About 20 years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a frightening time of persecution and suffering for many, the apostle Paul encouraged the people of the church in Rome to “[r]ejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Surely Paul would say the same thing to us right now. And by “us” I mean the whole world. All of Us.
Today marks 21 years since my sweet father passed on to Glory. I feel certain he and all the saints are loving and encouraging us as we go through our own challenging times of pain, suffering, sorrow, and even death. In memory of my Dad, a Pearl Harbor survivor and a devout man of faith, I offer up this prayer.
Dear Jesus, I praise you.
I praise you for being Lord over all the earth now and throughout eternity. I praise you for loving us so deeply that you came to earth to redeem us and reconcile us and to show us how to love you, ourselves, and our neighbors.
Dear Jesus, I thank you.
Thank you for giving us hope and a future. Thank you for being with us now and always — for not “social distancing” from us — ever. We know you are with us, Lord. We see you. We feel you. We need you. We love you. Thank you for showing us the way.
Dear Jesus, I beseech you.
Forgive us, O Lord, for failing to love as you love. For failing as individuals and as the human race to take care of your Creation and each other. For failing to follow your example. For failing to obey your commandments.
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ … ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.Mark 12:30-31
Help us deepen our faith and draw nearer to you. Help us to believe in hope — to rejoice in hope. Help us to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, follow thee more nearly. And Jesus, help us remember to pray!
Especially during this pandemic and its aftermath, help us be patient with ourselves and one another including our family members, our neighbors, our healthcare workers, and our political leaders. Give us wisdom. Give us strength. Give us your peace.
Thank you, dear Jesus, for being our Hope for Now and Forever.