Everyone has felt the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But pastors and leaders have taken the weight of crisis heavily upon their shoulders. Now, more than ever, those in the leadership in the church need to take a moment to care for themselves. The sprint of emergency response has begun to pass, and reopening planning has been set in place. However, the energy spent over the last several months has left many depleted.

Prayer is one of the central spiritual practices of the Christian faith. It enables us to not only connect with our Lord but also re-center our souls. Prayer gives us the quietude and focus that so often escape us throughout the day, allowing us to recall Who it is that supplies our strength and lifts us up in times of trouble. The prayer that follows is one such re-orienting prayer that will gently guide pastors and church leaders toward a place of peace, care, and conviction.

Dear God,

Help me embody the life of Jesus in my calling as a pastor during COVID-19 in ways that honor you, oh Lord, and build Your kingdom in this moment.

Help me to lead with a humble spirit by helping me better understand my strengths and weaknesses as a leader.

Help me remember that my congregation and community need me now but will also need me later, when I forget to care for myself as I care for others.

Help me stay grounded spiritually and emotionally by clinging to Your steadfast love through regular rhythms of spiritual discipline.

Help me remember what is truly important in my ministry when busyness and stress threaten to blind me to what You would have me do.

Help me acquire and share the best information available in a climate of fear and misinformation.

Help me lean on Your strength and wisdom as I seek to shepherd my congregation during this unprecedented time.

Help inspire me to think creatively about how to engage, care, and protect my congregation and community as we navigate reopening our building.

Help me and my church remember Your call to love our neighbor, especially the most vulnerable as we navigate when and how best to reopen our building.

Help me to lead in ways that foster the wellbeing of our church and community thereby giving witness to the love of Christ so that we may proclaim the gospel of hope to a hurting world.


This post originally appeared at reopeningthechurch.com.