In answer to His disciples’ query on how to pray, Jesus taught them The Lord’s Prayer, as recorded in Matthew 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–4. It applies broadly to every generation, and specifically to every need, both physical and spiritual. With insights from Scripture and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, here is The Lord’s Prayer applied during a time of pandemic.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Our Father, Who art in Heaven.
Thank You for the provision of relatively peaceful and normal lives for most, until recently, that we have taken forgranted. Just as a small child can trust a faithful earthly father to provide all that he may need, we come before You, knowing that You hear our prayers and act, even if we cannot see or understand Your actions. Help us turn to You and rely on You in all need, not just during a pandemic. Keep us focused Heavenward, all the while serving those in our midst on Earth.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”
(1 Thessalonians 5:16–18).
Hallowed be Thy name.
Father, Your name is made holy through Christian lives that reflect Your love. Please give Your people who are well strength and bravery to help those in need, whether it be with childcare, nursing the ill, or other creative means. Please give Your people who are sick strength and bravery to share their faith and Your love with those around them. We ask that You protect Your name from any wrongful accusation regarding this disease; through this pandemic, glorify Your name and let Your peoples' lights shine.
We also know that your name is kept holy when Your Word is taught in truth and purity. We humbly ask that you bring swift healing to your land and create safe ways that we can come together to worship you without pangs of conscience. Bless pastors, missionaries, and ministers of Your Word to continue to preach and teach Your truth.
“He who has My word, let him speak My word faithfully” (Jeremiah 23:28).
Thy kingdom come.
Help us put our confidence in You, because Your kingdom comes when we trust Your Word. Even throughout this strife, extend Your kingdom to others through every possible means, whether it be social media, telecommunications, or the witnessing sacrifices of caring friends and neighbors. Preserve and protect individuals who share Your love, most powerfully expressed in the redemptive death of Christ our Lord, and His resurrection which opens Heaven to each and every one of us when we die, regardless of the circumstance.
“The genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7).
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Powerful God, break and hinder every evil counsel and will which would hinder your kingdom. We especially ask that you trample Satan under your feet, crush this virus in the world, and frustrate every selfish desire in each of us. We trust that absolutely no tragedy is beyond Your power, control, or timing, even while fully admitting we don’t understand Your power, control, or timing. Please keep Your people steadfast in Your Word and in faith, all the while bringing more into Your kingdom through the mysterious workings of Your will.
“We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Give us this day our daily bread.
Lord, we know that You are the One Who provides everything we need for our bodies and souls, even to those who don’t acknowledge Your abundant gifts. For many of us, we are entering a time where we are considering ‘daily bread’ more now than ever before. Put our hearts at ease, knowing You are looking after every aspect of each of our lives, including food, clothing, living quarters, money, family, education, government, hospitals, health, reputation, and social networks. Extend the time of grace for those who don’t believe in You. Spare them and give them people in their midst who will provide for their spiritual and physical needs. Help us to trust You, even in times of fear, isolation, worry, cyncism, and suspicion. We ask Your special blessing on brave and sacrificial healthcare and governmental workers.
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17).
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Father, we humbly admit that we have sinned against you, and against one another in thought, word, and action, even (and especially) in ways that we do not know. Humans are experiencing sin on both ends of the spectrum: Many fearful, filled with worry and panic. Others are prideful, filled with selfishness and cynicism. We judge, and have been judged by others. Pry open our hearts to the needs of others. Unblind our eyes to see not only the effects of physical disease around us, but also effects of the pandemic of sin in our own hearts. When we perceive others have wronged us, remind us of Christ’s forgiving love, overflowing into our lives, and help us give them Your grace.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8–9). “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).
And lead us not into temptation.
Guard and keep us from all sin, especially from the destruction of despair and the peril of pride. Give us all grace to be watchful, seizing opportunities to show love for others in our midst, beginning in our own families and working out into our churches and communities as You equip us. Lead us to share freely both our possessions and Your love, to neither hoard our abundance, nor hide our Hope.
“God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
But deliver us from evil.
End the uncertainly of our world, ultimately with the certain assurance of peace with You, and of Heaven, bought for us with the blood of Jesus. Deliver us from every evil of body and soul, sin, sorrow, and disgrace. Grant us full reliance on you, and for those who are not yet Christians, open their eyes to see the spiritual deliverance Christ has given to all through His death and resurrection. Comfort and heal all those in physical or emotional affliction, plagued by suffering or loneliness during this time of isolation. No human can foresee how this pandemic will end: You alone know. But, we do know that You will ultimately deliver some from sickness through death. Grant Your people a blessed end, trusting in the Savior, and bring us safely to your Heavenly kingdom.
“The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen” (2 Tim. 4:18).
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we trust that You are willing and able to answer all of our petitions because You are almighty and rule all things. Yet, we admit that those answers might not look or seem how we expect. We wait on You and trust You to provide for the physical and spiritual needs of all those You have created, redeemed, and sanctified. Use us as Your hands and feet in our vocations, and give us Your earthly, and eternal, peace.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. … In Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 14:27, 16:33).
You might also be interested in The Apostle's Creed in the Time of Pandemic
Mrs. Marie K. MacPherson, vice president of Into Your Hands LLC, lives in Casper, Wyoming, with her husband Ryan and their children, whom she homeschools. She is a certified Classical Lutheran Educator (Consortium for Classical Lutheran Educators), author of Meditations on the Vocation of Motherhood (Old Testament vol., 2018; New Testament vol., 2023), and editor of Mothering Many: Sanity-Saving Strategies from Moms of Four or More (2016).