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A prayer group at Trinity UMC in Richmond, has been gathering to meditate on Scripture and pray for the life of the world in the early mornings. During the coronavirus pandemic, this group extends an invitation to all to participate in the conference-wide day of prayer, Thursday, May 7. According to Hilary Coakley, a member of the prayer group, “We believe that when we pray and cry out, God will listen to our prayers and deliver us from all our troubles.”

A sign-up has been created to enter participation at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0944aead2da64-prayer
(1) click the time slot; (2) scroll down to the block which says “Submit and Sign-Up” and (3) complete the sign-up process and click submit.

The Bible also teaches about the spiritual practices of praying together:

“Then Daniel went to his home and informed his companions, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, and told them to seek mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery” (Daniel 2:17-18).

“Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day” (Esther 4:16).

“All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer” (Acts 1:14).

“Then after fasting and praying, they laid their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:2-3).

Coakley said, “We need to pray as the whole church because prayer will bring us as the one body in Christ, help us know that our help is from God, and be an expression of love and compassion for the communities and the world.”
The following is a suggested guideline for the Day of Prayer.

  1. Set aside a time of prayer individually or communally and sign up
  2. Begin with the prayer provided by Bishop Sharma Lewis:

“Almighty God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank you for your blessings, past, present, and future. You are our rock and the source of our hope in all things and at all times. As Jehovah Jireh, our provider God, we ask you this day to stretch out your mighty hand and eradicate from the face of the earth forever; this virus called COVID-19 that is spreading rapidly from continent to continent.
We also pray that you, Jehovah Rapha, our healing God, would place your hand upon all of those who have been stricken by this virus and restore them to full health. Be with those who have lost loved ones and are grieving. Protect all who are caring for those with this virus and keep them from contracting it themselves. Calm our fears and provide us with your peace that surpasses all understanding. Strengthen us with the joy of the Lord and help us to hold firmly to the hope that only you can provide.
Unify us that we, the Virginia Annual Conference, may be able to experience anew the promise of your presence in and through the unity of our faith, hope, and trust in you in the days ahead and forever. We offer this prayer in the mighty name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. AMEN.

  1. Lift each prayer

Prayer for all caregivers, nurses, physicians, first responders, health care workers

Prayer for persons suffering from the coronavirus

Prayer for those who grieve the loss of their loved ones

Prayer for hope and peace in anxiety during the pandemic

Prayer for leaders, governments, nations

Prayer for an end to the pandemic

Prayer for churches, communities, and the world

Prayer for healing

  1. Close with the Lord’s prayer