Today is a national day of prayer.
Here is what I am praying for.
-God, be with all the of college students who were the first to be affected. These young men and women are our future. They make friends who become family, and had to leave quickly. Especially the seniors, who are not sure about graduation ceremonies. The senior athletes, who have played sports for years, and their final season of play may be gone, meaning they won’t play this sport they love competitively again. Ceremonies and celebrations and sports are important. Lord, be with them.
-God, be with the high school students, who are now wondering what will happen to their AP exams, and regents. They’ve worked so hard all year and there are so many questions. Be with the athletes who also wonder if they will play, the musicians who wonder about their concerts, the actors who wonder about their play. Lord, be with them.
-God, be with the younger children, who rely on their schools to feed them. Who love their teachers so much sometimes they call them mom. Who love to have stories read to them. Who love to play with other children. Lord, be with them.
-God, be with the teachers. Be with the administrators. They always think of other children besides their own. Help us all navigate this time with grace, mercy, and compassion. Lord, be with us all.
-God, be with the families who are now struggling with what to do with children who are home for a week, a month, or in some states indefinitely. They are their child’s teacher now more than ever. Help the families who struggle to feed their families and rely on the schools for two meals a day. Help the families keep their children busy and happy. Help them with making ends meet financially. Lord, be with them all.
-God, be with the small business owners. The restaurants, yoga studios, juice bars, title companies, taco places, movie theatres, ice cream shops, specialty shops, child care, all the people who help make our local places that we live so great. Help them find ways and receive help so they can survive this time and be ready for when everyone comes back out. Lord, be with them all.
-God be with the supermarkets workers and the pharmacies. They are the ones working to keep those at home fed and healthy. The supermarket workers have seen the best and worst of people the last few days. Give them patience. Give those who interact with them patience and compassion, as they are away from their families and interacting with others. Lord, be with them.
-God be with the politicians. Our country has been a mess. Help them learn how to work together. Help them see they are representing all of America. And God, please be with Mayor DeBlasio and Governor Cuomo. They are playing with lives and creating more stress. Help them wake up and close schools in NY now. Lord, be with them all.
-God, be with the elderly, especially those in nursing homes that have closed their doors to visits from loved ones. They are part of our greatest generation who we all owe a debt of gratitude. Be with their families who cannot see them, check on them, sometimes even call to hear their voice because of dementia or hearing issues. Lord, be with them all.
-God, be with all of us with underlying medical conditions. Life has not been easy before this. Now it has become even harder and scarier, hearing over and over about death, and if it gets as bad as italy, we won’t even be treated. Give us peace, courage, strength, and strong immune systems. Lord, be with us all.
-Finally, be with the first responders, the nurses, the doctors, the hospital staff. They have been preparing and know it’s the quiet before the storm. They have been watching italy knowing that could be us in two weeks or so, while also watching the ones around them not taking it seriously and going to bars and parties and play dates saying it’s a hoax. Those people who are calling it a hoax and having house parties and going to bars will get treatment over people like me if we both get sick and hospitals are overwhelmed and need to make a choice, Lord. Help them realize they need to help people like me and the hospitals and stay home. The staff will be putting themselves at risk and worrying about bringing it home to their families… if they even decide to go home. May their hands be your hands, may their spirit stay strong, and may their bodies stay healthy. Blessed are the peacekeepers and healthcare workers. Lord, be with them all.
Friends, perhaps we take this time to reset. Press pause. Reconnect with our families, when we spend so much time going here to there. Learn a new hobby. Remember what it is like to cook. Go outside and breathe fresh air every day. Be still.
If we all do our part, it won’t be as bad. It will be hard, but together, we can do hard things. Love thy neighbor by staying away yet connected and checking on them. Find creative ways to look at the bright side. It’s possible. If I’ve been able to continue my life these past three and half years after a stage four terminal diagnosis, and find ways to laugh and love, and be careful because of my immune system… you can too. Breathe, eat some fruits and veggies, and exercise.
Love one another and look out for each other.
Send out love to everyone and be grateful.
In Jesus’s name, amen.