Stumbling Towards Thanksgiving: Congregational Pandemic Prayer

God, in this hard year, we’re stumbling towards Thanksgiving.
There has been lots to trip us up;
a pandemic, economic meltdowns, social isolation,
injustice on so many fronts: #BlackLivesMatter, #MeToo,
and the ongoing call for justice for indigenous peoples.
Not to mention hurricanes, forest fires and climate change…
and this is not even including the everyday sorrows
that haven’t let up for one minute!
We wouldn’t wish this year on anyone!

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Glory to God for Autumn Congregational Prayer

Glory be to God for autumn things!
For the green world changing colour;
golden, crimson, amber, rust.
For baskets of glorious apples:
delicious, ambrosia, russet, spy.
For the grain tumbling out of the combine,
the pumpkins filling the field,
for round bales of hay weighing down wagons.
And then the crisp fall breezes bringing clouds
heavy with rain, hinting of snows to come.
We come with thanksgiving for the rich blessing of the harvest,
and the work of the farmers who produced it.
God, this is a year where we take nothing for granted;

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Pandemic Prayer

Spirit of Hope, can you hear us calling?
This is our pandemic prayer.
You see the virus, and chart its path.
You are with the sick and with those who die,
you are with the caregivers taking such great precautions;
you know our fears of the unseen.
We need your help to keep the virus at bay!
Help us stay vigilant, as we wash our hands
for the thousandth time, as we again mask up
and make choices not to mingle….

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Living with a Pandemic Congregational Prayer

Gracious God:
We are the church united as we pray from different locations,
connected through something more marvellous than technology–
your Spirit filling us with hope and vision.
We come first of all with thanksgiving.
Thank you for the many kindnesses we have experienced
in this time of social distancing: old friends reconnecting,
some households learning about togetherness,
others learning new quieter rhythms….

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Call to Worship for a Virtual Service

Micah 6:8 and
It is good to be together, God,
on these screens, with these people,
together listening for your voice,
united by your Spirit.
In this time of worship
tell us about your kingdom of kindness
so that we can seek it.
Show us your justice.
We want to walk with you,
humbly, closely, daily.

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Mother’s Day Prayer in a Pandemic

This Mother’s Day is different, God.
So many cannot visit their
beloved mothers or grandmothers,
or the women who have been like mothers.
People feel so lonely because their hands
are not held, their arms cannot hug.
Other families have had too much togetherness,
and the past year has been tumultuous
with tantrums and fights and frayed tempers,
and too many words said too quickly.

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Congregational Prayer in a Pandemic

Great God: our community gathers in spirit
through the marvels of technology to give thanks together.
Thank you for medical professionals and staff
who work so faithfully in hospitals, clinics and nursing homes…
give them strength, courage and personal protective equipment.
Thank you for the diligence of scientists working on a vaccine,
and the way so many have ramped up the production of essential supplies.
Thank you for storekeepers and clerks,
farmers and truck drivers,

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Easter Pandemic Prayer

Jesus died. He was buried.
On the third day he rose.
Thank you, God, for hope
when hope was lost
and for life when death had won.
In these pandemic times
when so many are suffering and dying
resurrect within our world
the faith and hope and love
we need to survive.

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Good Friday Pandemic Prayer

Jesus, Saviour, hear our Good Friday prayer.
As human beings stagger under the weight
of a worldwide pandemic,
we turn to you, bearer of the pain of the world.
You woke that Friday morning in captivity,
and so we see your face in all who are imprisoned;
hear our prayer for those in jail,
who cannot escape contagion in close quarters.
We see your face in all who are unjustly accused;
hear our prayer for those who tell the truth about this virus,

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About Carol Penner

I am a Mennonite pastor currently teaching theology at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. I’ve served congregations in Ontario and most recently, Alberta.

I love to write and to lead worship! If you are finding my writing helpful, I would love to hear from you! Feel free to use or adapt the material here, it is all written by me. If printing material, please credit “Copyright Carol Penner” (and say whether you modified it). If publishing, please contact me for permission. Contact me at

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