Lord our God, we gather in your presence, coming from this world so full of suffering, grief, and misfortune that we could well be afraid. But we do not have to rely on this world. We can come to you, the almighty God. You are our Father, and no matter what may come, we remain your children and receive your blessing. So protect us in this present time. Even if a flood of evil seems about to break over us and our hearts are heavy, you will uphold us. You will strengthen us so that we can bear this time patiently, hoping in you and in what you do for all people, who are your people just as we are. May the praise of your name be in our hearts for ever and ever. Amen.