Praying Through These Days of Lockdown

St Paul told us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We might think that is a tall order but these days of lockdown in an effort to combat Covid-19 do afford us some opportunity to pray in a new way. Here are some stop-off times throughout the day with suggestions of prayers; some I have written and some (reference given) taken from Scripture and Church prayers. Praying doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s about connection rather than perfection and it is good. Why not pepper your day with these prayer points?

In the morning:

WAKE UP
Pray: Psalm 5:3, “I say this prayer to you, Yahweh, for at daybreak you listen for my voice; and at dawn I hold myself in readiness for you, I watch for you.”

GIVE THANKS IF YOU ARE WELL
Pray: “Thank you God for a brand new day. I am open to your will and your possibilities.”

REMEMBER THOSE WHO ARE ILL
Pray: Spend a few minutes uniting yourself with all those who are ill; those you know and those you don’t. You could finish by asking God to send consolation to those who need it this day.

During the day:


STAY INDOORS
Pray: “God, I know the benefit to me and to others of staying indoors. These days are long sometimes. Help me to deal with boredom and not to feel lonely or anxious. Help me to feel your constant presence with me in the nuts and bolts of everyday life. Amen”

WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN
Pray: “Lord, as I wash my hands so as to be less of a risk to myself and others, I ask you to wash away all feelings of frustration, anger or despair. As I finish with clean hands, I ask you put a clean heart within me that I may do your will. Amen”

LOOK AFTER YOUR FAMILY AND LET THEM LOOK AFTER YOU
Pray: John 13:34-35, “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

EAT AND EXERCISE AS WELL AS YOU CAN
Pray: “Lord, I thank you for the food I eat and the movements I make this day. Help me to see eating well and exercising as ways that I can take care of myself. I am aware that many will not eat today and I commit to doing what I can to bring social justice to the world, so that none will go hungry again. Amen”

IF YOU WORK, WORK WELL
Pray: Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever your work is, put your heart into it as if it were for the Lord and not for men, knowing that the Lord will repay you by making you his heirs. It is Christ the Lord that you are serving.”

CREATE SPACE TO FIND FREEDOM FROM FEAR
Pray: Matthew 5: 28-31, “Think of the flowers growing in the fields; they never have to work or spin; yet I assure you that not even Solomon in all his regalia was robed like one of these. Now if that is how God clothes the grass in the field which is there today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, will he not much more look after you, you of little faith? So do not worry.”


PRACTISE YOUR FAVOURITE HOBBIES AND LEARN NEW ONES
Pray: “Lord, I know that I must take care of my mental and emotional health as well as my physical health. Bless me with opportunities to enjoy my hobbies, be creative in my use of time and take the chance when I have it to learn new and useful skills. Amen”

CHECK ON YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS BY THE PHONE
Pray: “Lord, help me to be a source of consolation and support to those I am contact with. Amen”

In the evening time:

BE GRATEFUL TO END YOUR DAY
Pray: Cast your mind over the day and find one thing that you are grateful for. Even if life is really hard at present there will be at least one thing, however big or small, to be grateful for. It might be a person, a gesture or a kind word. It might be good news that you or someone you love got today. It might be good news from around the world. Find one thing, be grateful for it and experience how gratitude leads to a feeling of consolation. Give thanks to God in thought, word, deed or song.

At night:

SETTLE DOWN FOR THE NIGHT
Pray: From Night Prayer of the Church,

“Save us, Lord, while we are awake; protect us while we sleep; that we may keep watch with Christ
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

The Lord grant us a quiet night and a perfect end. Amen”

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