Prayers for Turbulent Times from Asbury Seminary
Dr. Jeff Frymire, faculty – 3/30/2020
Based on Psalm 23
O Great Shepherd of the Flock, You who watch over your children like a shepherd watches over his sheep; who protect us from danger that comes from around us and who protects us from the danger that comes from within us; who guides us through the whirlwind of fear and anxiety that comes when we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of death, we cry out to You this day:
Grant to us faith in the midst of all our fears and concerns;
Grant to us faith even when the darkness seems pervasive and the light seems to flicker like a candle in the wind;
Grant to us the long view of Your work in our lives so that we may see Your goodness and mercy operating not only in this moment but through all of our days and even beyond our days into the time of eternal rest in You;
In a time when we cannot gather in a place of worship, remind us that we dwell in Your house and we will dwell in that house both now and forever;
In a time when we are bombarded by scary news and frightening predictions, remind us that Your goodness and mercy will follow us each and every day of our lives; indeed, all the days of our lives.
So that we may sit at Your table, sustained by Your Grace;
So that we may be anointed with the oil of Your Presence and the excesses of Your great love;
So that we may find ourselves lying in green pastures instead of stormy seas.
We pray this through the One who is the Shepherd of our Souls, the Guardian of our lives, and the Overseer of our futures – Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd. Amen
Chris Coppernoll, staff – 3/29/2020
Precious Lord, You’ve gathered us into a unique community. We have lived side by side in classrooms, dorm rooms, and shared meals in the dining hall. We have stood elbow to elbow worshipping in the chapel. Now, dispersed in the era of Covid-19, we feel sequestered behind closed doors, our community scattered. This is abnormal to us. We know intuitively that separation and isolation have the potential to harm us if we forego finding new avenues for connection. So, Lord, we ask, would you grant us fresh gratitude for the value of our community? We ask for the grace to remain relationally connected, even while we are socially distancing. Lord, You said, “Where two or three gather in My Name, there am I with them.” Thank You for the assurance of Your Presence when just two or three can gather. Help us build infrastructure to bridge physical distances and come together for fellowship. Show us how to continue in ministry in light of our present circumstances.
Gregg Okesson, faculty – 3/28/2020
Gracious Lord of the Universe, we pray for courage in the face of fear, and love for one another amidst sickness and death. Deepen our faith and love during this season, united with brothers and sisters all around the world. And we pray with the Psalmist, ‘Lord, be gracious to us; we love for you. Be our strength every morning; our salvation in times of distress’ (Psalm 33:2). We pray this in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.
Dr. Steve Gober, faculty – 3/27/2020
Heavenly Father, we humble ourselves before You. You have created us, sustained us, and redeemed us. Your love, mercy and grace flood our hearts with joy. Therefore, we come before You with confidence. We reaffirm our allegiance to You alone. We trust in You. We cry out, Lord heal our lands.
Forgive us for the hardness of our hearts, our independence, and our failure to follow You perfectly. Awaken us, renew a right spirit in us, and realign our thoughts so that we may live in unbroken communion with You. We cry out, Lord heal our lands.
We pray for those most vulnerable; whose immune systems are compromised; for the unemployed and underemployed. Lord, be their Protector, Provider, and Promise for a better day. Mobilize us to be expressions of Your love, mercy and grace. We cry out, Lord heal our lands.
Thank You Lord, for You hear our prayers and promise to be with us always. We praise you, worship You, and profess that Yours is the power and the glory now and forever. In the mighty name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Rev. Nicole Sims, staff – 3/26/2020
Prayer adapted from Psalm 121
Lord, we lift our eyes above our circumstances and fix our eyes on you!
You are our Maker of heaven and earth and You are where our help comes from! Thank you God that you are not surprised by the troubles facing this world because you neither slumber nor sleep. You are our Keeper, our Shade, our Shelter. Please keep us from evil and give us wisdom for our going out and coming in today. Thank you that our lives are in your hands. We take confidence in your ability to guard, guide, and care for us this day.
In the Mighty name of Jesus we pray,
Rob Lim and Ruth Chieng, students – 3/25/2020
Speak to us, O Lord! That we hear your voice in the midst of this trial. Teach us to live in unity where there is separation, have hope when there is fear, pour out love where hate arises, hold peace when there is trouble, and testify the name of Jesus where there is silence.
Dr. Anthony Headley, faculty – 3/24/2020
Almighty God, Our heavenly Father, during times of crisis and international and national emergencies, our fainting and anxious hearts have no safe refuge but you. In this present crisis revolving around the pandemic COVID-19, our hearts, minds and voices once again cry out to you. In the midst of anxiety and fear that seems to exude from many quarters and threaten to envelop us, we turn to you. For who else but you can calm our anxieties and speak peace in the midst of this current storm! You have promised that you will keep those in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on you. Let this peace that transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus! May the comforting presence of your Spirit likewise keep us calm and secure! As a result, may we experience a quiet confidence in you that quells threatening fears and rising anxieties. Grant that while fully trusting in you, we will also cooperate with you by taking all possible human precautions that help to stop the spread of the coronavirus. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ who triumphs over all things, even fear and death. Amen!
Dr. Ellen Marmon, faculty – 3/23/2020
We’re beginning our second week away from our campuses and near to only those in our “immediate family.” Things are starting (barely) to sink in, Lord. The world you so love is experiencing a common crisis. We are exiled from each other and from familiar patterns of living. Could you please remind us through your Word, the witness of your Holy Spirit, and the kindness of our brothers and sisters, who you want us to be in the midst of this mess? Reveal ways that your daughters and sons can reflect your goodness and our trust in you to others. Let us, like your people long ago, gather only what we need for each day, no more and no less. Give us the courage to leave provisions where others can glean them, marveling at your generous ways. Amen.
Shivraj Mahendra, student – 3/22/2020
Eternal God, Our Creator and Sustainer: Thank you for the gift of life. Thank you for your mercies that are new every morning. Life and wellbeing are your amazing gifts. Today we are surrounded by fear of a deadly virus. Heal our fear, give us faith. We declare that sickness and death are in Your control. We pray for healing and protection from Covid-19. We repent of the human causes that might have triggered it. We pray for Your divine grace for immunity for everyone around the world, and especially our community. We speak courage to those who are struggling and comfort to those who suffer or mourn. Lord, help us to be instruments of healing and hope for our world! In Christ’s powerful name, Amen.
Dr. Jonathan Powers, faculty – 3/21/2020
Almighty God, who joins us in our joy, hears us in our grief, and meets us in our suffering; we confess to you that we are afraid, we are saddened, we are confused, and we are anxious due to the disruptions of life caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts are troubled within us and our spirits are downcast; yet, you have given us your perfect love that casts out all fear and you have left us your peace that transcends all understanding. In these uncertain times, send us your Comforter, O God, so that we may be assured of our communion with Jesus Christ, the one who is the Prince of Peace. Give to us that peace the world cannot give so that our minds may be fixed on your goodness and beauty, and our lives on the doing of your will. Deliver us from all fear and strengthen your Church so that your people may perfectly love you and worthily glorify your name throughout all the earth. We ask all of this in the holy and most precious name of Jesus Christ, the one whose coming sets all things right. Amen.
Dr. Mike Voigts, faculty – 3/20/2020
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, the Savior of our souls and the Holy Fire of our lives, we come before you as a seminary community scattered around this world you created to center our hearts on You. We’re facing a global situation that’s new to our generation, but certainly not new to You or to Your Church. May we follow the example of those in the Body of Christ who have gone before us during their own times of global strife. May Your loving presence shine through us as we represent you in the anxious, unsettled world around us. We celebrate that despite our isolation from each other physically, we remain united in You, Lord, no matter where we are. You are the great strength of our lives, the hope of the world, and we put our trust in You. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Molly Ye, student – 3/19/2020
Heavenly Father, We trust that you are a good good father toward your children even though we couldn’t understand all the sufferings among and around us. There are mysteries that we as fallen beings could not comprehend; yet your love has been shown fully through Jesus and the cross. You loved the world so much that you sent your one and only son to bear our sins and burdens. We are not alone because you, Jesus, suffered, too; yet you did not sin at all (unlike us… forgive us!). You are not ignorant of pain, sorrow, loneliness, misunderstanding, isolation, denial or any kind of discomfort—because you walked through all and more. So we look upon to you for comfort, healing, restoration, justice, hope, and all the heavenly gifts and blessings that you have been granting to us everyday of our lives. Among our sufferings, we want to declare again to ourselves and to the world that you are the caring creator of the whole earth, the loving and kind father, the eternal covenant and promise keeper, the ultimate ruler of all the time and human history—each nation, people, tongue and individual souls. We are your people and children, and we put all of our trust and hope in you alone, forever and ever. Amen!
Dr. Ruth Anne Reese, faculty – 3/18/2020
“Lord God Almighty, grant your people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Free us from the lie that our life rests solely in our own hands and remind us that the eternal life you give is life in your presence now and always. Give us grace to follow you, the only true God and the giver of life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Modified from a Lenten prayer in the Anglican Alternative Service Book)