Praying the Headlines

Look at a few pages of a newspaper or a news website. As you read, what catches your attention? Look at the photos and the headlines. Read one or more news stories.

Where is there fear, desperation, need, celebration, or turmoil in the world?

Pray for those situations.

Prayers in difficult times

Often when anxiety rises surrounding a disaster people are drawn to pray. When anxiety runs high sometimes people are not certain what to pray for, how to pray, or what words to use. In the peace-shattering wake of the Boston bombing I offer you these prayers.

National distress

Eternal God, amid all the turmoil and changes of the world your love is steadfast and your strength never fails. In this time of danger and trouble, be to us a sure guardian and rock of defense. Guide the leaders of our nation with your wisdom, comfort those in distress, and grant us courage and hope to face the future. O Lord, hear our prayer. Amen

Time of conflict, crisis, disaster

O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. O Lord, hear our prayer. Amen

Health care providers

Merciful God, your healing power is everywhere about us. Strengthen those who work among the sick; give them courage and confidence in all they do. Encourage them when their efforts seem futile or when death prevails. Increase their trust in your power even to overcome death and pain and crying. May they be thankful for every sign of health you give, and humble before the mystery of your healing grace. O Lord, hear our prayer. Amen

A prayer of Thomas à Kempis

Write your blessed name, O Lord, upon my heart, there to remain so indelibly graven that no prosperity, no adversity, shall ever move me from your love. Be to me a strong tower of defense, a comforter in tribulation, a deliverer in distress, a very present help in trouble, and a guide to heaven through the many temptations and dangers of this life. O Lord, hear our prayer. Amen

Prayers used by permission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.