Father, today I offer you this prayer. For it is one year on. One whole year since our land went into lockdown.
Father, today I pray for those on the frontline. However they serve, Abba. Whether they are doctors or nurses, dentists or paramedics. Whatever their role – and there are too many to list and some about which I do not know. Abba, thank you for these dedicated men and women, many of whom have given their all – their very lives – for us. Lord Jesus you said ‘Greater love has no one than that they lay down their life for their friends.’ And many of these people have shown their love and given their lives. Many today are exhausted, grieving, not sure how they are going to go on. Father, whether they know you or not, encompass them in your love today. Strengthen them, encourage them and give them hope. Hold your love light high, Abba, that they may be able to go forward. Be with the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Comfort and console them, Abba. Bless them for their dedication.
I pray for those who teach every day. Faced with uncertainty – will they be teaching in the class room tomorrow or online? The preparation required for both options is different. Learners who do not have access to online learning need help to be brought up to date. And there is always the risk that one of the children – just one – in a class may be asymptomatic or carrying the virus but not yet showing symptoms. Protect every teacher, Abba. Give them the energy, the love, the will to do their work to the best of their ability. Help them to help their learners. Help them to help their own children who will also be home-schooling. Bless them for their dedication.
I lift to you the shopkeepers, the taxi drivers, those who work in the hospitality industry or any other sector that has been affected by the limitations set upon us. Anyone who works in a public space. Father, many of these people do not know whether they will be exposed to the virus on a moment to moment basis. Be with them, Lord as they serve other people.
I pray for the sick – whether from the virus or other illnesses. Abba, touch them with your healing hand. Be with those who care for them in their homes – often not natural nurses but caring because they are family members. Ease pain, clear chests, give peace. Whatever the need, Lord, let each one become aware of your loving presence with them.
I pray for those who have lost loved ones, jobs, hope, companionship. For the destitute, the hopeless, the lonely. Abba, you are all in all. I pray that each one who is grieving may turn to you and call on you. Jesus, Jesus. May you be their consolation, their provider, their friend, their hope.
Lord, there are so many needs. You know what they are. You hear the cries of our hearts. And you are here. Willing to help, to console, to love. May this coming year be a time when people turn to you in their need and may your kingdom come in their lives.
And yet – in spite of all this – you have blessed us. We may need to look for small blessings. We may have been granted amazing blessings. But you have promised you will never leave those who follow you, and however we may feel at this moment in time, we know that you are here. Help us to turn back to you.
Lord, show us how to share you with the world. Help us to be your hands and feet. Be our light, our guide, our hope. Lord God, hear our prayer and let our cry come to you.
And for the coming year – whatever it may hold – may we worship you, King of kings, Lord of lords, for we are yours and you are our God.