to them).
- For the vulnerable elderly, due to both the danger of the virus itself and the isolation they must endure.
- For all those in health care and research of disease, that they might have strength and wisdom. May they stay healthy.
- For those whose livelihoods are significantly affected, especially those in hospitality, the travel industry, and retail, where they bear some of the brunt of people’s anxiety.
- For professors (and staff and students) who are facing the daunting challenge of switching their classes online.
- For students whose lives and plans have been disrupted, especially those who will face difficulties in finishing their programs (e.g., because of cancelled recitals/shows) and seniors whose in-person college experience has suddenly and unexpectedly ended. We pray especially for students with complicated living and food situations or for whom it is unsafe to ‘go home.’
- For those who are no longer able to travel to check out grad programs or interview for a job; and the departments/programs as they find creative solutions to people not being able to travel;
- For those who have cancelled their trips, whether conferences or holidays.
- For those who are currently in a country that is not their home and unsure of where they ought to be.
- For those facing social isolation: we pray especially that families might grow through more time together and that there might be creative ways of helping those living alone deal with loneliness.
- For those facing discrimination as people take out their anxiety about possibly becoming sick.
- For those with unexpected time on their hands (especially those who were expecting to watch sports or travel), that they might use the time to be creative and to rest.
- For children and parents, and all living in close quarters, that we might have extra grace for each other, and appreciate and love each other.
With thanks to Chris Ahlin (who helps lead the MSU faculty and staff prayer gathering), for many of the words above.