COVID-19 Prayer: Grace Under Fire

Pastoral care
Pastoral care

By the Rev. Caesar Rentie

Vice President of Pastoral Services

Methodist Health System

On the wall in my office hangs a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

This quote reminds me that our character and integrity are best determined when life’s circumstances go against our normal way of functioning and not when the rhythm of life flows with grace. The invitation for us as we live through this pandemic is to examine who God has created us to be and then live up to that so we may live our best life.

I’ve had the opportunity to witness the strain you have felt holding this virus at bay, as social distancing has reframed how you socialize. I’ve seen how so many of you have maintained your grace under fire. How you have relentlessly pursued excellence when your resources ran low. How you have added shifts and expanded your duties so that the job gets done. And how you have balanced the life of your family with the lives of the patients in your care. The ultimate measure of who you are in the face of this COVID-19 pandemic is faith, hope, and love.

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news my mother would say to me,

“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

– Fred Rogers


Eternal God, as we face our own human vulnerabilities amid the threat of the COVID-19 Virus, may we be reminded once again that you are God of all time, God of all people, and the God who has lived through every pandemic in human history. Reassure our spirits through your enduring presence. May we know that we are not alone because you are with us through the wisdom, the hands, and the life of the helpers who come to meet us in our crisis.

So, God, we give thanks for all of the helpers in healthcare who meet us in our crisis, when we are surrounded by fear, to relieve our suffering. We thank you for their courage to risk themselves in pursuit of preserving our hopes, dreams, our lives, and the lives of those we love.

Therefore, we give you thanks for the gift of doctors who use their wisdom to thwart the danger that threatens our lives. We give you thanks for the gift of nurses who use their abilities to ease our pain and comfort our suffering. We thank you for the gift of the certified nursing assistants who give extra hands to round out the compassion of their care. We give you thanks for the gift of respiratory therapists who assist in connecting us to the breath of life. Thank you for the gift of radiologists who help us see what we cannot see. Thank you for the gift of clinical secretaries who answer the call no matter what. Thank you for the gift of environmental services who keep our surroundings orderly and our surfaces clean for the sake of good care. Thank you for the gift of phlebotomists and laboratory who draw and analyze blood to inform the direction of care. Thank you for the gift of pharmacists who prepare medication to aid the healing of our bodies. Thank you for the gift of food services who provides us with sustenance for the nourishment of our bodies. Thank you for the gift of chaplains who sit with us in the midst of our fear and anxiety and help guide us towards hope, even in the face of death. Thank you for the gift of care management who coordinate the care beyond our doors. Thank you for the gift of facilities management who ensure that the integrity of the structure facilitates our medical care. Thank you for the gift of information technology that has connected us in imaginable and unimaginable ways. Thank you for the gift of administrators who through their wisdom evaluate and utilize resources for the sake of our care by building bridges to enable community.

God, we thank you for showing up in all of the helpers who faithfully use their gifts for the sake of love and your beloved community! We pray this prayer in your name, you who are our Great Helper. Amen.

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If you are in distress, please call your church or reach out to your company’s pastoral services department for confidential support.

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