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Daily prayer and support

Posted: March 20 2020 at 12:00 AM
Nic Daily Prayer

Beloved community, in this time of uncertainty and concern, we, the members of the Northern Illinois Conference’s Discipleship Task Force, invite you to join us in daily prayer of support, joy, and encouragement. Our task force will provide daily prayers on the conference’s social media sites starting Wed., March 18 through at least April 30

We are asking interested NIC pastors, elders, youth pastors, and laity to sign up to provide a written prayer.

Sign up

* * *

March 30 prayer is from Rev. Seamus Enright, pastor of Reynolds UMC:

God of Infinite Mystery and unfathomable Love,
We cry out to you in the midst of uncertainty.

In the midst of grief, and change, and loss,
In this time of anxiety and struggle,

Remind us.

Still us.

Breathe into us.

Unite us.

Restore our strength, grant us courage, calm our hearts and minds with the peace that surpasses all understanding.

That we may reflect your grace, embody your presence,
Declare your salvation, and prove your love
In everything that we do and say in these days.

To the glory of your name and the comfort of your creation, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

****

 

March 29 prayer is from Rev. Brittany Isaac Chicago Northwestern District Superintendent

Be still and know…Ps 46:10a

Oh God,
There are times that you speak to us out of a
Whirlwind.
Other times you speak to us in sound of shear
Silence.
As the whirlwind of activity in the world has
Slowed,
as the days of staying in place
Grow,
we come to you with hearts that are still
Restless.

In this time, we feel even more acutely
Anxiety
that has always hummed in the background but is now
Blaring.

Take our restless hearts and fill them with
Peace,
so that when this is all over, we will emerge
Changed.

We pray in the name of the
One
Who offers us
Peace
That surpasses all
Understanding.

Amen

March 27 prayer is from Joann Roth-Crackenberger, Lay Leader at First UMC Freeport:

Lord, even though we cannot grasp all that is going on in the world now, we know that you give us patience and peace. Help us to persevere and remember you are the true Light in the world and will sustain us. Help us look beyond the walls of our church buildings and to respond to the needs of others. Amen

* * *

March 26 prayer is from Rev. Satya Sudhakar, pastor at Ashton UMC and Franklin Grove UMC in the DeKalb District.

Almighty All powerful and Omnipotent God we praise your name for who You are.

Your grace is sufficient to carry us through the challenges of life.

You are our shepherd we follow your voice for guidance

You are our refuge we seek strength and help in trouble

You are our God help us to be still to trust in you and know that You are in control.

Merciful Lord continue to have mercy on us your creation and come to rescue us, heal us, deliver us and restore us to the joy of new life.

I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazareth. Amen

***

March 25 prayer is from Rev. Luis Reyes, pastor at First UMC in Lombard.

Gracious and loving God, we give you thanks for your “mercies are new every morning.” Help us to remember that you are a Covenant God, constantly present, journeying along with us. Help today even more to embrace the words of the psalmist: “make me lie down in green pastures, who lead me beside still waters, who restores my soul…”

God, so we ask for your grace and strength so that we can witness that as we walk throughout these difficult days, we do it without fear. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

***

March 24 prayer is from Rev. Jeffry Bross, Aurora District Superintendent.

Speak to us God for we are praying...we are praying for your comfort in our time of distress.

Speak to us God for we are listening...we are listening for your direction to be the church in our time of crisis.

Hear us God for we are speaking...we are speaking of your glory even when things seem most dire.

See us God for we are seeing...seeing your work in the lives of your disciples as they bring comfort and love to a world in need.

Touch us God for we are feeling...we are feeling the care of those we know and those we do not know who are sacrificing for others.

In all that we do, in all that we are let it be that we see, touch, feel, hear, see and love you completely even when things seem difficult, lonely or even lost. We have faith that you are a great God who loves and we are not forsaken.

2 Corinthians 4
Treasure in Jars of Clay
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you.

***

March 23 Prayer is written by Patricia Arne, laity, Steward UMC, and Steward's UMW president.

O Holy God of Hope, who reminds us in scripture that You are the God of ALL HOPE – help us to trust in You with all that we are experiencing now. To trust You to such an extent that our fears are solidly relieved and we can turn our hearts to You and be at peace and full of hope. Help us to so experience Your presence in the Holy Spirit, that we are renewed in love for You, for others, for ourselves. Thank You that you are such a God! We love You! In the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

Romans 15:13 May the God of all hope fill you with all peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. NIV

March 22 Prayer is from Deacon Sharon Rice from Belvidere UMC 

Today's (March 22) prayer is from Deacon Sharon Rice of Belvidere First UMC.

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." --Philippians 4:4-7

Holy and loving God, we are living in anxious times.

We wake up uncertain of what the news will say. We are on edge when a press briefing is announced. We are fearful about health and finances. We look out the window and wonder, "when will life go back to 'normal'?" We struggle with trying to find anything to "rejoice".

And yet, is this not Sunday?

The Day of Resurrection has come around again--rejoice! We are a Resurrection People--rejoice! We serve and follow a Resurrected Savior--rejoice!

And even when our Sundays are disrupted from "normal", the Lord has not gone away! The Lord is and remains near! The Lord is in our homes, in our workplaces, at our kitchen tables, by our computers, on radio and podcast airwaves, across phone lines, on paper in letters mailed to one's homes, in our care facilities and all points in between, including church buildings...the Lord is there.

For after every solemn Thursday, after every gloomy Friday, after every impatient Saturday, comes a joyous Sunday.

And even when our Sundays are disrupted from "normal", the Lord has not gone away! The Lord is and remains near! The Lord is in our homes, in our workplaces, at our kitchen tables, by our computers, on radio and podcast airwaves, across phone lines, on paper in letters mailed to ones homes, in our care facilities and all points in between, including church buildings...the Lord is there.

Emmanuel, God is with us.

So in these anxious times, let us turn our hearts, minds, and faces to the Lord. Let us lift our voices in praise and prayer for God's holy presence! The Lord is near and asks that we give ourselves to God, give all supplications including the burdens that weigh our hearts and spirits down. Give them to God, for God can bear their weight. Give them to the Lord and take the offering of Peace through the love and grace of Jesus Christ...and share that gift with everyone we speak to.

Today is the Day of Resurrection--rejoice! This present tomb we find ourselves in will not and cannot hold us; we will rise with our Lord and proclaim the Gospel--REJOICE!

Rejoice, and be at peace. For the Lord is near.

AMEN.

****

March 21 Prayer is from Rev P Devon Brown, Senior Pastor at St. Mark’s UMC in Chicago

O Lord, In the name of, and by your grace through Jesus, we humbly approach your throne of mercy. We do so in adoration of who you are. You are more beautiful than anything our eyes have seen. You are more powerful than any source of energy we know. You are more loving than the most caring parent. You are a mighty God.

Hear our prayers, now Lord, during this moment of confession, for we have failed to be obedient. Though we’ve made an effort to do your will, our self-interest has often misguided our decision making. Our desire for personal comfort has often contributed to the discomfort of others. Our worship of institutions has often resembled a form of idolatry. Even the works we do have at times been motivated by our need to feel good about ourselves, rather than by your call for us to do good for others.

Despite our shortcomings, we possess great thankfulness for all you’ve done in our lives. We thank you for creating this vast universe and giving us an opportunity to exist in it. We glorify you for the earth’s atmosphere that protects us, and for the natural resources that sustain us. We magnify your name for the honor of serving as stewards in your creation. If you never again do anything for us, you’ve already done enough.

Please now God, hear and respond to the content of our supplications. We, your creation – made in your image – by your words, are crying out for help. The planet you entrusted to our care, is again raising its hand against us through the spread of another harmful disease. Though our abuse of its flesh gives earth ample reason to be angry, we repent of our sin and ask you to again serve as a mediator between your planet and your people. Bring to an end the pandemic. Heal those who have been impacted by it. Just as you did through the cross and the empty tomb, remind us of your power to manipulate nature and forgive trespasses. We will respond to your mercy by caring for your planet, and by utilizing the earth’s resources for the benefit of everyone within its atmosphere. In the matchless name of Jesus, we pray. Amen

14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ( 2 Chronicles 7:14)

March 20 Prayer is from Bishop Sally Dyck

Almighty and everlasting God,

We pray for all of your children across the world who are impacted by the coronavirus this day.
But right now, we pray for those who are going through the challenges, suffering and also joys that life “normally” gives us:
We pray for those...
Who were scheduled for surgery but have had it postponed, increasing pain and anxiety. Be with those in pain.
Who were anticipating graduation from all kinds of educational institutions but now know those celebrations are postponed or cancelled. Lift up discouraged spirits!
Who are in accidents or develop other illnesses or find themselves in need of medical care aside from the coronavirus. Tend the sick.
Who are expecting babies in the near future but are anxious about their own health. Bless and increase their joy.
Whose loved ones have died and now funerals and memorial services are postponed or in question. Give comfort and strength, especially for those who were unable to be with them as they died.
Who've had to postpone or cancel other joyful events like major birthday parties (like 90 or 100 years old) or anniversaries but now cake seems to have lost its sweetness. Help all to continue to give thanks for life and health.
For those of us who plan our lives to the minute of our waking hours and now find ourselves unable to make plans for the foreseeable future. Teach us to live in the moment!
For those who are living in the midst of recent natural disasters, such as Tennessee and Utah. Give them a double measure of strength!
We can’t begin to imagine all the ways people struggle and want to enjoy life so we add our own prayer for “ordinary” life in “extraordinary” times...
Lord have mercy and lift up our spirits that we may continue to give thanks to you for all your many gifts.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

****

March 19 Prayer is from Caleb Hong, co-chair of the NIC Discipleship Task Force and Senior Pastor at Faith UMC in Orland Park.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord."  - Psalm 40:1-3

Lord, help us to wait on You - to put our trust in You.
As You have been faithful in the past, we trust in your faithfulness this day.
In the midst of our celebrations and challenges, 
in the midst of our hopes and fears,
help us to heed your call to love God and love our neighbors,
to feed the hungry, care for the sick, and welcome the strangers.
In the midst of uncertain and challenging times, we place our lives, our neighbors, our world into your sure and certain hands.
We pray all this in Jesus' name, amen.

****

March 18 prayer is submitted by Lay Member Karen Bonnell, co-chair of the NIC Discipleship Task Force, and member of Steward UMC (Steward, Ill.). 

I would like to offer this prayer of encouragement. Let us pray.

O Living God,
Who my soul longs for,
Who my soul thirsts for especially in these unpredictable times,
How I long to go to church and worship you with our congregation.
But even the highest heaven cannot contain you.
You have promised to never leave us or forsake us. We thank you for your steadfast love.
We pray for safety and good health, healing for the sick,
And peace for all.
Give wisdom to our leaders and knowledge to medical researchers.
Give us kind hearts and move us to help those in need.
We pray in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Watch for future prayers submitted to appear on NIC’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram sites. 

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