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Seeking God in times of pain: A collection of Interfaith prayers for enduring the COVID-19 struggle

Is is often thought that in times of struggle and pain that God has somehow abandoned us. That somehow the storm that besieges us means the absence of Love.

Members the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee came together to compile a list of prayers to help remind each of us that we are never alone during our most difficult days, and that the Almighty Healer walks alongside us, holding our hands through this storm, carving a future that all of God’s children shall be nurtured in the light of Grace, Compassion, and Love.

American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin

God, we come to you in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to thank you for Your sovereignty. We thank You for Your protection, love and compassion. We pray specifically for all those in Milwaukee and beyond who have been directly and indirectly affected by this virus. We hold fast to the words of our Savior in John 16:33b, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Baha’i

O my Lord! Thou knowest that the people are encircled with pain and calamities and are environed with hardships and trouble. Every trial doth attack man and every dire adversity doth assail him like unto the assault of a serpent. There is no shelter and asylum for him except under the wing of Thy protection, preservation, guard and custody. O Thou the Merciful One! O my Lord! Make Thy protection my armor, Thy preservation my shield, humbleness before the door of Thy oneness my guard, and Thy custody and defense my fortress and my abode. Preserve me from the suggestions of self and desire, and guard me from every sickness, trial, difficulty and ordeal. Verily, Thou art the Protector, the Guardian, the Preserver, the Sufficer, and verily, Thou art the Merciful of the Most Merciful. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Religious Society of Friends, The Milwaukee Meeting

Silence

Roman Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Milwaukee

Prayer in the Time of a Pandemic

May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.
Amen.

Episcopal Church, Diocese of Milwaukee

Prayer in Time of Sickness

O most merciful God, in this time of fear and contagion we turn to you for help and comfort. Deliver us we beseech you from the perils that beset us, give strength and skill to all who minister to the sick or seek a cure for our affliction; and grant that being reminded of how frail and uncertain human life can be, grant that we may apply our hearts to that heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life, through Christ our Lord. Amen

Southeast Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist Congregations

A New Prayer (by Barbara Collignon)

We invoke the One we call upon
in time of deep despair.
We seek the One who’d answer us,
respond to earnest prayer.
From this Source of Life we ask
strength to meet an awesome task,
courage in the face of fear,
greater faith to persevere.

But we must answer our own prayer.
we must rise to tend and care.
We must give and we must strive
to comfort, cure, embrace, revive.

So we unite to conquer fear,
our homes protect,
our hearts to cheer.
We pray for health.
We pray for love
but seek not answers from above.
May we be the answer
to another’s prayer.
Let us reach out and let us care.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Greater Milwaukee Synod

Creator God, we give you thanks for all those working to combat this deadly pandemic: for all medical personnel and first-responders and all who risk their own well-being out of love for their neighbors; for sanitation workers and truck drivers, and all those who work to provide for our daily needs; for leaders of our government, businesses, organizations and faith communities and all who have had to make bold decisions in the midst of swirling uncertainty; for teachers, parents, and schoolchildren, who are daily working to find new ways to teach and learn; for families and communities that have lost loved ones, and for all who have suffered. These are fearful times, but we believe that you are a God who is always working to fashion a new creation. Grant us the courage, compassion, wisdom, and patience we need to not just survive this challenging time, but to come out of it on the other side a stronger community, a more faithful people, and a more just global society, in your holy name we pray; amen.

United Church of Christ, Southeast Wisconsin Association

Dear God of life and love; as we journey through this season of fear and uncertainty, give us the grace and courage to make the changes that are needed in our lives, and in so doing, may we be open to your leading. Keep us mindful that you are with us in every moment, offering us the strength and creativity to choose what is right. We ask these things in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

Islamic Society of Milwaukee

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful:
God Almighty, we seek refuge with You from all diseases (except old age);
You are the Great Curer; there is no cure except through You;
We beseech You to cure those that are ill from this disease, to protect those who are healthy and to grant us guidance so that we may be among those who are patient in adversity and who, when calamity befalls them say, “Verily, unto God we belong and unto Him we shall return.” (Qur’an 2:155-156)

United Methodist Church, Milwaukee District

Creator of Life, We lift up people of all faiths and of no faith, all people of goodwill, so that everyone may change their lives for the love and service of neighbor; help us to ask in our hearts how we can be good neighbors to the other, especially in times of crisis and disaster. Our churches are closed, temples are shut, pilgrimages are called off; we are trying to find new ways to reconnect. We pray for all people who take care of the sick, suffering and dying. We especially lift up all public health personnel and social workers, health educators and researchers who serve selflessly day and night to care for all in need and try to find solutions to save lives. Grant them more and more courage, wisdom and grace, so that they also take care of themselves while serving others. Creator of life, you have created order out of chaos, new life out of many crises. In this crisis of Coronavirus, we know that you are with us in our chaos and craziness, pandemic and trauma; you are with all humanity and especially with the all those who struggle in this crisis. We know in a mysterious way you will transform everything into good; Help us to cling onto that Hope.

Jewish Community Relations Council/Milwaukee Jewish Federation/Wisconsin Council of Rabbis

May it be your will Hashem Our God and God of our Fathers that you should have abundant mercy upon all the inhabitants of the earth and shield them from all harsh and evil decrees that are arising and coming upon the world. And save us from all affliction, plague, sickness and disease. And all those who are sick, who have been infected by the disease, heal them with a complete healing. Yours, Hashem, are the greatness and the might, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is Yours; Yours is the Kingdom and you are He Who is exalted over everything as the leader. And in Your hand is the life of every living thing and the power and might to make great and strengthen and heal every downtrodden individual, every oppressed soul. Nothing is too wondrous for you! Therefore, may it be your will, the Almighty, trustworthy, compassionate father, who heals all of the illnesses of his people. You, the trustworthy Healer, send cure and healing and arise with abundant compassion, mercy and caring for all of those who are sick, that have been infected with this illness.

African Methodist Episcopal Church, Milwaukee District

Our Father, during your Son’s ministry on earth He showed His power and care by healing people of all ages and stages in life. He healed people from physical, mental and spiritual ailments. Father, we ask that You be present now to your people who need Your loving, healing touch. May we feel Your power and healing through the care of doctors, nurses, first responders and our government. Father we ask that You take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation as we face these challenges of the pandemic. Bless your people is our prayer. In the strong name of Jesus, we offer it. Amen

Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbytery of Milwaukee

Holy One, in your mercy, give us patience to stay away, not for our sakes, but for the love of our neighbor. Give us discipline to stay away, not for our sakes, but for the sake of the healthcare worker who runs into us at the grocery store after a 24-hour shift. Give us a willingness to remain in solitude, not for our sakes, but for the sake of the hardware store clerk caring for two elderly parents at home, who are vulnerable to whatever we might be carrying. Give us selfless love for others, just as you have shown selfless love to us. Amen!

Sikh Community/Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin/Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

Dear Lord, you are our master and to you we offer our prayer. This body and soul are all your property. You are our mother and father; we are your children. In your grace, there are so many joys, no one knows your limit. Dear Lord, please bless us with your kindness and protect your creation. Please God show us your mercy. Whole creation is strung on your thread. When you are on our side, we do not have to worry about anything. Please bless your creation with peace and give us courage to face this unbearable tragedy due to COVID-19. There is none other than you who can take away our fear and anxiety. Our heart goes out to families who have lost their loved ones and are going through difficult times. At end of our daily prayers, we say, Nanak Naam Chardi Kala Tere Bane Sarbat Da Bhalla, “In God’s Name, We Pray for the Peace and Prosperity of All Man-Kind.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Milwaukee North and South Stakes

Just after Jesus Christ instructed his apostles that he would soon no longer be with them physically, he took great care to explain how they might feel confidence, absence of fear, and peace. In John chapter 16, verse 33 (KJV) He concludes his instruction with: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” While we can certainly point to the tribulation we see in the world right now, many of us are working through the process of having peace and being of good cheer. We hope to use this time of simplicity at home to evaluate our priorities and identify what truly brings us peace and joy in our lives. God bless us all.

Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Milwaukee

Reflection on Strength in Community

Difficult times can be an opportunity to remember our natural connection with each other and all of life. May we take a deep breath and collect the mind in gratitude and compassion. May we be present with those who find themselves in distress and fear, and may our lives be filled with kindness and joy.
May it be so.

Hindu Temple of Wisconsin

Om
Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu
May there be well-being in all
Sarveshaam Shantir Bhavatu
May there be peace in all
Sarveshaam Poornam Bhavatu
May there be fulfilment in all
Sarveshaam Magalam Bavatu
May there be auspiciousness in all
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha
May all (beings) be happy
Sarve Santu Niraamayaaha
May all (beings) be free from illnesses
Sarve Bhdrani Pashyantuu
May all (beings) see what is auspicious
Maa kachit duukha bhaagbhavet
May no (being) suffer
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om
Peace Peace Peace!

M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,
O Gracious One, we have nothing else to say other than prayer, we have nothing else to offer other than our entreaties.
O Greatest One, we turn to you with a prayer for our protection and healing in a time of pandemic, where the coronavirus is spreading in the world.
O Forgiving One, do not leave us unto ourselves, but guide us to the glory within, and touch us with Your supreme kindness.
O Healer One, heal those who are sick.
O Patient One, grant patience to those who live in quarantine.
O Greatest One, give support to those who take care of others and protect them as they serve.
O All Knowing One, inspire scientists in their research to find the cure for coronavirus disease.
Our Lord! and accept the prayer. (Quran 14:40)
Amen.

Moravian Church in North America, Western District

Sometimes, when I pray,
I bow my head, cup my hands,
And hold them out in front of me as though I were:
Raising Living Water to my lips
Waiting to receive the Bread of Life
Offering up my heart, my soul, my strength
Sheltering a small spark of the Light of the World
Setting free a cloud-white dove to find us a token of Peace
Sometimes, when I pray.

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