When the normal rhythms of a nascent spring were interrupted last March by the sudden appearance of Covid-19, we were thrust into a world of unknowns and uncertainty.
We’re now in month six of a season punctuated by more questions than answers.
Like many of you, I’ve been gauging daily stats and headline news as I weigh choices about school, extracurriculars, online or in-person church and grocery shopping. We’ve muddled through risks and precautions, predictions and press-conferences to try our level best to make decisions that feel responsible. I don’t want to be fearful, but I also don’t want to be careless.
Most of us don’t even realize the strain of chronic, low-level stress we’ve been carrying.
And some days – some days – the sheer volume of it all gets to us and we can feel pandemic panic rising in our chest.
The surest antidote for rising panic is prayer.
Let these 10 prayers be a resource to pray through the worries, decisions and issues you’re facing in this uncertain season.
10 Prayers When Pandemic Panic is Rising
A Prayer for Uncertain Times
Lord, I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on You. You are my rock; keep me anchored in You. No matter how the world shakes, You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Help me walk by faith and not by sight and clearly discern how You are leading me. You are the way, when I can’t see the path ahead. You are my supplier, when I don’t see provision. You are my shield, when the enemy tries to unseat me and You are my help, when I feel utterly helpless. Help me love you above anything this world offers. Only You can do this in me. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: 2 Chron. 20:12; Psalm 18; Mark 12:30; 2 Cor 5:7; Hebrews 13:8
A Prayer for the School Year
Father, I am facing a school year of unknowns. You promise to instruct me and teach me in the way I should go; please counsel me with Your loving eye on me. Give our school administrators wisdom to make decisions and our teachers energy, creativity, safety and perseverance to teach well in a changing environment. We ask for your protection over each child and school worker. Help me be a light of love and patience to my children and others when my flesh wants to criticize and complain. Lord, every day this year has already been written in Your book. Help me walk them out faithfully, looking for Your hand and Your good and glorifying You in all things. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: Psalm 16:8; Psalm 139:16; 1 Cor. 10:31
A Prayer for Faith over Fear
Lord, when anxiety is rising in me, help me fix my eyes on You. You alone are my hope and deliverer. Give me an undivided heart to fear You alone. My circumstances are not the truth because You reign over all things. You reign over disease and diagnoses, elections and economies, my children and me. My fear is a spiritual battle and so I ask You to demolish every thought and every worry opposed to You. I take them captive to the truth of Your character and promises. You are faithful and You have not taken me this far to drop me now. Be my refuge and strength. In Jesus’ strong name, Amen.
Scripture references: Psalm 47:8; Prov 28:20; 2 Cor 10:5; Hebrews 12:2
A Prayer Against Discouragement
I lift my soul to You, O Lord. I am dismayed and feel crushed under the weight of things too big for me. Refresh me and renew me as only You can. Give me Your strength to do what I cannot and give me courage to do hard things today. When I am weak, You are strong and so I trust that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Silence the enemy’s lies and even my own so that I hear only Your truth guiding me. Fill up my soul to overflowing with your unfailing love and deep joy so I can love and serve those around me today. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.
Scripture references: Psalm 25:1; Psalm 143:8; Isaiah 40:1; 2 Cor 12:10; Phil 4:13
A Prayer for Good Fruit in Suffering
Jesus, this trial is hard and it hurts, but since it has come through your hand, use it for good. Show me the idols I’ve created and trusted, reveal the sin I’ve nurtured and give me strength to turn from them. Forgive me and create in me a clean heart. Give me a heart like Yours that desires what You desire and that loves as You love. May Your pruning produce much good fruit in me and through me for Your glory. You are good and You have good for me, even though life feels hard. I put my whole trust in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: Psalm 51:10; Psalm 119:68; Psalm 139:23-24; John 15:2, 5, 8; Romans 8:28
A Prayer for Decision Overwhelm
Lord, You promise to give wisdom generously if we ask and so I am asking. In a world of conflicting news reports, give me discernment and insight to make right decisions. I need Your practical guidance to keep my family safe and healthy. You led the Israelites through the wilderness providing every practical need – water from the rock, manna from heaven, shoes that didn’t wear out and protection from disease. And so I ask that You would shepherd me through the wilderness of decision-making. Help me to trust Your way absolutely and to make decisions in perfect peace, not fear. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: Prov 2:8; Deut 8:3-4; Nehemiah 9:21; James 1:5
A Prayer of Gratitude
God, I give You thanks even in the unexpected and unwanted because You are good, You are just and You are right. Thank You for the hidden gifts of this pandemic: more time with my family, slow evenings at home, the beauty of creation and rediscovering joy in simple things. Thank You for supplying every need and delighting me with more than I could ask or imagine. Thank You for health care workers, for incredible minds working overtime to create a vaccine, for teachers going above and beyond to serve their students and for first responders showing up daily. Open my eyes to see Your goodness all around me because I don’t want to miss it. You are a good, good Father and I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: Psalm 103:13; Psalm 119:68; Eph 3:20; Phil 4:19
A Prayer for The Grieving
Lord, thank you for being a Savior who walks with us in our pain, who is close to the broken-hearted and doesn’t leave us there but saves those crushed in spirit. Today, I lift up ____________ to You and ask that she would feel Your strong presence all around her and sense the comfort only You can bring. Help her to feel Your love sustaining her through deep missing. Draw her to You and to Your Word for daily strength and fresh hope. Guard her heart and mind so that she can get the sleep she needs and give her strength for difficult decisions and estate tasks. Silence the enemy who taunts with lies and regrets and bring her instead many warm memories of her loved one as she processes the pain of loss. Help her to feel Your everlasting arms carrying her through indescribable difficulty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: Deut 33:27; Psalm 4:8; Psalm 34:18; 1 Thess 4:13
A Prayer for the Church
Lord, do not let us be silent. You have called us to such a time as this. Apart from You, we can do nothing. I lift up my pastor and church leaders and ask You to guard their hearts, guard their marriages, guard their time and guard their decisions. Bind Your people together as Your body to serve locally, to give generously, to love lavishly. Help us live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together we may with one voice glorify God and share the hope of Jesus. May we fear You only. Give us the strength and power to carry out the tasks You have for us with grace and endurance. For from You and through You and to You are all things. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.
Scripture references: Esther 4:14; Matt 10:28; John 15:5; Rom 15:5-6; Hebrews 12:1
A Prayer for Government Leaders
O Lord God, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let Your ear be attentive and Your eyes open to hear this prayer for the people of this country. We have sinned against You. I and my family have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against You and we have failed to keep Your commandments. Lord, give us mercy in accordance with Your unfailing love. Turn the hearts of our local, state and national leaders to You and give them the wisdom they desperately need to make decisions and govern justly. Turn our hearts to You and let it begin with me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scripture references: Based on the prayer of Neh 1:5-7; Prov 22:1; 1 Tim 2:1
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