Let Us Pray

Let Us Pray

I invite you to pray with me.

This week it was announced that the coronavirus has killed more Americans than did the Vietnam War, and has disrupted the economy and our daily lives in unprecedented ways. Nearly four months after news of the coronavirus was first reported, and after seven weeks of social distancing and closure of school buildings, workplaces, restaurants, and church buildings to flatten the curve of infection, there’s talk of “opening up” society again.

Let us pray.

With limited testing and research on-going, there are still more unknowns about the nature of this disease than knowns. The critical decisions facing policy makers, and the continued challenges confronting researchers and medical professionals, are daunting.

Let us pray.

Businesses large and small have shut down or severely limited their work. Millions are applying for unemployment benefits, and the state struggles to keep up with demand. Up to 30% of renters may not be able to pay rent this month, resulting in an unprecedented wave of evictions.

Let us pray.

This is no time for simple answers. These are extremely complex public health, economic, and social challenges facing us.

Let us pray.

We are a church that still gathers at the foot of the cross and the opening to the empty grave. The Holy Spirit continues to bring us together despite all the disruptions. We have adapted our ministries to sustain Bible study, worship, and fellowship online.

Let us pray.

As our congregation eventually comes out of the most restrictive of public health protocols, we will face new challenges about how to come together as the Body of Christ and how to live God’s promise in care for our neighbor. And beyond the pandemic, New Joy is a church with a vibrant ministry and an exciting future. What lies ahead of us during and after this pandemic?

Let us pray.

At this time of uncertainty, I will be praying every day in a way that I haven’t prayed in a long time – maybe ever. I invite you to join me in prayer.

Speaking personally, this pandemic — preceded for me by the challenges of a year-long separation from family and church during my deployment overseas — is shining a light on my need for more prayer and deeper spiritual growth. More than ever I need the comfort, strength, and clarity gained from a life grounded in prayer. Perhaps you do, too.

Let us pray.

Linked below is a simple outline of prayer called “Responsive Prayer.” Responsive Prayer has been published in Lutheran prayer books for over 100 years. Print it out and tuck it inside your Bible, or set it on your desk, nightstand, or kitchen table. Or bookmark this link and come back to it on your phone or computer each day.

This is an outline you can pray at morning, noon, or night.  I’d suggest that you make it a routine tied to a meal or time of day, rather than let it be a “when I get to it” kind of thing. We often don’t get to those things that we fail to prioritize. I know I don’t.

Please join me in prayer. I can use the spiritual company. And I’m sure we can all can use the spiritual connection.

Lord, hear our prayers, and let our cries come before you (Psalm 102:1).


Pastor Chris

There are many ways to pray.

Here are just a few options for prayer:

Faith5 outline for faithful reflection and conversation

A list of daily Bible readings will also be included in each Friday’s email.

d365 — an app inviting users to pause, listen, think, pray, and go. Find it on the iOS app store or Google Play.

The Responsive Prayer outline briefly references the Daily Examen method of prayer developed by St Ignatius of Loyola.  Daily Prayer Practice

Any other prayer practice that draws you closer to the power and promises of God.

Every Wednesday at 9:00 pm, my wife, Jessicah, and I say and sing Night Prayer, streaming online on the church’s Facebook Page and on our YouTube channel. Details and a bulletin available at on our Livestream page.