December 1, 2011

Comfort, O Comfort My People

Filed under: Cycle of Prayer,Lectionary,Time and Talent — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 12:05 am

How beautiful and bittersweet that World AIDS Day falls in this Octave of Hope. How different Isaiah’s comfort sounds when we pause to remind ourselves that we are all living with AIDS. Whether in personal or family suffering, the rending of a social fabric, the local and global economic impacts, or the overt and subtle stigmas, discriminations, glass ceilings, and sticky floors of personal fulfillment…we are all living with AIDS.

It is in this spirit of mindfulness, and as stewards of the Gospel through our baptism, that I invite you to join in prayer, and in hope.

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

Pray for all who those directly afflicted by HIV and AIDS. Pray for the counselors, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, volunteers, and mentors who encourage testing, treatment, and responsible stewardship in community.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.

Pray for those who are trapped in lives of poverty, exclusion, stigma, and hopelessness. Pray for those whose medications are working and who are being given fresh starts and new opportunities.

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

Pray for clean water, access to appropriate nutrition, and access to health care. Pray for affordable and accessible alternatives for mothers who cannot breastfeed because they are HIV positive. Pray for all who seek to lift up the valleys and make low the mountains that stand in the paths of the afflicted.

A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?” All people are grass, their constancy is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, when the breath of the LORD blows up it; sure the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever.

Pray for all who are discouraged, who feel their lives fading and withering. Pray for those who have given their all; give them strength to know that they are not empty. Pray for those who have died, and those they have left to mourn.

Get you up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good tidings; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear; say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” See, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.

Pray for those who have heard God’s call and have committed their time and talent to research and education. Pray for the day of good tidings to all who watch, and wait, and weep this day.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.




  1. Thank you for reminding us all that today is world AIDS Day.
    Our town has so much pain in it today.” Pray for those who have died, and those they have left to mourn.” Pray for those lives affected by murder,suicide and domestic violence.

    Comment by Nancy matulis — December 1, 2011 @ 10:22 pm |Reply

  2. Thanks, Lisa. Just what I needed to hear!

    Comment by Kit — December 2, 2011 @ 2:04 pm |Reply

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