After an unexpected hiatus from writing, I’m back and pleased to share some prayers I have written. Please feel free to use these prayers in your personal devotions or in a worship setting.
Image of Wesley the Dog. He large and fluffy with soulful eyes.
Introduction: I am sad to say that my beloved Tinkerbell passed away during Lent this year. Although my writing goal for this year was to post every month, I was not able to find the strength to write anything other than sermons for a long time.
My beloved Tinkerbell was my friend and companion for over fifteen years. She was a tiny dog with the heart of a great wolf. I still miss her every day.
However, God is good and merciful. As the days pass, God is slowly binding up the wounds in my heart. He has also sent me a furry angel to help with the healing process. I cannot have children of my own (and my husband and I are not yet at a point in our lives where we are ready to adopt a human child) so we adopted Wesley the Dog from Pets Come First in State College, Pennsylvania. He is a large, fluffy, boy with big brown eyes. It is good to have something to love and nurture.
Wesley was found wandering in the woods. He was so frightened that he had to be humanely trapped. When the kind volunteers at Pets Come First were finally able to catch him, they discovered that he was all covered with ticks and that he had Lyme Disease. They got him the medical care he needed and he is now part of our family.
Despite the challenges that Wesley faced in his short life, he remains such a sweet and gentle soul. He even gets along well with Zeus the Cat. I am so grateful that God gives us the gift of animals to be our companions in life.
I am slowly starting to write again, and I can’t think of a better way to get back into blogging than by sharing some prayers. I am inviting my congregations to join in what we are calling a “Summer of Prayer.” Each week, there will be a prayer concern and suggested prayer. I hope you find the following helpful! Please feel free to adapt these prayers to fit your own personal devotions or for your own worship setting.
Week of July 3: Prayer Concern—Our Country and Service Men and Women
O God of Every Nation, we give You thanks that we live in a land where we are able to gather for worship and to praise Your Holy Name. We pray for our siblings in Christ who live in places where it is unsafe to worship you. Please grant safety and comfort to all of those who serve in the armed forces. May they return home to their families. Please also give comfort to all veterans and their families. O Lord, help us to find solace in the sacred truth that true freedom comes from the love of Christ, who died to set us free from sin. Help us to spread the love of Christ until he comes once more to judge the living and the dead. Amen.
Week of July 10: Prayer Concern: Ukraine and All Countries Impacted by War
O Lord, we pray that you would make us vessels of your peace. We cry out to you on behalf of the innocent lives, especially the women, children, elderly, and those with disabilities, who are impacted by the tragedy of war. Jesus Christ, you are the Prince of Peace and King of Kings. May your peace reign throughout the earth. Please bring healing and restoration to all who suffer. May the day come when we all embody the command to love God and love our neighbor. Amen.
Week of July 17: Prayer Concern: The Natural World
O Great Creator: You created the heavens and the earth. You hung the sun and moon in the sky and set the world spinning on its axis. You gave us dominion over all the land and sea, but we confess that we have often failed to be good stewards. Please heal our hurting world, May we sow seeds of kindness and mercy and take tender care of all the plants and animals. Guide our hands and hearts to serve you in all things we do. Amen.
Week of July 24: Prayer Concern: For the Hungry
O God of Abundant Love: We give thanks to you when our stomachs are full and we have a safe place to lay our heads at night. But we know that there are many in this world who do not have enough to eat or a safe place to sleep. We cry out to you on behalf of all those throughout the world who yearn for bread. Please help them. Strengthen us, through the power of your Holy Spirit, to help others. Please take what little we have to give and multiply it as you did the loaves and the fishes. Empower us to be your hands and feet—to reach out to those in need and go the places you want us to go—until Christ comes once more. Amen.
Week of July 31: Prayer Concern: For the Poor
Dear Jesus, you know our needs even before we ask. Everything is getting more expensive and we know that there are many in our community who are struggling to make ends meet. There are many who live paycheck to paycheck and many who have to go without. Please soften our hearts. May we look upon those in need with compassion and mercy. Make us brave enough to be generous, even in the midst of difficult times. Remind us, O God, that there may come a time when we also need mercy from others. Amen.
August 7: Prayer Concern: For Those in Hospitals and Nursing Homes
Lord Jesus, you are our friend and redeemer. You are our comforter and our strength. Please make your presence known to all of those who are sick and struggling with illness. We pray for all of those who are suffering, especially those who feel isolated and alone. Remind them that we are never alone, for You are always with us. If it is Your will, may there be healing in this life. And, if you have deemed that it is time to call them home, may they experience complete healing and restoration in Your Kingdom, where there is no more pain or sorrow. Amen.
August 14: Prayer Concern: Students and Teachers
O Holy One: As our students and educators prepare to return to the classroom, we pray that you will keep them all safe. Please light a spark within the hearts of the young people in our community and ignite their desire to learn. Please strengthen their teachers with compassion, endurance, and patience. May all children find wisdom so that this new generation can guide our world toward a future that is full of mercy and love. Amen.
August 21: Prayer Concern: Those Struggling with Mental Health Issues
O Divine Spirit: Give us courage to face our challenges and open us to the many ways you are already working in our midst. Please comfort those who are struggling with issues of mental health. Please help us not to judge them but instead to show them compassion. May we show mercy for those who feel isolated, depressed, and hopeless. Help us to identify mental illness as the disease it is, so that we might have courage and wisdom to face the ignorance and stigma. We confess that sometimes we feel helpless and overwhelmed. May we find comfort in Your grace and support those who are struggling mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Amen. (Adapted from a prayer for “Mental Health Recovery Awareness and Understanding,” at UMCDMC.org)
August 28: Prayer Concern: For those Who Mourn
O Great Creator: Grief is complicated. You know our prayers even before we put them into words. We are grateful for this, because sometimes the sorrow is so deep we cannot find the words. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).” Divine Counselor, may we feel Your comfort. We cry out to you, O Lord. Only you can bind up the wounds of the brokenhearted and grant solace to the afflicted.. O God, Heal our hearts and help us to say goodbye, knowing that nothing, not even death, can separate us from Your love. Amen.