I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
‘O Lord, I pray, save my life!’ (Psalm 116:1-4)
“I love the Lord; God has heard my voice and my supplications.” In this time of pandemic, many of my prayers are about what I wish God would do for us – to protect us, to guard us, to strengthen us, and to heal us. I pray that God will provide comfort for those grieving and those suffering. I pray that God will grant us courage. I offer many intercessions, petitions, and supplications. I pray because I have faith, I pray because I love the Lord.
It is so easy to give into fear and worry. In times of deep uncertainty, of mixed and confusing messages of what is true and real, in days of isolation and physical distancing, even in moments of panic and crushing anxiety, it is all too human to lose sight of all that God is doing in and through us. The words of the Psalmist are good and powerful words, “I suffered distress and anguish – then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, I pray, save my life!”
Prayer: Lord, we humbly pray, ‘save our lives,’ and save the lives of those who suffer and struggle. And in those cases where life passes, ground us in our faith and our love for you. Be close by us, be within us, be between us, so that we are assured of your grace, your care, your kindness, and your comfort. Our hearts grieve for the many losses in this time of widespread illness. Hear us when we pray, for our hope and our future are in your gracious hands. We love you Lord, hear our voices and our supplications, we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).