When I pray the Daily Office, I sometimes supplement it with the collects from the Medieval English Sarum Rite. The collect for today, Ember Friday, struck me as especially timely (Pearson’s translation from the Latin):
Grant, we beseech Thee, Merciful God, that when Thy Church is gathered together by Thy Holy Spirit, she may in no manner be hurt by the assaults of her enemies. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I doubt that most who prayed this in Medieval England feared enemies actually breaking into church and attacking those worshipping (although that did happen – ask Thomas Becket and King Henry VI, whose obit was on Monday the 21st). But in too many areas of the world today, particularly countries like Nigeria with mixed populations of Christians and Muslims, this is a real and present danger.
Let us indeed pray for those who have the courage to worship the Lord and go to church when and where those are dangerous acts.