Bishop Park on the National Day of Prayer

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.

(Psalm 69:13)
Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Susquehanna Conference,

Grace to you in the name of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace, Healer of our Brokenness, and Hope of the World!

Today we observe the National Day of Prayer. This day was set aside by the United States Congress beginning in 1952 as a time when people of all faiths might unite their hearts before God.

Please join me in making this a special day of prayer. Indeed, we have much to pray about. Let us come into God’s presence asking for healing from the ravages of COVID-19. Our prayers and tears flow for those who are sick, those who are hospitalized, and for those who have lost loved ones. Many are also living in the anxiety of having lost employment due to the pandemic. In general, communities of color and the poor have been hurt most by the pandemic and the resulting precautions. We grieve for all these concerns.

Please join me in praying also that God would lead scientists and researchers as they work hard to find effective treatments and a safe vaccine that will allow people to heal and live healthy lives. We know that our God is a God of revelation in faith and science.

Our prayers of lament are also mixed with prayers of gratitude. For family and friends who have remained healthy or recovered well, we are grateful. For the signs of hope we see around us, particularly as creation awakens into spring, we give thanks. For God’s gift of creativity to our clergy and lay people who have found new ways faithfully to worship God and care for neighbors, we praise God. As Easter people, we rejoice that even now, God is working for the renewal of life.
On this National Day of Prayer, I ask that as the people of Susquehanna Conference, we pray together mightily for our nation and for our world. Let us pray that the division that is felt in our country be healed. May God hear our prayer that we all would be united as one people striving to work together so that all might be free and honored.

May our voices ascend to our God, who hears all of the people of the world and is quick to answer our prayers.
O Thou, in whose presence my soul takes delight,
on whom in affliction I call,
my comfort by day and my song in the night,
my hope, my salvation, my all!

(The United Methodist Hymnal, 518)

Praying with you,
Jeremiah Park


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