Taken from

In reverse - prayer in a time of isolation

by Fr James Lyons. 

The Archdiocese of Wellington,

New Zealand.


Prayer for living with isolation

It’s getting hard, Lord, living in a bubble.

I want to burst through it, to touch and to hold

and to live in the closeness I’m used to

instead of this closed-in existence.

But I know the danger, the ease with which I

can contract Coronavirus and pass it on.

Strengthen me to do what is right:

to stay at home, to keep my distance,

to respect this most contagious invader

and to pray and work for its defeat.


Prayer of Intercession – For those who are fearful

For those afraid for tomorrow after what happened to them today –

[R] Gentle Saviour, grant them peace.


For those concerned for loved ones in a time of uncertainty – [R]


For those whose hearts are heavy with grief and sadness – [R]


For those fearing redundancy for they know many jobs will be cut – [R]


For those fearful for their safety in difficult relationships – [R]


For those afraid of dying; may they know the comfort of being loved – [R]


Gentle Saviour, accept these prayers,

offered with the trust of knowing that you are with us. 

Just as fear is part of our nature,

so is our desire to love and to be loved. 

With faith in you we can live balanced and good lives

 and rest in your peace. 

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


By the tender mercy of our God

the dawn from on high will break upon us,

to give light to those who sit in darkness,

and in the shadow of death,

to guide our feet into the way of peace.

[Canticle of Zechariah, Luke 1:78-9]


Prayer of trust

So much in life is unexpected and

I suspect, dear God, that you planned it so.

You are, after all, a God of surprises,

revealing yourself in countless ways,

in colours and shapes, in light and shade,

in people and places and in life’s situations.

Even in this troubled time that no one could foresee,

I know you will guide us along a new path,

to a new and fuller way of living.

Ready me during this unexpected time to

love better, serve better, live better.

The Way it is

There is a thread you follow. 

 It goes among things that change. 

But it doesn’t change.

People wonder about what you are pursuing.

You have to explain about the thread.

But it is hard for others to see.

While you hold it you can’t get lost.

Tragedies happen: people get hurt

or die; and you suffer and get old.

Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.

You don’t ever let go of the thread.

[William Stafford, Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems

Graywolf Press, 1977, p.42


A New Day

With eyes acquainted with the dark

may the first light of morning awaken

 within you a beautiful quest

one that unlocks doors

bolted by yesterday’s grief

and the harsh and unforgiving words

you have spoken to yourself.

May the sun spill light

into the cracks where the residue of darkness hides

inviting you to walk without fear of what lies within.

On these virgin sands of time coming to you as pure gift

May you be embraced by a concept of grace

That sets you free to begin again.

Untie the string around your finger

as you remember forgotten dreams,

like a song that has been waiting to be sung

listen for the long note played by the most gentle touch of the bow.

May it resonate with the one true note within that is you

and dance your dream into this day.

[Andrew Norton – through Sylvia Purdie (Christchurch)]


Psalm 70

In you, O Lord, I take refuge

let me never be put to shame.

In your justice rescue me, free me;

pay heed to me and save me.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,

a mighty stronghold to save me;

for you are my rock, my stronghold.

It is you, Lord, who are my hope,

my trust, O Lord, since my youth.

On you have I leaned from my birth,

from my mother’s womb you have been my help.

My lips will tell of your justice

and day by day of your help

(though I can never tell it all).

O God, you have taught me from my youth

and I proclaim your wonders still.


Compassionate Companion

you are the parent who cannot forget

the child of her womb

you are the mother hen whose wings

shelter and protect her little ones

you are the eagle that hovers,

keeping safe the fledgling

I entrust myself to you

Compassionate Companion

protector and guide

needful yet hopeful

I am yours