Advent Prayers for the Healing of Pandemic

Advent is the four-week season of the Christian year that proclaims the coming of Christ. Advent derives from the Latin “adventus,” which means “coming.” Advent calls the community of faith to prepare once again to receive Christ’s coming – each ordinary day, each Christmas, and in the ultimate future.

In this Advent season of global pandemic, we hope and pray especially for the coming of Christ’s healing. We invite you to receive the gift of four Advent prayers, one for each week, beginning the week of November 29th, the first Sunday of Advent.

These prayers are gathered from across denominations, read by Streams of Hope staff members, and accompanied by a simple centering image. Downloads of prayers are available as well.

We invite you to visit this space each week, to pray the weekly prayer often, and to prepare a place in your own heart and life as you pray the healing of Christ for the world.

Learn more about Peace and Justice at Streams of Hope >

Advent Week Four

Hear this prayer read by a member of the Streams of Hope family below, and click here to download a printable version.

The Christmas Spirit: a poem

The Christmas spirit
is that hope
which tenaciously clings
to the hearts of the faithful
and announces
in the face
of any Herod the world can produce
and all the inn doors slammed in our faces
and all the dark nights of our souls
that with God
all things still are possible,
and that even now
unto us
a Child is born!

Prayer for Healing

God of heaven and earth,
in this Christmas season of pandemic and isolation,
when we are distant from friends and neighbours and family,
we thank you that with you all things still are possible
and there still is nothing
in all of creation,
not even coronavirus,
that is able to separate us from your love.

As we welcome the gift of the Child,
may we share your love that never fails:
may we look out for each other,
and care for neighbours near and far,
recognizing our shared vulnerability and strength.

May we be grateful for every breath,
receiving and giving your love
and building your kingdom,
in constant prayer that everyone on earth will know the gift
of full and healthy and abundant life.

In the name of the Christmas Christ we pray,
Amen.

 

Poem written by Ann Weems; prayer adapted from Christian Aid, United Kingdom

Advent Week Three

Hear this prayer read by a member of the Streams of Hope family below, and click here to download a printable version.

 

Bless the Parents, Students, and Teachers

God of us all,
again and again, you make all things new
and we are grateful.
Thank you – again – for the coming of Christ,
and thank you for renewing the strength
of parents, students, and teachers.

Bless all parents, O God:
Make them brave when they feel afraid,
wise in the face of their challenges,
and patient and gentle with themselves.
Give them joy this day,
and the knowledge that the best they can do is good enough.

Bless all children and youth who are schooling from home:
Help them not to feel alone,
help them to discover new inner strength
and new ways to connect with others.
Give them joy this day,
and the knowledge that the best they can do is good enough.

Bless all teachers and tutors, O God:
Watch over them, provide for them,
guide them, sustain them.
Give them joy this day,
and the knowledge that the best they can do is good enough.

Bless all who were challenged by poverty and special needs before the pandemic struck:
Shelter them from stress,
keep them from despair,
be their comfort and peace.
Give them joy this day,
and the knowledge that the best they can do is good enough.

God of us all, you are our refuge and strength,
a very present help in any trouble.
Grant us your grace – as individuals and as community –
to bear with one another in love,
and to share with one another our support, our care, our hope.

May the renewing peace of Christ guard our hearts and minds,
so that, together, we might walk in the way of unity that
your Spirit makes possible –
during the pandemic and always.
Amen.

 

Adapted from a prayer by David O. Taylor, Christianity Today magazine, August 2020.

Advent: Week Two

Hear this prayer read by a member of the Streams of Hope family below, and click here to download a printable version.

 

Blessed are the Healthcare Workers

Blessed are the ones who cannot be isolated. Blessed are all healthcare workers.

Blessed are the hands that are raw from scrubbing and sanitizing, the hands that heal, comfort, and support.

Blessed are the shoulders that carry the weight of life and death.

Blessed are the feet that are aching from standing at the bedside, running between rooms, and answering phones. Blessed are the hearts that are frightened and breaking.

Blessed are the mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers, sisters and brothers, partners and friends, who cannot go home.

Blessed are the families who become isolated from each other, the ones who sacrifice their own comfort so that others need not be alone in their suffering.

Blessed are the sick and the dying, those who bear the image of God before us.

Blessed are those who look upon their work as sacred, a gift at this time of overwhelming demand.

Blessed are those who lack the time and space to process their experience and exhaustion; may we and others bear their burden with them.

Blessed are the ones who are found weeping in corners of our emergency rooms, our hospitals, our primary cares, our outpatient centers so that we might see a strong face to greet our need.

Blessed are those who weep openly with us, so that even our tears have companions.

Blessed are you, O God: quietly holding each of us, all of us, along the way.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus, abide unceasingly. Love us while we bear the worst, and give us the hope and compassion to support our health care workers with the infinite mercy and healing of the coming Christ.

Amen.

 

Adapted from a prayer by Kate Williams, Chicago, IL.

Advent: Week One

Hear this prayer read by a member of the Streams of Hope family below, and click here to download a printable version.

 

Prayer During a Pandemic

Loving God, Holy One,
Your desire is for our wholeness and well-being.
Your will is health and wellness for all.

We hold in tenderness and prayer
the collective suffering of
our world at this time.

We grieve precious lives lost and
vulnerable lives threatened.

We ache for ourselves and
our neighbors, standing
before an uncertain future.

We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.

Eternal God, inspire our leaders to discern and
choose wisely, aligning themselves always with the
common good.

As we faithfully practice social distancing,
reveal to us new and creative
ways to come together in spirit, in love
and in solidarity.

Call us to profound trust in Your
faithful presence,
and in the promised coming of your son, Jesus the Christ.

For You are the God who does not abandon,
You are the Holy One.

You are breathing within us,
breathing among us,
breathing around us
in our beautiful yet
wounded world.

Use us, O God, as instruments of the healing you send.
In the name of Christ the Healer,
Amen.

 

Adapted from a prayer by Sr. Katie Clauss, Sisters of IHM, Scranton, PA.