In this prayer/poem, the author uses Old Testament imagery to convey the message for Christians to call upon God in this difficult time.
O Heavenly Father,
of old, when Your people
were unable to cope,
You brought them deliverance
and renewed their hope;
this pandemic, coronavirus,
a telling plague,
that in the nation none can tame,
is threatening Your courts
where You have set Your sacred name;
surely, an enemy has done this,
a veritable Goliath
has dared to challenge Your fame;
for where is the fellowship
we once knew,
is it contained in the spirit of fear
among a fearful few?
Have we not hung our harps
upon convenient willows?
And, like Jacob, we have
slept alone upon stone pillows.
How can we deign to sing
the great hymns and songs of Zion
in a worrying stifling mask?
How can we ask
our ready petitions in public prayer,
or shake a needy hand in care,
or risk an encouraging smile
across a measured aisle,
when every escaping breath
could mean potential death?
O God, is it not enough
when Your people, like Saul,
divide and hide among the stuff,
and self-isolate, and unseen,
worship upon a small silver screen?
Are we not ensnared and
imprisoned by an invisible enemy?
For within Your hallowed Church
where is the oneness, the harmony,
the union, and the shared communion,
for which we search?
O God, do a wondrous work,
and set Your people free,
that they might truly worship Thee.
Rise up, O Lord,
and let Your enemy be scattered;
let not Your House
be left unto You desolate,
impedimented, and unable to relate:
infuse, within Your anxious people,
a spirit of power and of faith,
in order to overcome
this present wave of fear and grief,
so that, once again,
in both harmony and togetherness,
Your House will echo to the praises,
that we will gladly bring,
and to the hymns and songs of Zion,
that we will freely sing.
© Copyright Michael Hurn, all rights reserved. This poem may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.