Paul Batura: Coronavirus can inspire prayer during these times of worry

By Paul J. Batura | Fox News

Do you sometimes wake up feeling anxious, concerned the world is collapsing in on itself, taking with it the wonderful life you’ve loved for so long?

Worry is everywhere these days, from concerns about our physical health to economic survival and countless related issues over the coronavirus and its scourge around the globe.

President Trump has provided some much-needed hope this past week, broaching the possibility that parts of the country could begin lifting some restrictions, perhaps as early as two weeks from now on Easter Sunday.

His comments were met with scorn from critics and skeptics, many of whom think such a timeline is too soon. It might be. But the president seems to understand that when you’re going through a tough time, looking forward to good things is therapeutic, even critical, if you’re to maintain a hopeful spirit.

Trump isn’t just the commander in chief, but also the comforter -in chief and the country’s top cheerleader. It’s clear he’s doing his best to balance the tension of competing priorities.

My first thoughts each morning have been prayers – specifically for patients, doctors and nurses, President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and their teams and the countless heroes working behind the scenes and around the clock.

When I sense my anxiety rising, usually when I realize how helpless I am in this fight against this invisible viral enemy, I’ve found great comfort reciting two well-known prayers.

The first is the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s “Serenity Prayer,” a masterpiece composed in 1932. Over the years, versions of it were used by Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step recovery programs. Here is the original full prayer:

God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other.

Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace, taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it, trusting that You will make all things right, if I surrender to Your will, So that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Amen.

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