Written and First Prayed by the Reverend David Albert Farmer, Ph.D., March 28, 2020; Silverside (Church), Wilmington, Delaware
© David Albert Farmer and Silverside (Church), March 2020
Please pray the prayer for yourself, silently or aloud, alone or in health-protected groups. Permission given to share in any form as long as creation credit is given to Dr. Farmer and Silverside (Church).
God, Life-Source, Life-Force:
We renounce today all formal doctrines and folk theologies to which we have held, in public and/or secretly, in our creeds and in our cries, holding you responsible for human suffering by any means—floods or fires, broad-scale acts of terrorism or small-gang gun violence, war, thirst, starvation, pandemics, or politics.
With heresy behind us once and for all, we celebrate—indeed, we cherish—your presence with every member of the human family today, and we add the love energies emanating from our prayers—articulated or felt, and if spoken, sophisticated to our way of thinking or embarrassingly inadequate to our own ears—to your own love energies that flow constantly toward all people. And we are profoundly grateful for all those who have dealt with the Coronavirus who are now well!
We are grateful that your love is already actively at work in all individuals and groups before we even think to pray. Today, we celebrate your divine energies at work in particular with these:
- Those who are ill with the Coronavirus, whether a diagnosis has been formally made or not;
- Those who have lost loved ones to the effects of this dread disease;
- Those who suddenly can’t pay their bills because they are sick or because their places of employment have been temporarily closed down to help prevent close person-to-person contact—many of these struggling to have access to healthy food;
- Those who work tirelessly in their labs to find cures for those who are presently stricken and those who may yet be added to the long lists of victims;
- Those who serve hands-on, face to face to provide medical and personal care for Coronavirus patients: physicians, nurses, chaplains and therapists, nursing assistants, dieticians and meal service personnel, custodial professionals who are constantly trying to clean away and kill traces of the virus on sheets and tables and floors and toilets, sinks, and showers;
- Those public health and hospital administrators managing burgeoning hospitals and the raising of temporary hospital facilities, utilizing limited necessary equipment and trying to acquire any other potentially available such equipment from unlikely sources;
- Medical ethicists who must make decisions about who will receive available resources and who will not, knowing that those denied will likely or surely die.
We recognize, God of all, Love that wilt not let us go, that we have been influenced to believe not only that you cause or allow illness, but also that unless there’s an instantaneous fix as we sit passively by, either the divine punishment is incomplete, or our prayers are ineffective. Having given up the horrible heresy that you punish humans with tragedies, we dare to believe also, from this point on, that prayer drives us to any proactive action we can take and that loving impulses and words, felt or spoken, on behalf of others and ourselves as well are never ineffective, though we have no control over the innumerable factors that determine an individual’s health or longevity. But our prayers, our love energies, may play a part so we do not shirk the privilege, yeah the responsibility, of prayer.