Praying in the midst of a pandemic: The Lord’s Prayer

by Emily Vanden Heuvel

Tuck Ins

A favorite routine I have with my children is to pray with them at night. After a brief snuggle and a time of reflection on the day, I tuck my children in with prayer. This bedtime ritual is comforting to the kids and it signals that it is time for their minds and bodies to sleep. This routine has been particularly important in the past few days as everything around us seems to be changing at lightning pace.

I am writing this from my home instead of from my office cubicle; my kids are sitting next to me completing schoolwork on their computers instead of at their local Christian school; and my husband is at the kitchen table on a conference call instead of standing at the front of his classroom. Each day seems to bring with it more questions, more worry, more change, and more stress. But in the midst of all this uncertainty, when we stop to pray, we initiate a comforting connection with the Creator of All Things.

Comforting Connection with the Creator

In her book, A Guidebook to Prayer, Mary Kate Morse says that the Lord’s Prayer “contains in it all the important fundamentals of Jesus’ proclamation. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer we affirm Jesus Christ’s priorities and we join with the catholic (meaning all-embracing or universal) church throughout time and place, proclaiming our united calling” (p. 96).

The Lord’s Prayer is found in Luke 11:2-4 and Matthew 6:9-13. In Matthew’s gospel, we read:

“This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’”

Stability in Change

Reciting the Lord’s Prayer gives me comfort and a sense of connection with God. I begin to pray for my hopes, and those of others, through Jesus’ very own words. It gives me a sense of stability and routine in a time when so much is changing. I invite you to practice praying the Lord’s Prayer this week and rest in Jesus’ words as you take care of all the uncertainties you face and as you pray for the needs of others.