The church is currently living in unprecedented times as our world faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the devastation this virus brings to our lives, economies and health, we know in the midst of this all that we serve a mighty and powerful God. He is a God who is able to do abundantly more than we could ever hope for or imagine. He is a God who is at work in the chaos and confusion. He is a God who is near and who loves us and cares for us deeply. He is a God who’s purpose and mission still remains: to renew and restore creation through his Son Jesus.
As followers of Jesus it is our great privilege and responsibility at this time, to partner with God in prayer, as we cry out for God’s healing and restoration of our world.
In today’s culture we are taught to believe in fate, and we tend to believe this deceptive idea that whatever will be will be, with or without our prayers. But all throughout Scripture we see that when God’s people humbly come before him in prayer, circumstances and situations change.
In James 5v16-18 we read: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”
Being a praying church is crucial at this time, and so each Monday we will be sending out a list of prayer points for the week, that we as a community can spend time praying into as we demonstrate our faith in God by calling on him for help.
As we partner with God in prayer, we can come before him expectantly, knowing that prayer is powerful, and that our prayers make a difference.
PRAYING THAT GOD WOULD BE GLORIFIED
- That the Coronavirus would help many people recognise their own need for God as they are faced with their own mortality and weakness.
- That time in isolation from others would provide an opportunity for people who do not know God to reflect, repent and turn to Jesus, and that God would be glorified in their salvation.
- That as followers of Jesus we would praise God and give him thanks for the hope that we have in him, because of Jesus and the cross, even in the midst of suffering.
- That we would give thanks to God that there is nothing, including Coronavirus, that can separate us from his love (Romans 8v38-39).
PRAYING FOR THOSE IN AUTHORITY (BOTH IN SOUTH AFRICA & WORLDWIDE)
- For Presidents, opposition leaders and members of parliament: That God would give them incredible wisdom in their decision making during this time. That politics would be put aside for the good of nations.
- For the Medical and Economic advisors of Presidents: That they would have amazing insight and wisdom in the recommendations they make to those in authority.
- For the World Health Organisation: That it would help governments worldwide fight the virus effectively by issuing wise and sound advice.
- For the Department of Health and the Doctors involved in setting Coronavirus policies and procedures: That they would develop the most effective policies and procedures to provide high levels of care to those at threat from the coronavirus, and for those who are sick.
- For Business Leaders: To put in place policies and procedures that help their countries respond well to this pandemic. That they would where possible, provide the resources needed to fight the virus and the economic impact the virus will have on the economy.
PRAYING FOR SOCIETY
- For the doctors, nurses and other health professionals: That where they are fearful and anxious for their safety that God would comfort them and bring them peace. That as they care for those who are sick that they would be kept free from illness and that God would strengthen them for the road ahead.
- For scientists to be successful in finding a vaccine and other effective ways to protect people from the Coronavirus.
- For those people involved in businesses considered to be essential services: That they would be protected from the Coronavirus as they serve their cities and countries during this crisis.
- That people would be mindful of the effects of their actions on others: Following medical advice and their governments policies carefully.
- For the poor, and all people whose work or study has been affected by the crisis: That communities would stand in social solidarity with one another, being compassionate and generous to those who are affected, looking after those whose livelihoods are threatened.
PRAYING FOR THE CHURCH
- For church leaders: That God would give them insight and wisdom in their decision making as they lead their churches at this time.
- That the church would be strengthened and encouraged during this time despite not being able to meet together in the ways that we normally would. That incredible creativity would come to life in the church as people consider news ways of being the church at this time.
- That the church’s response to Coronavirus would be full of faith and not fear. That we would turn to God in this time, putting our faith and trust in him.
- That the Church would model and reveal the love of God to our Cities: Preaching the Gospel in word and deed, and finding ways to creatively serve, love and heal our Cities.
- That our relationship with Jesus would grow and flourish as we look to him.
- That the church would be an incredible example of God’s love to the world at this time. That each follower of Jesus would be ready to give a reason for their hope – 1 Peter 3:15: “But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give a defence to everyone who asks you the reason for the hope that you have.”