A Litany in Response to UMCOR’s Call to Pray for Those Affected by the Ebola Epidemic

by The Rev. Frederick Yebuah

If we had a thousand tongues, O God, we would not be able to praise you enough for the gift of your handiwork. 
When nothing existed but chaos and a formless void, your breath brought forth light and life. 
Then you breathed your spirit into us, and you fashioned humankind to reflect your very image. 
Your hands made and continue to make beautiful things from dust.

Lord, we give you thanks.

Gracious God, we also recognize that because of our carelessness, your world now groans with labor pains;
creation bears the scars of destruction, and many suffer. 
Therefore, you have called us to uncover our eyes in order to see the world’s needs, to include our ears to hear the world’s cries,
and to open our mouths to speak life where there is death.

Lord, in your mercy.  Hear our prayer.

Today, O God, we especially lift up to you our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone—for all those who live with the threat of the Ebola virus.

God of Life and Love everlasting, hear our cries for mercy, comfort, and help.

Gracious God, we call you the Great Physician. 
We pray your healing power to touch those bodies that now shake with fever, ache with pain, and are too weak to sustain the demands of life.

God of Life and Love everlasting, hear our cries for mercy, comfort, and help.

Gracious God, we know you are a Mighty God. 

Grant access to medical care for the most vulnerable in West Africa. 
Protect doctors and nurses who kneel at the bedsides of the sick and the dying. 
Provide resources in places of lack.  Guide churches and church leaders. 
Empower all who work tirelessly to be Christ’s hands and feet.

God of Life and Love everlasting, hear our cries for mercy, comfort, and help.

Gracious God, we believe you are Hope to the hopeless.  Hold parents who’ve lost children. 
Gently father and mother children who’ve lost their parents. 
Make your presence known to those who are dying alone, in the streets, in wastelands, without friends or family. 
Speak tenderly to all who feel abandoned by the world’s governments and systems of power. 
Give strength to our friends in West Africa who feel that “life more abundantly” is an unfulfilled promise.

God of Life and Love everlasting, hear our cries for mercy, comfort, and help.

Gracious God, we know you are the Light overcoming darkness. 
Why should we be afraid? 
Help us, O God, to trust in your unchanging nature in times of uncertainty. 
Grant us peace that Ebola or anything in this life that would threaten to undo us, is not impossible for you. 
Hear our prayer. 
Amen.

 


The Rev. Frederick Yebuah, a native of Ghana in West Africa, is a clergy member of the South Carolina Annual Conference, currently serving as the Orangeburg District Superintendent.

Please also see "UMCOR, UMC Health Boards Respond to Ebola."

Categories: Times of Crisis, Grief and Loss, Natural Disasters