Circle _________, Gracious God, keep protection near and danger afar.
Circle __________, Healing God, keep hope within,keep despair without.
Circle ____________, Caring God, keep light near, and darkness afar.
Circle __________, God, keep peace within and anxiety without.
May God, Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer shield ___________on every side.
During my ministry I used this Celtic Caim prayer with individuals who were about to undergo surgery or were in the throes of serious illness or were struggling with deep anxiety. On a number of occasions family and friends were invited to participate, literally encircling the one who was the focus of the prayer.
Today I invite you to say this prayer on behalf of those who will be entering hospitals across this country for medical treatment, including those brought by ambulance. We can offer it as well for health care workers and other staff in these places of healing.
In recent days angry, threatening crowds have been gathering outside hospitals in what are exhibitions of mass hysteria, protesting God knows what -- do they really know? Supposedly these selfish demonstrations are anti-vax and pro freedom. Some of the people allege to be Christians even though what they are doing is antithetical to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Most of the COVID patients in hospitals have not been vacciinated, but there is no logic to what is going on. It's a challenge to quell my own anger even though Jesus teaches "do not repay evil with evil."
I've read that a hundred years ago during the deadly flu pandemic there were anti-vaccination rallies as well. Fear and selfishness are part of the human condition, sad to say, and while we think we live in a more advanced society there is something primal about this smacks of original sin (I'm not really an original sin guy, but I'll make exceptions!)
Gracious God, please circle all those who need your protection in these hospital settings today, and bring the protesters to their senses -- they are a danger to everyone, including themselves.