Prayer Resources from The United Methodist Hymnal and The United Methodist Book of Worship

The following are occasional prayers for use in circumstances related to this time of pandemic. These prayers are for use in personal, family, and digital group prayer. The text is available as a PDF download below.

For Christ’s Presence

Christ be with us, Christ before us, Christ behind us,
Christ in us, Christ beneath us, Christ above us,
Christ on our right, Christ on our left,
Christ where we lie, Christ where we sit, Christ where we arise,
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of us,
Christ in every eye that sees us,
Christ in every ear that hears us.
     Salvation is of the Lord,
     Salvation is of the Christ,
May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #529)

Come, my Light, and illumine my darkness.
     Come, my Life, and revive me from death.
     Come, my Physician, and heal my wounds.
     Come, Flame of divine love,
          kindling my heart with the flame of your love.
     Come, my King, sit upon the throne of my heart and reign there.
     For you alone are my King and my Lord. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #466, alt.)

For God’s Gifts

O Holy God, open unto me light for my darkness,
     courage for my fear, hope for my despair.
O loving God, open unto me wisdom for my confusion,
     forgiveness for my sins, love for my hate.
O God of peace, open unto me peace for my turmoil,
     joy for my sorrow, strength for my weakness.
O generous God, open my heart to receive all your gifts. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #489)

For Guidance

O eternal God,
     in whose appointment our life stands,
     and who committed our work to us,
we commit our cares to you.

We thank you that we are your children, and that you have assured us
that, while we are intent upon your will, you will heed our wants.

Fill us with that compassion for others' troubles
     which comes from forgetfulness of our own;
     with the charity of those who know their own unworthiness;
     and with the glad hope of the children of eternity.

And to you,
     the Beginning and the End, Lord of the living, Refuge of the dying,
     be thanks and praise for ever. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #512)

For Overcoming Adversity

Lord, we pray not for tranquility,
     nor that our tribulations may cease;
     we pray for your spirit and your love,
     that you grant us strength and grace to overcome adversity;
     through Jesus Christ. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #531)

For Persons in Coma or Unable to Communicate

Eternal God, you have known us before we were here
     and will continue to know us after we are gone.
Touch Name(s) with your grace and presence.
     As you give your abiding care,
     assure him/her/them of our love and presence.
Assure him/her/them that our communion together remains secure,
     And that your love for him/her/them is unfailing.
     In Christ, who came to us, we pray. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #629)

For Persons with a Life-threatening Illness

Lord Jesus Christ,
     we come to you sharing the suffering that you endured.

Grant us patience during this time,
     that as we and Name  live with pain, disappointment, and frustration,
     we may realize that suffering is a part of life,
     a part of life that you know intimately.

Touch Name in his/her  time of trial,
     hold him/her  tenderly in your loving arms,
     and let him/her  know you care.

Renew us in our spirits,
     even when our bodies are not being renewed,
     that we might be ever prepared to dwell in your eternal home,
     through our faith in you, Lord Jesus,
     who died and are alive for evermore. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #628)

Most merciful God, you hold each of us dear to your heart.
Hold Name(s) in your loving arms
     and tenderly draw them  into your love,
     together with all who are living with life-threatening illness.

Assure them that they are not alone,
     and give them courage and faith for all that is to come.

Strengthen those who care for them and treat them,
     and guide those who do research.

Nourish those who have lost sight of you,
     and heal the spirits of those who are broken.

We pray this in the name of Jesus, who suffered and died,
     and then rose from the dead to lead us into new life,
     now and for ever. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #627, alt.)

Almighty God, we pray that Names may be comforted
in their suffering and made whole.
     When they are afraid, give them courage;
     when they feel weak, grant them your strength;
     when they are afflicted, afford them patience;
     when they are lost, offer them hope;
     when they are alone, move us to their side;
     [when death comes, open your arms to receive them].
     In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #621)

For Protection

Dear Jesus, as a hen covers her chicks with her wings to keep them safe,
     protect us under your golden wings. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #691, alt.)

For Safety

Almighty and merciful God,
     of your bountiful goodness keep us from all things that may hurt us,
     that we, being ready in both body and soul,
     may cheerfully accomplish those things you command;
through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #523)

For Serenity

God, grant me
     the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
     the courage to change the things I can,
     and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #459)

For Strength

O creator and mighty God,
     you have promised strength for the weak,
     rest for the laborers, light for the way,
     grace for the trials, help from above,
unfailing sympathy, undying love.
     O creator and mighty God,
     help us to continue in your promise. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #524)

For the Sick

God of compassion, source of life and health:
strengthen and relieve your servant(s), Name(s),
and give your power of healing
     to those who minister to their needs,
that those for whom our prayers are offered
     may find help in weakness
     and have confidence in your loving care;
through him who healed the sick
     and is the physician of our souls,
     even Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #457)

For Those Who Mourn

Gracious God,
     as your Son wept with Mary and Martha at the tomb of Lazarus,
     look with compassion on those who grieve, [especially Name(s)].
Grant them the assurance of your presence now
     and faith in your eternal goodness,
     that in them may be fulfilled the promise
     that those who mourn shall be comforted;
    through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #461)

For the Time of Death

O God, who gave us birth,
you are ever more ready to hear
than we are to pray.
You know our needs before we ask,
and our ignorance in asking.
Give to us now your grace,
that as we shrink before the mystery of death,
we may see the light of eternity.
Speak to us once more
your solemn message of life and of death.
Help us to live as those who are prepared to die.
And when our days here are accomplished,
enable us to die as those who go forth to live,
so that living or dying, our life may be in you,
and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us
from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #142)

Eternal God, you have shared with us the life of Name.
Before he/she was ours, he/she is yours.
For all that Name has given us to make us what we are,
for that of him/her which lives and grows in each of us,
and for his/her life that in your love will never end,
we give you thanks.
As now we offer Name back into your arms,
comfort us in our loneliness,
strengthen us in our weakness,
and give us courage to face the future unafraid.
Draw those of us who remain in this life closer to one another,
make us faithful to serve one another,
and give us to know that peace and joy which is eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #157)

For Times of Illness

O God, who forgives our faults and heals our diseases, we cry to you.
     Our strength has been brought low,
     and we know not what the future holds.
     In our bodies, there is pain; in our souls, anxiety and unrest.

If it may be, restore us to health.
     We ask no miracle of deliverance,
     and if in the order of nature our suffering must continue,
     help us to accept it without rebellion.

If it must lead us toward the valley of the shadow,
     help us to fear no evil,
     but to go bravely into your nearer presence.

In your good keeping, all is well.
     Into your hands we commend our bodies and our spirits.
     Do with us as you will. Amen.

(The United Methodist Hymnal #460, alt.)

For Wisdom

O Wisdom on High, by you the meek are guided in judgment,
     and light rises up in darkness for the godly.

Grant us, in all doubts and uncertainties,
     the grace to ask what you would have us do,
     that we may be saved from all false choices,
     and that in your light we may see light,
     and in your straight path may not stumble;
     through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.

(The United Methodist Book of Worship #525)

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