You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘comfort’ tag.

Praying for the Pandemic © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia

You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.

(by Lisa Degrenia, Rev Degrenia is a United Methodist Clergy. She currently serves Trinity UMC in Sarasota, Florida.


Matthew 8

Jesus heals a leper.

When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”


Jesus, hear our prayer

For the quarantined

The stranded

Those feeling isolated

And those being treated as diseased outcasts

End the prejudice and mistreatment

Make us one in you

Lord, hear our prayer


Jesus heals a centurion’s servant who is paralyzed.

5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.


Jesus, hear our prayer

For those feeling paralyzed

by fear

by uncertainty

by the markets

For business owners and all unable to work

For students and educators as schools close

For congregations unable to gather

Lord, hear our prayer

Jesus, hear our prayer

For those, like the Centurion, risking much to help others

Medical professionals and researchers

Health Departments, the CDC, and the WHO

Cleaning crews

First responders

Those who work in assisted living facilities and nursing homes

Like the Centurion, grant us all great faith

And the strength to ask for help

Lord, hear our prayer


Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law who is bedridden with a fever.

14When Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever; 15he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. 16That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were sick. 17This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah, “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”


Jesus, hear our prayer

For equal access to testing and treatment

For virus carriers and authorities to make wise choices

For an end to this pandemic

Heal all who are sick with the virus and those who will become sick

Raise them from their sickbeds to bless their homes and communities

Lord, hear our prayer


Jesus heals the Gadarene Demoniacs.

28When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29Suddenly they shouted, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. 31The demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32And he said to them, “Go!” So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. 33The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. 34Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.


Deliver us from evil, Jesus

End its destructive influence

Turn the hearts of all who use this pandemic for selfish gain

Deliver us from panic, Jesus

Help all who are struggling with their mental health

All whose souls are screaming

We welcome your presence and peace

Lord, hear our prayer


Jesus stills the storm.

23And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24A windstorm arose on the sea, so great that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25And they went and woke him up, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. 27They were amazed, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”


The situation is beyond us, Jesus

It feels out of control and dangerous

We are swamped

We are perishing

Save us, Jesus

The waves of news and need overwhelm us

But not you

You calm the storm

You bring good out of this great need

You hear our prayer

Glory to your Holy Name. Amen.

Today, I celebrate the life of my sister, Thea Marie Anne Pazen.  Thea died almost two years ago and it is only fitting and just that I should remember her today and all the things that she taught me.

Will you pray with me, please?

Everpresent Energy,

Thou are the Lord of all creations. Thou were there to cause the beginning and you will be there after the end of this universe as we know it. Only thou are the maker of life, light, love, and Thea. Thou know Thea was a complex, generous, brilliant woman. Thou know that I do not exaggerate! Thou are amazing!

Lord of Life,

Mama, Thea and me, c. 1956Today I pray, remembering Thea. I ask that thee be with all who have loved her, who wish we were celebrating with her.  And maybe we are. I don’t understand what happens after we leave this life. Sometimes I think that we are so ecstatic to be with thee that none of the other souls would matter. Other times I think that my soul will be happy to see the souls of all who I’ve known who have gone before me. Right now I see thee and heaven “through a glass darkly” and every once in awhile, when I meditate, I think I can see thee a little bit more clearly; I get glimpses of thee. Amazing!

And I ask again, if it be thy will, that gainful employment of any kind will be granted to me. Carole and Basil had ideas. I have ideas. I have historically been a woman who needs W2 employment, but I’m not in charge of this life of mine. Thou are. It’s my task to take what you so abundantly grant to me and to make a prayer of it. I pray of thee that you will grant me discernment and make my way easy; make my paths level and straight and obvious, really obvious.

Great Generous Giver,

Thank thee.  Thank thee for Thea’s life. Thank thee for all who have loved her. Thank thee for happiness and sorrow, and the ability to appreciate one because of the other. I am so grateful, Lord. I love thee so much.

And I pray in Jesus’ mighty name,


To God be the Glory!


Love always,


Melissa Pazen, MSW


39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

© Melissa Pazen, 2019

God Trusted
That your parents
And their parents
And your grandparents’ great, great grandparents
And those people
all the way back to those Cro-Magnon folks
. . .
God trusted them to make you.
. . .
Now, God was around before the beginning
And God will still be around after it all ends.
. . .
And I don’t know if God sat down and created a chart
that Gregor Mendel discovered;
. . .
I don’t know why you or one of your friends
was conceived through
wasn’t wanted
maybe even was wanted.
. . .
(There are many things I don’t know;
and that’s
I say “God only knows”
but maybe other people know and just I don’t.)
. . .
Here’s what I know:
. . .
God trusted your parents
and all those progenitors
to make you
. . .
And it doesn’t matter to me whether your parents wanted you or not.
I know that you are not an accident because
God trusted because
. . .
God wanted you.


To God be the Glory!


© Melissa Pazen, 2017

Love always,

Melissa Pazen, MSW


39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord…

— Romans 8:38-39

Oh, my all-knowing and glorious God,

god_welcomeI’ve just received word that Dick died this morning, just a little while ago. What a road my mind takes. Almighty One, you called the worlds into being and you knew Dick before he was knitted in his mother’s womb. You have called him home to heaven. I don’t understand your ways, dear Lord; my vision is not as all-encompassing as yours.  I can only let go and adore your exquisite plan.  You are amazing!

I praise you for knowing when to call home Dick’s soul. I know his body and his mind had been failing him increasingly and I am grateful that his need to fight for life has ended. I know that he rests in your arms and that his soul takes on abilities that humans do not have. I know that he now has supreme joy.

Lord of Love and Light,

I pray for those who love Dick. While they know he now has no pain, they are left with emotional pain because they will miss him. While this frees time for Lindsey, she would have loved more time with her beloved husband. Their children and grandchildren likely feel gypped for not having more time with Dick when he was brilliant, capable, loving, and funny. This time for them is bittersweet. And they are just sad, feeling their loss.

jesus-reaching-inI pray that you will hold them close, Lord. Hold them and comfort them. Whisper in their ears that they, too, are your beloved children and that your plans for them are for their welfare. Help them to remember the storms that they have already weathered, by your guiding hand. Remind them to be gentle of one another and of themselves, times of loss are stressful and it’s easy to forget to be kind. Remind them that loving Dick formed an incredible bond among them and that nothing can take that away.

Generous Giver,

You gave us Dick and we are grateful. You gave us sunshine so we can walk in the light, with a good ability to see and we are grateful. Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in the mighty name of Jesus,


To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa Pazen, MSW


39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!


Omnipotent One,

lung_cancer_sm_cellI talked yesterday about Carol. I had hoped to visit her tomorrow, but, as you know,she just called to tell me that she doesn’t feel well enough to have visitors.  She can only talk for a few minutes before she’s out of breath and her throat hurts.  I’m so sad this has happened to her.

But God, she called me. I had a chance to talk with her for a little while and I’m grateful, so grateful.

cancer-survivorI’ve been worried, as she continues to cancel via emails that I wouldn’t speak with her again. And now we have and I’ve heard the areas in which she’s healing and I’m reminded that I don’t need to worry, because you are trustworthy.

Thank you. And thank you again. And amen.


To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa Pazen, MSW


39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!

“I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you.” – Revelation 3:20


The only people who knock at the door are people trying to sell siding or windows. Oh, and the the Jehovah’s Witnesses who act in perfect faith and bring us news of a way of faith don’t want to hear.

We live in a day of texting, so we can be least obtrusive when we want to be in contact with one another. Even with the next door neighbor, I text before I run over to drop off the mail left in my box by mistake.

We live in a day of email. The daughter of the neighbor down the street is in Girl Scouts and group blasts everyone on the block asking if we want to place an order for cookies.

We live in a day of isolation. I fall prey to it as much as anyone, maybe more. I simply don’t want to bother people who probably don’t want to hear from me anyway. Or it’s the wrong time to make a call.

But God – God doesn’t care about any of that. God doesn’t text or email or even use the cell phone that’s replaced the old yellow wall phone in the kitchen. If I knew it was God standing at the door, I’d wonder why God didn’t just walk in. Jesus walked through walls after his resurrection, I suspect God’s a phenonenal locksmith. God stands at the door and knocks.


Or maybe God makes the first daffodil bloom, or puts buds on the trees. Maybe God causes a freak micro-blizzard followed by five minutes of sunshine followed by another five minutes of micro-blizzard. Maybe God puts us face-to-face with two friends who are planning to have dinner on Wednesday and invite us to join them.

All of the things God does in the paragraph above have happened to me within the last week. I wonder what God’s done to get your attention. I wonder how many of God’s countless little actions have not gotten my attention. Will you pray with me, please?

Almighty Architect,

You are behind every occurrence in every day. You are the healing of the paper cut and the cancer. You are the energy in the battery that keeps the clock on my desk running. You are the love that created the new baby whose photo is on Facebook. You create the world, over and over. You were there before the world began and you’ll last long after it’s gone. And you never seem to tire of it, because you just keep creating and healing and loving. God you are simply amazing!

Forever Forgiver,

I’ve been walking in more than 40 days of a spiritual desert in the midst of an exceptional spring. You’ve been knocking on my door and I’ve neither answered nor knocked at yours. Forgive me.

Loving Lord,

There are too many to mention who need your visit. I’ve been asked to pray for Thea, again her body is cancerous, even with the amazing medications you’ve created that she takes daily. I’ve been asked to pray for Susan who wears a WonderWoman headband while she sits for five hours of chemotherapy. I can only pray for Carol, whose cancer has returned with such a vengeance that I hope she’ll let me visit. A dream from the other night reminds me to pray for Blair. Sally is having suffering with her husband’s negativity. Rose and Holly still struggle to steer clear of alcohol, even though they know they can’t control their drinking. Loving Lord, every one of these and so many more need your energy, your attention, and some kind of billboard from you to continue to have courage in the face of these troubles. And there’s me, too, Lord. I need to stop trying to carry things on my own, even though my shoulders and neck ache because of the weight of these troubles.

Granting Grandother,

You give and you give. And you give and you give. And while I am grateful for some things, even making lists of them, there are myriad occurrences and items that I don’t realize. Thank you for medical technology and medications. Thank you for hope. Thank you for batteries. Thank you for computers and the internet. Thank you for loving me. And loving me and loving me. Thank you for holding me gently always, leaving it up to me to remember that you are.  Lord, I love you so much!

And I pray in Jesus’ name,


To God be all glory!

Love always,

Melissa Pazen, MSW


39w328 W. Burnham Ln, Geneva, IL  60134

Cell:  773.405.3301

LIVE INSPIRED: think boldly; love unconditionally; behave respectfully; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; live authentically; laugh frequently!


… I sit quietly and look at this image:

And then I feel better.

Astonishing Architect,

bright mountains winterOnly you can bring a morning of exquisite sunshine to a bleak mid-wintery kind of day.  You are the energy and creative force of the universe. You are the word, and the word is love. I fall to my figurative knees in front of you, as I type these words to you. You are more than I could ever imagine.

Loving Light,

dawn of creationI bring my brother, Jim, to you this morning. I thank you for his new job. I pray you will remind him in the darkest of times to lean on your perfect strength and let you guide him. Help him to know that you control all things and that the job for us poor mortals is to appreciate the beauty of how you make all things fit together. Help Jim to relax and look for good, look for the love in Helen’s eye and the good intention in Angela’s movements. Let Jim know that a hug goes a long way for all of us.  Remind him to be loving and kind… even to try it, just for today. And, Lord, let Jim know that we love him.  We simply do.

Generous Giver,

Thank you for a Christmas that was indeed ‘dayenu’, it would have been enough just to have my children with me. It would have been enough just to have Steve’s loving attempts at presents to please me. It would have been enough to make them happy with gifts you inspired me to bestow on them. And yet, You – Lord of all land and below and above – You saw to it that we enjoyed one another’s company and that I got to have my children, now numbering three, tucked in their beds here on Christmas Eve. Thank you for helping me, over the years, to let go of my expectations for great times and find the beauty in the good times, because they become great when viewed in the proper way through the proper lens with the proper focus. Thank you and thank you again. Lord, I love you so much.

Jesus told us that if we would ask in his name, we would receive, that our joy be made full.  And so I ask in Jesus’ name,


To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
…A time to kill, and a time to heal

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

AP_FALL_BACK_TIMERecently, I’ve watched a lot of people deal with loved ones end of life (or the over it).  Today in the US, it’s “Return to God’s Time” as daylight savings time ended at 2 a.m.   (I wasn’t up to count THAT down.)  My garden is brown or frozen because it’s -3ªc or 20ªf outside!  All the lovely blooms are gone and the annuals are too, except for tarragon & rosemary that I haven’t harvested yet.

This all reminds me of the seasonality of all living things.  Rod McKuen called it ‘Seasons in the Son’.  Leslie Bricusse talked about the morning, noon and evening of one’s life in Fill the World with Love in the musical “Good-bye, Mr. Chips”.  I simply wax nostalgic.

I remember my women’s theology group (Monday Night Bible Study or MonNtBS as I irreverently named my e-Mail group), working through the book of Job.  I went into it thinking “God and the Devil playing a game with a man’s life… RIGHT!”  But here’s the thing, I came out of it with a six word answer to many of our theological musings.  “I am God and you’re not.”  

Will you pray with me please?

Everlasting Energy,

You named yourself to our ancestors, “I am”. I can only agree, “Yes, God, YOU ARE.”  Job asked why he was smited and covered with sores. You asked if he was present when you called the world into being and hung the sun and moon.  Of course, Job wasn’t.  But “YOU WERE/ARE/WILL BE”.  Merely the fact of your infinite nature brings me figuratively to my knees while my literal fingers are on this keyboard.  I adore you, God.  You are AMAZING!

Lover of Light,

Perhaps you inspired daylight savings time.  (Wait, did I SAY that?  Of course, YOU DID!).

Responsive Ruler,

Jesus told the disciples that we should ask in his name, that our joy be made full.  I rarely ask for miracles, though.  When my 92 year-old mother-in-law went to the hospital, I thought, “This could be the end.  She’s lived a long time.” Then when she was moved to a rehabilitation center, I thought “Ah, an easier transition to this continuum of care facility.  She’ll move on to the other assisted living centers.”  Now she is home.  I praise you!  Only you could make this happen!

Annamae with Savannah

Responder to our Requests,

YOU ARE.  You answer the desires of our hearts that we dare not articulate — sometimes.  Then there is Mary’s 95 year-old mother, who cannot live unassisted anymore and has been moved to her son’s house, after hospitalization, then skilled nursing care, then home.  She can’t make it without someone strong to lift her. I suspect she’ll either die eventually in another skilled care facility or have hospice care at her son’s house.  So what of her? What should I ask of you?

Mary is sad and harried.  The weight of this is heavy on her shoulders.  God, will you inspire her with your peace?  I pray of thee, surround Mary and her family with your love and a bit of joy through this dark time of the soul.  Remind them, especially my good, good friend that the clouds will lift as they have this bright morning.  That while we go through autumn and winter, that your energy and spirit are always willing to support us, to let us lean on you.

Is this what it will take to get Mary back to church, God?  She has suffered with the guilt of a divorce, but you always forgive the penitent. I know  you still yearn for her; crave her attention.  You want her to worship YOU, not a religious rule that blocks her ability to seek you.  Put it on her heart at just the right time, to go to Mass or a Worship Service.  In your time, may this be done — not mine.  Remind her that communion in any form or any sense is bringing her soul to yours.  Let her commune with you and with other seekers of your kingdom.


Or perhaps, you will use her daughter’s new baby.  Remind Mary that the love is in that new life, too; that her relationship with her own granddaughter and daughter is equally important as her relationship with her mother.  Remind Mary to spend less time on worry and more time on “OPTIMISM” and peace and rest and self-care.  If she runs out of energy to replenish her own body, remind her that she must rebuild herself before she can build or rebuild others, I pray of thee, God.

Yet not my will, but yours, God.  Not in my time, but yours. Not to my glory, but to you be the glory,

Generous Giver,

Thank you for the mouse and the red underscores that help me to correct my mistakes.  Thank you for the ability to confess and apologize when I sin.  Thank you for Samantha Madhosingh’s month of gratitude.  Thank you for Jean Stone who taught me about gratitude even during those dark nights of the soul.  Thank you for the internet.  Thank you for daylong retreats and Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel and Rev. Merlyn Lawrence and for all the Sisters, Saints & Sinners who went with me.  Thank you for living my life with me and letting me live it for you.  Let me live to bring your kingdom to come on earth, as it is in heaven.  Let me live according to your will and to love, and to love and to love.

I dare to pray in Jesus’ name,


To God be the glory!

© Melissa Pazen, 2013

Live Inspired: pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

I’ve just read this:

Dear Family and Friends,

I have GOOD NEWS today!  How joyful I am to e-mail good news about Amy!  This is the first day in 19 days that Doug and I have not gone to the hospital.  Paula and Julie felt that we needed a rest and Paula took off from school and went for us.  She just called and said this is the best day in 3 weeks!  Amy does have strep throat and pneumonia but it is under control with antibiotics. The Ventilation tube is out and her voice is weak but she is sitting up in a chair and asking Paula questions!  She wanted to know where the People Magazines were, where are all the cards Mom always brings and Where are Mom and Dad?  They must be out in the hall! Also Asked for her Pepsi and Paula said that she couldn’t have it yet but she could put some on her lips.  Amy said that she would like that!  She knew that Julie had gone home to take care of her family.  She may be in ICU one more day.  The goal is to get her on 7th floor to rehab floor.  

hands make hearts

We know that we have to be cautious about this turn around but the Lord is answering our prayers. Please all of you continue to pray for AMY JOY.  Thank you so much.

You are wrapping your arms about Amy and us and we feel it!

Love, Jill and Doug

Glorious God,

You are the only God and you are so good to us!  Only you have the power to make new life and to heal.  Only you have the power to whisper sweet words in Paula’s and Julie’s hearts to give their parents ‘a day off’.  Only you can bring us rest. Only you love us so much that we can feel it even if we can’t see you.  You are amazing!

Loving Lord,

Keep making Amy better, please.

Keep healing Susan’s back, please.

Keep Steve healthy, please, and thanks for healing him.

Keep Thea’s cancer markers low, please, and thanks for the end of the chemo!  Never again would be good!

Keep my own white cell count low and hemoglobin normal, please.

Remind me to  lean on you and to rest ever-so-comfortably in your arms… Remind all who read this of that, please.


Everpresent Energy,

Thank you for interesting work.  Thank you for new batteries in cars and new brakes; thank you for safety and the money to pay for repairs.  Thank you for dear friends and dear family members and dear people who smile on the street for no reason.  Thank you  for peace wherever and whenever we find it.  Lord, i love you so much!  And

I pray in Jesus’ name,


To God be the glory!

Melissa Pazen © 2013

Live Inspired:  pray continually; think boldly; dare greatly; love unconditionally; act deliberately, kindly, justly, mercifully and humbly; forgive easily; laugh frequently!

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 319 other followers

Posting Dates

June 2020

Blog Stats

  • 6,279 hits