Pandemic Psalms for Third Sunday after Epiphany

In this season after Epiphany, I’m focusing all of my energy on the psalms. As I shared last week, I’m offering one prayer inspired by the psalm from the Revised Common Lectionary knowing there are tons of wonderful resources out there that could add to this simple practice for your weekly worship.

I’ll share some of those other gifts from other places first. Maren Tirabassi shares monthly communion liturgies throughout this pandemic but last March there was a consecration prayer inspired by this week’s psalm. The whole liturgy might work for you too. There is this longer meditation on the psalm as part of the Living Psalms project Maren curates with great love. I rather like this Responsive Call to Worship if the Week of Christian Unity is something that you are uplifting in your congregation this week. (Or at least I’m pretty sure it starts this week.) And this Prayer for Others might work for your Prayers of the People. I rather like this prayer by John Birch too. I was once an avid follower of his prayers and used them in weekly worship often.

Prayers of Confession
Inspired by Psalm 19

Slow us down, O God. 
Even when it seems 
like nothing is happening,
give us moments of awe
for your handiwork. 

Surprise us with the work
of your heavens and the awesome
wonder that love always finds a way
because even in this slowness
we cannot stop our restlessness.
We want to push our way 
out of this discomfort.
We want to know what 
will come next.

Revive us from this awkwardness
to awake with wonder
each morning to find
again and again, O God, 
you are faithful.
You give light to our eyes
if we can only slow down
enough to look for your grace.
Slow us down, O God,
enough to hear you 
and see you in each 
new day. We need you.

I feel like I took a big detour from this psalm but it still hints at what I hear in this ancient psalm. It reminded me of all of the weddings that have happened even through this pandemic. Somehow I find that amazing in my own version of isolation — and I want to awake to that delight each and every day. And though I thought of using Great is Thy Faithfulness to accompany this prayer (maybe even as as Assurance of Grace), I opted for this lesser known song.

That’s all I’ve got for now.

I am praying for you, dear pastor. I’m praying for you so much.