Prayer (& COVID-19)
What role does prayer have regarding end time evils prophecied to come upon the earth?
Very much indeed. We ought not think the hand of God cannot be influenced in as yet by us unexperienced events prophesied to occur. God and time are unique realities. God Who knows all time, knows also all prayers. We who know only the moments of time within our individual experience view prayers as past, present or future. But God knows them all, and, from our perspective, was, is, and will be moved by them.
In fact, Christ told us to pray.
“Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.” we read in Matthew 24:20, and in v. 22 “…for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Shortened no doubt from something previously intended, and why? Most likely because of the prayers of the faithful.
In Luke we are urged, “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34-35, 36).
Peter also speaks to our obligation of end-times prayer: “The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.” (1 Peter 4:7 ).
The March 26, 2020 edition of Christianity Today carried an item entitled “20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic,” by Jen Pollock Michel. This serves as an excellent guide to our prayers amid the current COVID-19 crisis. I have condensed the items of this list here:
1. For the sick and infected.
2. For our vulnerable populations.
3. For the young and the strong to use caution… to help.
4. For our governments’ wise allocation of the necessary resources.
5. For our scientific community seeking an antivirus.
6. For the media to provide up-to-date, accurate information.
7. For consumers of media to find the most helpful information and keep from anxiety and panic.
8. For those who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of physical distancing.
10. For travelers stranded in foreign countries.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world.
12. For workers facing layoffs and financial hardship.
13. For families with young children at home.
14. For working parents who can’t stay home but now require childcare.
15. For those with therapies or treatments that must now be postponed.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions.
17. For pastors and church leaders.
18. For college and university students.
19. For Christians to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel.
20. For frontline health care workers’ safety and health, knowledge re treatment and protocols, their clear-mindedness, peace of mind, compassion and supplies.
Lord, help us to be found faithful! In Jesus’s Name.