God, Give me endurance.
I never prayed this prayer until this year, until the weeks and months of lockdowns started to bleed into one another. My prayers have changed since 2020.
Last year this time I prayed: “‘Stop this!”
Last year, I prayed: “Please let this be done after six weeks!”
Last year, I prayed: “Please let the schools open in June!”
And when I was talking to you, God, I so often told you: “I can’t do this God. I just need it to end.” I only knew how to pray for one version of deliverance. Nothing else felt like hope.
A few months ago, my prayers changed. I still wanted this season to be over, God, so much, but to my prayers for the end of covid, I added another: A prayer that I could endure, however long this season lasted . A prayer to be able to keep going, by Your strength, because I wasn’t going to get through otherwise.
There are more weeks ahead, God, and I need you to help me endure. I have grown weary of saying “perhaps the end is in sight” and “maybe we’ll be allowed bubbles again soon.” I have grown weary of my kids asking when the shutdown will lift, their sad sighs when I tell them I don’t know. I have grown weary with trying to stay positive, with trying to muster up some semblance of optimism that the tide is turning.
Help me endure, God. I ask for the endurance to stay the course, to continue with the task to which we have been called. I ask for enough endurance to get out of bed each day, enough endurance to fall asleep peacefully at night. I ask for enough endurance to take one day at a time. One sermon at a time. One virtual church service at a time. One day of online learning at a time. One day of isolation at a time.
I ask for endurance for others that need it. Give the teachers endurance for one more day of virtual classrooms. Give the healthcare workers endurance for another day of exhausting work. Give the parents endurance for one more day of negotiating learning and emotions and snack time. Give all the weary endurance for all the “one more days” that still lie ahead. God, give me endurance. By your mercy, give me a hope that endures no matter what our restrictions.
Protect me from despair. Protect me from discouragement. Help me not to throw in the towel, give into the melancholy or ignore the by-laws. God, bring an end to covid. And give me the endurance to wait, to serve, and to hope until that day comes.