A Holy Stillness and a Prayer for the Lonely

In conversation with colleagues and friends recently, over and over again, folks are expressing the same feeling: TIME IS STANDING STILL. Have you heard the saying “time moves quickly when you’re having fun?” For a lot of us, pandemic life is the opposite. The most fun and joyful things in life are usually in the presence of those we love. Our family, our friends, our church communities and times of fellowship, all which seem so out of reach and leaving our hearts lonely.

The Kaiser Family Foundation ran a tracking poll in July 2020 that indicated that 47% of individuals polled that were sheltering-in-place reported greater negative mental health effects than those who were NOT sheltering in place, likely because of the isolation and loneliness.  Families with older adults and teens are also at higher risk of mental health issues exacerbated by loneliness of pandemic life.

Our Savior is one acquainted with grief, sorrow, and especially loneliness.  We were not meant for loneliness or isolation—we were meant for fellowship and encouragement to one another. In times like this, drawing near to the Lord in prayer helps heal our lonely hearts. Though it doesn’t take away the pain of missing your loved ones, it does bring us closer to peace. If you don’t know what to pray, think about starting here:

  1. Pray for the people you miss, and pray that you can love them well from a distance.
  2. Pray for your sadness and express your sorrow to a compassionate God.
  3. Pray that God would use your loneliness as a way to understanding the heart of Jesus more
  4. Express gratitude for the fact that you have a heart that longs to be connected and that you have been given people to love deeply.
  5. Pray for the day when you can be reunited with your loved ones.

A passage from the Liturgy of Missing Someone from Every Moment Holy (Douglas McKelvey) –

“Grant us courage to shrink neither from
the aches nor from the joys that love brings,
for each, willingly received, will accomplish
the good works you have appointed them to do.
Therefore we praise you even for our sadness,
knowing that the sorrows we steward in this life
will in time be redeemed.”

Praying for all of us, that time standing still brings us to a holy stillness.