Prayer from Jim Antal
Interfaith Day of Prayer
May 7, 2020
God of many names, creator of the universe, breath of life,
Whose heart breaks whenever any part of creation suffers,
Be present – grant your assurance – to all who are stricken by the coronavirus
and to those overrun by anxiety.
Strengthen and protect those you have called to the front lines of this struggle
and let them know your gratitude for their unfailing dedication to life.
Uphold the communities of color, indigenous peoples, meat-packing workers and others
whose vulnerability is amplified by the systemic injustice we continue to tolerate.
Awaken us, that we might partner with you in this Kairos moment.
Let the pain of grief and tears of loss not paralyze us
from accompanying you through the portal of this pandemic.
Lead us, we pray, as we cross the threshold to a new and more just world, leaving behind:
- gaping economic inequality,
- blatant racial inequity,
- rampant ecological destruction,
- ruinous extractive profiteering,
- and pervasive political corruption –
all of which have been amplified by this pandemic.
Let this be the moment in which America reorients what we prize
as we affirm the values of the first disciples and the early church by embracing:
- sharing in place of hoarding;
- resilience in place of fear;
- cooperation in place of competition,
- interdependence in place of rugged individualism,
- and spiritual and moral growth in place of material growth.
Let your breath enliven a renewed commitment to the common good.
Give us the courage and resolve to resist the broadcast of blasphemy we must endure.
Let your Holy Spirit speak through us as we exile “business as usual” to the dustbin of history.
Inspire our scientists to defeat the current pandemic.
And let us build on that momentum to address the climate emergency,
As participants in the beloved community and inhabitants of a restored creation.
The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal
Author, denominational leader, climate activist and public theologian. The former UCC Massachusetts Conference Minister and President now serves as Special Advisor on Climate Justice to the General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ.