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Prayers for chaplains and health care workers


Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel director offers two prayers for those working on the frontlines of COVID-19

by Captain Lyman M Smith, CHC, USN Retired, director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Chaplain Lyman M Smith is with Religious Program Specialist Sean Boyd in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2006. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — The two prayers below were written for the nation’s chaplains and health care workers serving on the frontlines of COVID-19. The author is the director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel and is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

According to its website, the council supports chaplains and their families. It provides career guidance, training opportunities, pastoral care and transition assistance if and when they leave federal service. Chaplains work in a unique environment, and rarely serve near their home presbyteries and churches. That’s why PCCMP serves them wherever they are in the world.

A Prayer for Chaplains

Glorious God,

You call us to love and to serve,

not only with words, but also in presence and actions.

Lord, you surround us completely in time, in space, and in spirit.

No matter where we go,

you journey with us and use us to reveal your grace and mercy.

During this time of testing from the novel coronavirus,

we pause to lift your beloved who serve as chaplains.

Whether they serve in the military,

in health care, in hospice,

in palliative care, in prisons,

with first responders, in commercial industry,

or another institutional setting,

guide and protect them and magnify your grace through them.

Through your chaplains open the eyes of those who fail to see your presence.

Through your chaplains encourage souls overcome with fear and worry.

Through your chaplains refresh those wearied from devotion to the works of healing, protecting, providing, and defending.

Through your chaplains assuage the anguish of death.

Through your chaplains give hope during joy and sorrow,

chaos and calm,

success and failure,

rest and exhaustion.

Jehovah Jireh — provide your chaplains with endurance

and protect them when they serve in heart wrenching, anxious, and dangerous places.

Give your chaplains wisdom to know when to be socially distant

and when to be physically present,

always connected to the precious soul you have placed in their path.

Lord, provide your chaplains with words of comfort and truth,

whether they sit beside families of loved ones,

staffs of institutions, or leaders of people.

May they effuse the peace that comes only from you.

Encourage your chaplains to embrace their significance as they help all people overcome during this national and global challenge.

Embolden chaplains to persevere in their essential calling.

Gracious God, we give thanks for your chaplains. Amen.

A Prayer for Health Care Workers

Compassionate God,

From the shores of the river Jordan to the steps of the Temple Mount,

you have cared for the well-being of your people.

Your healing teaches us your compassion for our frailty.

Thank you for caring for us no matter our status in this world.

We ask your blessing on those who emulate you

as they provide the ministry of healing to all those in need.

Guide, bless, and encourage your faithful health care servants

who willingly jeopardize their own, and their family’s,

health and safety to confront sickness and disease.

Enable them to relieve suffering and assist in the healing process.

Lord, you loved us enough to walk in our midst

on a disease-filled Earth.

Even now, abide in with us

and surround all engaged in the healing sciences and arts.

Bless them as they labor for you in stressful,

anxious, and sometimes threatening settings.

Keep them close in your loving embrace.

Guide researchers as they seek greater understanding of your universe

and develop vaccines and treatments which will reduce suffering and death.

Enable suppliers who ensure materials and equipment are available as needed using creativity as they sometimes seek to do more with less.

Encourage the families of health care workers

as they support them in their call, knowing that through their loved ones, lives

are saved and your tenderness is known.

Provide your health care servants rest

during wearisome hours of constant demand.

Dispense comfort in moments of loss or setback.

Grant peace that goes beyond human understanding.

In our present surroundings which tempt us to despair,

may we all come together as part of your global community

and embrace the love of Christ for all precious souls.

Help us overcome our fears

and unite across all borders of every type to share,

manufacture, support and supply knowledge, equipment, and resources.

Your kingdom is a place of plenty.

Let us live in your abundance knowing you provide enough for all.

In your mercy Lord, grant health.

Bless those you have called to be your hands and feet in healing and the provision of care.

May they always know how thankful we are for their gifts, service, and sacrifice.

Hear our prayer, O Lord. Amen.

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