A Prayer Liturgy for Pandemic Times

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills.

    From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

    he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;

    he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep

    your going out and your coming in

    from this time forth and forevermore.


A Prayer for Current Times

Almighty God, we pray for those who have died of the coronavirus; for those who are sick, and for those who are afraid of getting sick. (open prayer)

Be the shepherd of your people, O Lord, we pray.

We pray for those who are laid off from work, those in job transitions, and for those who must work in vulnerable places because they provide essential services. (open prayer)

Give us today our daily bread.

We pray for first responders, doctors, nurses and all who work in health care. We pray for all who are confined to hospitals, nursing homes and institutions – and for family members who are not allowed to visit. We pray for those who are responsible for public health decisions, that they will be guided by science and duty, not ideology or politics. (open prayer)

You are the greatest healer, O Lord.

Lord, have mercy on our public officials. Guide them to create appropriate policies; give them wisdom and good judgment; help them put humanity first, that the people may follow their guidelines and take into account the safety of everyone in all we do. (open prayer)

Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil.

Lord, help guide our children and our parents through this season with cheerfulness, optimism and faith. Be with teachers and students at this start of the new year. Help us to lay aside our fears and to focus on the needs of others; where we can be helpful, let us act on their behalf, even if only from a distance. (open prayer)

Lord, make us instruments of your peace.

Lord, have mercy on your bride, the Church. Empower us by your Spirit to live in unity, even in a time of great division. As we abide with you, help us to extend grace and kindness to one another. Enable us to be completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with one another in love. (open prayer)

Bind us together and make us one.

We turn to you, O Lord, for we have no other help and we know you are sufficient. You are the very power of love, of health and healing, of protection and mercy. (open prayer)

Come then, Lord, and help your people,

bought with the price of your own blood,

and bring us with your saints

to glory everlasting. Amen.


Lord, Make Me an Instrument (Adapted)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is fear, let me sow love,

Where there is isolation, friendship,

Where there is panic, faith,

Where there is despair, hope,

Where there is darkness, light,

And where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may

Not so much seek to be healthy as to heal,

To be comfortable, as to bring comfort,

To be loved, as to love;

For it is in Christ’s giving that we receive,

And it’s in his hands that we are made clean,

And it’s in his death that we are born to eternal life.


– Adapted by Cornell campus minister Stephan Teng