Whilst all of us are all living in the limbo of lockdown, our experience of it varies greatly from person to person and family to family, as indeed from nation to nation. It has been a delight to hear of a number of households who have been relishing every moment and finding the extra time together a great gift.
For those faring so well, thank You Lord. May this time be like a welcome sabbatical and a lasting blessing. But for those with mental health conditions, who are finding the tedium and anxiety of lockdown extraordinarily, even unbearably difficult, Father, we ask for Your strategies and relief from extreme anxiety. Send emergency help we pray to undergird both them and their families.
Some who have been working from home instead of commuting have found they have been able to make unexpected savings as the result of greatly reduced travelling; many more, though, who thought they were financially sound, have, to their great dismay, found their security melting away, often overnight. Zero-hour contract workers have been particularly hard hit across the world.
The UK has been far more generous than any other nation in providing furlough payments, but the burden of repaying the enormous sums involved in propping up so many sectors of the economy will be immense.
Everyone is aware of the risk of a second spike of infections as we gradually unlock. There has been a great deal of prayer that this will not happen, but at the same time the risks remain genuinely present.
Father, we pray the power of Your sustaining grace for each one of us, especially where what we thought were stop-gap changes prove to be of longer duration than we had expected, or indeed look set to become the new normal. So much has changed, Lord: working on-line; having no work; queueing, maintaining our distance from one another; church on-line; our children out of school; so much separation . . . Father, what can we do but look to You to keep our foundations in You and our gaze upon You.
Thank You for the miracle of so many more people than ever before ‘exploring’ church as a result of online streaming. May the spin off from those encounters prove long lasting we pray.
And just as we are praying for those who are feeling the pain of estrangement from loved ones especially acutely, Lord, we are sensing something of the pain that You are feeling concerning those who have deliberately chosen to walk away, whether from You or from the ones You had intended them to walk in fellowship with. Continue Your work of soul challenging and heart softening we pray!
So we thank You, Lord, for those who are being blessed and who are singing songs of joy – but we pray Your presence too on those who are fighting for breath physically and emotionally, or who are in deep grief at this time.
For all such, here is a song I wrote with David Booth (who himself has recently recovered from Covid) with but one end in view: to help us hold on. Megan sings it so beautifully, with David himself playing guitar.