A Prayer for the Post-Pandemic Church
As The Salvation Army recognises a Second Global Wave of Prayer for Covid-19 (Sunday 24th October), Lauren Westwood (Digital Content Producer with a focus on Women's Ministries) shares a prayer for the Church, including The Salvation Army, as it seeks to emerge from the pandemic.
Heavenly Father, who knows no such thing as impossible, we look to you in these days of confusion and uncertainty.
It is true that many of your people will come out of the pandemic with arms crossed and heads hung, with depression, grief, trauma, disappointment, and with a longing to return to the world and the Church as it was 'before'.
But we are not as we were 'before', because you have worked in us! Even through this long dark night of our lives, you have been at work. We praise you for bringing the promise of day; the shining morning, the bright hope on which we will seek to build the post-pandemic Church.
I pray that we will be bold enough to cut loose anything that is weighing us down and limiting us from reaching our full holy potential in you. Give us the wisdom to recognise when, perhaps, even the most treasured traditions don’t quite fit us anymore. Banish the ego that carries us away from the truth that we serve no one if it is not you.
But, Father, let us not be hasty in cutting away what once was, for it is steeped in rich experiences of your Spirit and precious pictures of you we once held. Instead, may your Church, the bride of Christ, marry together the old and the new: the known and the unknown, the experienced and the yet-to-be experienced.
We seek out such a union because it draws us close to you and your heart. It places us in your heart that transcends time and sees the span of eternity yet cares more for us in a single second than we could ever imagine. As we emerge from the pandemic, may we know we are yours.
May we be overwhelmed not with despair and disappointment, but with fresh reminders that you are not dead. You are alive in us!
May we be gentle with one another, providing safe spaces to figure out feelings and tackle the trauma that lingers. You are our Good Shepherd.
May we know that you are in the days to come as well as in the years of old. You are the Alpha and Omega, present in our every moment!
May we see new possibilities and find creative and innovative ways to honour and worship you. You are the ultimate Creator and Artist.
And – as we cautiously, or excitedly, or nervously, or bravely – step out from this pandemic, may we seek more and more of you and your heart for us.
In your name we pray,
Lauren Westwood works as part of the Communications and Women's Ministries sections at International Headquarters.
Brought up in The Salvation Army, Lauren now worships at Bromley Salvation Army with her husband, Karl. Lauren is passionate
about seeing women empowered in their walk with Jesus through prayer and the building of deep connection with one another.