Let us pray. 

Father in heaven as we gather today thankful for your numerous blessings and everlasting perfect love we also want to acknowledge the hurt and loss that our church family, local community, country and world has endured because of the Covid pandemic.

Father we all have been affected by this pandemic at some level. Some have lost co-workers, friends, or family members to this destructive virus. We have been isolated from our families due to the fear of possibly spreading Covid to those who are more vulnerable. Vacations and family gathering have been canceled and grandparents have not been able to hold their new grandchild.

We have had weddings and funerals delayed and curtailed due to this virus, often giving us an empty feeling that weren’t able to properly celebrate that new young couple’s union or the well lived life of one of our Saints.

Covid continues to wreak havoc on our school systems with quarantines and mask debates. Our beloved educators try to manage the impossible daily changes and challenges Covid brings, while our parents struggle with virtual school often trying to juggle work at the same time.

Father our healthcare system has been pushed to its limits by this virus. The emotional and physical burden that our healthcare administrators, nurses, medical assistants, respiratory therapists, radiology techs, first responders, physician extenders, hospital janitorial and cafeteria staff, and doctors have carried seems unbearable. Families are forced to visit with there hospitalized loved ones virtually or over the phone. And father, things are even worse in countries without the resources we have here in America.

Father, what may be most disappointing is that you have seen how this virus has managed to divided us. Whether it be our views on the vaccine, masks, or our political leanings, all at the exact time we need each other the most. Father help us to have compassion and understanding. Help us to remember to keep our family and friends close, especially during this time, even if that requires us to swallow our pride no matter what our views may be.

But Father in spite of our current challenges, your Word tells us that in all things you work for the good of those who love you, who have been called according to your purpose. And Father we have seen your good works and influence in the midst of this crisis. Whether it was lining up to donate convalescent plasma, dropping off food at a neighbors doorstep, working extra shifts to make N95 masks for healthcare workers or just listening to and comforting a friend, we have felt your presence. And for that we give thanks.

Father as a dear friend recently told me, I ask that you give us the strength to continue to stand in the gap for those in need, lean on our family and friends for support while all the while knowing that you are God and in control and that you love us. 

In Jesus Christ's name, Amen

- Prayer by Mitch Grunsky, August 29, 2021