United Methodists are responding to Kairos Palestine: A Moment of Truth ,a statement of faith and urgent call to action from Christians in Palestine.  UMKR seeks, through nonviolent means and in partnership with Palestinian Christians, freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians and Israelis.

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Blessed Are You
By Reverend Barbara Nixon

Blessed are you healers and helpers, for you offer care without measure.
Blessed are you who must recover your health in solitude – may you know you are loved.
Blessed are you mask-makers, for you help us breath easier.
Bless are you who stay at home, for you are protecting all.
Blessed are you work to provide essentials of every kind, for you are lifelines.
Blessed are you who are worried, for you anticipate what can go wrong.
Blessed are you who worry not, for you show us hope and courage.
Blessed are the introverts, for you show us the joys of solitude.
Blessed are you extroverts, for you remind all of a bigger life.
Blessed are you who create in all ways, for you feed our spirits with beauty and laughter.
Blessed are you working in newsrooms, for you keep us connected in the search for honest answers.
Blessed are you good neighbors, for yours is an appreciative neighborhood.
Blessed are you who never lose sight of the big picture, for you remind us to notice more than our limited
Blessed are you who pray and ponder and meditate and hold silence and speak with heart, for you ground us
all in the truth of love.
Blessed are you who dream, for you are helping us rise into a more beautiful life together.


The Lord’s Prayer:
A Spiritual Practice During COVID-19 Crisis

By Glory E. Dharmaraj, Ph.D.,
President, World Association for Christian Communication-North America. Retired Director of Mission Theology, United Methodist Women
Published at UM-Insight.net

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Our parent God, you teach us to stretch our hearts to embrace the whole humanity. You ask us to lift up our eyes to see the rain and the sunshine falling on everyone. Burst open our narrow vision, and enable us to see the common humanity of your worldwide children, even during these trying times when we tend to shoo away your vision of global solidarity and your intent of the One Church as a neighborhood of siblings.

“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
May your realm of healing and wholeness take deep roots in us, here on this pandemic stricken earth, O God. Provider of the living template of your domain for our times and all times, we long to experience wellness and restoration, along with all your creation. Shatter our narrow tendencies that lock down your kingdom inside the four walls of the church. Grace us with other-centeredness for the sake of living out the pattern of your kin-dom.

“Give us this day our daily bread.”
Nourish us with what we need for keeping us alive. Help us to honor our life on earth by refusing to be hoarders of essentials, be it grocery products or earth’s resources. Give us daily resistance against our wants that take priority over our needs. At this time, we lift up the invisible and expendable women and men who set out to work daily so that we can have our daily meals on our tables. Strengthen our resolve for advocacy for the most marginalized, now and beyond Covid-19.

“Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”
We come to you to make peace with ourselves, Lord. We acknowledge at this time the trespasses we committed against our fellow human beings, non-human beings, and the earth. Create a clean heart in us, gracious God. Give us your Spirit’s aid to name our trespasses and repent of our shortcomings. Help us to forgive ourselves at times when we are not able to, and when we are settled down to self-rejection. Grant us the grace to forgive all those who trespass against us, even when it is difficult to pinpoint who the real enemy is in this pandemic.

“Lead us not into temptation; deliver us from evil.”
Save us from ourselves, as we tend to trifle with ordinary testings and temptations assuming that these do not matter. Enlighten our eyes to see evil lurking even in the manifestations of larger power structures that put profit before people, greed before lives. Deliver us from evil, as we continually practice faith in the One who withstood temptations, and triumphed over evil.

“For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever.”
Yours is the final victory, O Eternal God and our Everyday Companion, when each day seems like eternity during this time of stress and trauma. Yet we, your children, know deep inside that you are the cross-over that connects the crisis-ridden present with the boundless eternity we will inherit, and that you will see us through. Thank you for this everydayness of assurance through the redeeming work of the One who taught us this prayer, even Jesus the Christ. Amen.


Prayer by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
California-Nevada Conference, United Methodist Church
The first Hispanic woman elected to the episcopacy of the United Methodist Church and the leader of the United Methodist Church task force on immigration in the U.S.
Published by United Church of Christ for Interfaith Day of Prayer

Oh God, Sovereign above all nations, look down upon us with mercy and compassion.

Forgive us for the arrogance of our highest leaders, and the complicity of our silence. As we shelter in place attacked by a virus so small we cannot see it, but so powerful that it slays us by the hundreds of thousands, do not allow us to forget that mightier are you, our Creator.

Restore our strength and our courage, through your healing touch. Renew our souls and align our hearts with yours. Remind us that care for one another is what brings us life, commitment to the common good what saves us from the tyranny of self-centeredness, love for all your creation, what brings us hope and true joy!

You call us to be servants to one another. Place upon the hearts of our leaders the daily yearning to serve with a vision far greater than the boundaries of nations carved out upon the face of the earth through violence and war. Clear their eyes and ours of every speck of blinding ignorance, bias and hatred that keeps us from seeing in the other a brother, a sister, a sibling, not just in our country but in the human family all around the world.

Hear, oh God, the cry of the most vulnerable among us. Convict our leaders of their responsibility to be agents of your justice for their care. Never release us from your call to all of us to live in peace with one another. Amen.


Nothing Can Separate Us
By Gilbert C. Hanke, General Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of United Methodist Men

“I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus”  Romans 8:38

God of all creation, we know you have not separated from us, but it’s difficult to sense your presence in the midst of our distress.

While we will continue to trust in you, we are afraid.
We know your love never ends, but that is why we wrestle with questions of why this pandemic is present.

We mourn the death of thousands of unknown along with the loss of friends and family.

We pray for the brave health workers who risk their lives to save strangers, and for those families who must wait at a distance to mourn those who have been brought home to you.

We pray for those whose employment has unexpectedly ended, and whose futures are unclear. They are frightened and disoriented and need to find hope in your presence and promise.

We trust Paul’s words, but, the separation from friends and family is causing pain.

In this time of division and disease, we still find reasons to be thankful.

We are grateful for those who have been distant from us whom this crisis has moved us to reconnect.

We are thankful for the acts of bravery and unselfish giving of resources to help those impacted directly and indirectly by this pandemic.

We are blessed by the chance to see acts of care and kindness.

But, Lord we dare to ask for more.

Bring an end to this pandemic and do so in such a way that all the world will know of your love and grace.

We pray in the name of Jesus, the healer of all nations.


Prayer for the workers: the drivers, the farm laborers, the delivery men
Rabbi Michael Rothbaum  •  The Forward

Our God, and God of all Life,
We call you Oseh, Maker
Yotzer, Crafter
Poel, Worker.

You, Who labored to build this world in which we live
Who calls us to be Po’alei Tzedek, workers of justice —
We call to you
Be with all those who labor in the midst of this global pandemic.
Shelter those who grow our food in the field.
Guard those who bring healing in lab and clinic, in hospital and pharmacy.

Guide in peace those who deliver basic needs by road, track, and air.
Uplift those bent low bearing loads in manufacturing and sanitation.
Send love to those who connect us through wire, wave, and cable.
Provide companionship to those who work in solitude,
ease to those who work in anguish,
safety to those who step into harm’s way,
dignity to all whose labor benefits us.

As they raise up their souls to grant us all life
may we repay them in fairness and righteousness.
May our lawmakers and employers assure them a living wage,
health care and sick leave
education, documentation, citizenship
and the right to organize.

All the rights,
human and Divine
due to all beings
created in Your image.
And let us say: Amen


The following two prayers come from Jim Winkler, President and General Secretary, National Council of Churches. He is also a former General Secretary of the UMC General Board of Church and Society.

Prayer for Elected Officials
We pray for our elected officials–that they would place the needs of those who have fallen ill at the center of their concern and that they would prioritize the health and well-being of their people over their own political status and advantage.

We pray for our elected leaders that they might not themselves fall ill and awaken in them the stamina and the wisdom and the compassion needed to deal with this crisis.

We pray our elected officials will know justice and mercy and show it to the people for which they are responsible.

We pray our elected officials will exhibit humility and not blame others for this pandemic.

We pray our elected officials will rise to this critical occasion, forego war and strife, and seek unity for the sake of the whole world and that this Kairos moment might generate the momentum required to fight all diseases and climate change and poverty.

We pray our elected officials will commit to fighting the giant triplets of materialism, militarism, and racism.

We pray that our elected leaders will help to lead us into a post-coronavirus world that will be free of want, free of war, and free of fear. Under their leadership, may the people know lasting peace and good health.

We pray our elected officials will not use this pandemic to extend their own power and punish their perceived enemies.

A Prayer for Spring
We praise your name, O God, for the untold blessings your grace has bestowed upon us even in the midst of this pandemic: family and friends, food and shelter, the beauty and bounty of nature, the burgeoning signs of new life, the communities of faith that enliven and sustain us, and in this Easter season especially the promise that all our enemies—even death, the enemy we fear most—will ultimately be conquered by your inestimable providence.

Even as we thank You for such huge blessings, we are reminded of more simple—yet equally profound—gifts: the smile and hug of a child, the warm touch of a parent, the ready offer of forgiveness from a precious one we have offended or betrayed, as well as the humble acceptance of such everyday grace. O God, open our hearts to You and remind us always that we are never taken for granted by You. So prevent us from thinking that our blessings are earned or have been obtained by our own efforts. For every good gift, we praise Your Holy Name.

While we bow in adoration and praise, we also make prayers of intercession for those Your church seeks to serve: the sick and the frightened, the lonely and the lost, the forgotten and the unforgiven, those who dwell in mystery and those who need a miracle, the untouched and the untouchable, the indifferent and the indigent.

We ask for divine guidance for those in positions of power and respect; grant special knowledge, wisdom, and faith to them when decisions must be made about health and wellness, war and peace, about control and consequences, about morality that informs politics and economics. In these perilous times when mistrust and misunderstanding roam the world and we are surrounded by darkness and doubt, guide our leaders in government, our bishops and pastors, our faithful lay leaders and those who teach our children and touch the lives of our youth. You know before we even dare to ask, O God, so we rely always on grace.

And for ourselves we pray in a minor key, dear God. Awaken in us a measure of the compassion and constancy of Our Lord, who climbed the way to victory by self-sacrifice, who told the truth with love, who embraced those the rich and powerful scorned, and who lived humbly and gratefully.

For the presence and power of Your Holy Spirit in our beleaguered lives, we humbly beseech You, dear God. Come with such saving grace to us as individuals, as well as the church we love, that a new light will shine in our darkness. Grant that a new desire to tell the Good News of Christ will send us to those who need what only You can give, and a reawakened sense of justice and mercy will help us to make a difference in the world for which your Son died.

These prayers we make in faith and in trust that Your will is being done; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published by the UMC General Board of Church & Society

Breathe on me, Breath of God
As we are mourning and grieving
The deaths of many people–
Young, old, and vulnerable ones.

Breathe on me, Breath of God
When we are anxious and scared
From a disease caused by a virus,
Unseen to our eyes yet occupying bodies.

Breathe on me, Breath of God
When we are angry and enraged
With a hostile policy that is anti-poor,
Leading the lowly into greater vulnerability.

Breathe on me, Breath of God
As we repent for our insensitivity
And privilege of having more
That led us to blend thoughts and perceptions
In a discourse of resilience and obedience to laws,
Now weaponized against our own people.

Awaken us to our connivance
with anti-poor policies.

Help us to see that
We benefit because we have means,
We are secure and privileged
Even with a semblance of a vacation.

Raise our awareness that
This lockdown in poor communities
Means suffering, hunger, and tears,
Even as we preach sacrifice for the benefit of all.

Breathe on me, Breath of God
As we pray for those who care for the sick and dying
And those who look for cures and scientific explanation.
Release us from ignorance and myths
that may proclaim what is factual and true.

Breathe on me, Breath of God
As we demand a medical approach to a health crisis,
As we clamor for free testing and health services for the ill,
As we assert a rights-based approach to this problem.

Breathe on me, Breath of God—
Spirit, Ruah, She Who Hovers Over,
Movement like the Wind
That cannot be locked down.

A meditation on Romans 8:28
By Rev. Odette Lockwood-Stewart will begin the position of Interim Senior Pastor at the American Church in Paris in July, 2020.
Published by the National Council of Churches

with every breath
breathing in
and into
the peace
of Christ

with every breath
breathing in
and into
the life
of stranger
of neighbor
of all creation

with every breath
I breathe
into the
the web
of life

We rest in love
We rest in God
We rest in light
We rest in darkness

to the love of God
in Christ Jesus.

to learn
where Christ leads
to follow
to lead
to serve
in this

Blessed are those
who know their need of God


A Song of Lament and Praise in a time of coronavirus
The Revd Kenneth Howcroft

How shall we praise you, Lord, our God?
When we are locked down,
how shall we praise you?
When the doors to your house are barred,
and your people cannot assemble?
When those desperately in need of money and work
cannot even wait in the market-place?
When we have to circle round people in the street,
and to queue for shops maintaining safe distance?
When we can only communicate
by hearing on the phone,
or seeing on the screen;
or digitally messaging,
or even just waving through a window?
When we cannot meet our parents and children,
grandparents and grandchildren,
or other family members and friends?
When we cannot touch them in their flesh and blood,
to know they are really alive?
How shall we praise you?
How, like Thomas, shall we not see yet believe
that your son is raised among us?
How shall we praise you?

How can I praise you, Lord?
Are you plaguing us with this virus
to punish us because we have all done wrong,
or thought wrongly,
or felt wrongly,
or just been wrong?
If so, why do only some die,
and those, apparently, the ones who are the least worst or most caring amongst us?
Or are you trying to teach us a lesson?
If so, why is it so hard to learn?
And how are we to find the answer
when we do not even know the question?
Or are you still the same loving God,
coming to us in our sufferings
and opening up the way to new life in Jesus?

Lord, I will try to praise you.
Through gritted teeth,
I will try to praise you.
I will try to remember that you have created all things,
and this virus is part of your creation.
I will try not to hate it
but seek to mitigate its harm.
I will try to keep myself and others safe.
I will work to pray for them
and seek to help in whatever way I can.

Lord, when I cannot pray or worship
help me be aware of all your people
and your saints and angels
hovering around me,
lifting me up.
When I feel alone,
let me feel you near me,
even if only for a moment that enables me to go on.
Let me hear you say
“Peace be with you”.

Lord, I will praise you.
Let all the peoples praise you.

See this at the website of The Methodist Church in Great Britain

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