Written by Alyssa Esparaz

It’s been said that COVID-19 is a great equalizer—a collective reminder of our humanity. In some ways, it is. But in many more ways, it is not. Crises strike unevenly, highlighting the inequality and injustice of our world.

For children and families living in poverty, this pandemic will push them further into poverty and precarity.

It can be easy to feel overwhelmed by all the need, now more than ever. One powerful and comforting way to respond is to pray through Scripture. Try using the prayer guide below to pray through the Beatitudes—the words of Jesus found in Matthew 5:3-10.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Bless those whose needs have increased in this season, Lord, and help us recognize our need for You.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Bless those who are mourning losses of all kinds—jobs, milestone events, security, life. Even if we can’t be physically close, help us draw near to one another to mourn with those who mourn.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Bless those who humbly and faithfully serve our communities. Help the rest of us to serve them well as their customers, clients, friends, family, and community members.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Bless those who hunger during this time—whether they hunger for connection, faith, or actual food. Help us to see ways we can fill up those around us and take action.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Bless those who are on the frontlines providing healing and mercy to the sick. Be merciful to them, God. Grant them rest when they have breaks, peace in the chaos, and protection from illness.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Bless our children, Father, and grant them the understanding to cope with all the changes and uncertainty around them. Protect them and give them peace. May this time, though difficult, invite every one of us to be more childlike.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Bless those who are volunteering their time, giving their resources, and spending their efforts to seek the peace of their city (Jeremiah 29:7). Show each of us how to be peacemakers, God, and may our peacemaking cause our neighbours to recognize You.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Bless those who continue to do what is right, even when it’s hard. May we all be open to discomfort, for the sake of loving our neighbours in the way of Your kingdom. Amen.

Please keep Compassion’s local church partners in your prayers as they work to continue serving and supporting children and families living in poverty through this crisis.

If you have the means, you can donate to Compassion’s disaster relief fund.