In recent days, as COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic and countries have taken urgent measures to stem the spread of infection, I wish I could say that my first impulse has been to pray. It’s probably more honest to say that I’ve obsessively refreshed my feeds.
The crisis is urgent, and I feel powerless. But perhaps feeling small is the best reminder to pray. Prayer is how we actively practice believing, so simply, so confidently, that God has the whole world in his hands. It’s where we “let petitions and praises shape our worries into prayers, letting God know our concerns” (Phil. 4:6–7, The Message). Prayer is never the last resort of God’s people. It is our first point of action.
With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of 20 prayers to pray during this pandemic. Each one addresses the specific needs of a specific community. I’m fortunate to be a part of a church with many medical professionals, some of whom gave me advice on how best to pray for them at this time. I’ve included their responses here. I’ve also tried to think broadly about how the rest of us are impacted by the current crisis.
This list isn’t comprehensive, of course, but it’s a good place to start. My hope is that it can provide words for us as we pray collectively (if also virtually!) as a church body. We believe there is a God who bends his ear to listen, and so we pray:
1. For the sick and infected: God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of infection.
2. For our vulnerable populations: God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.
3. For the young and the strong: God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.
4. For our local, state, and federal governments: God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.
5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.
6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.
"Hallelujah! Thank you, Father!!!” Praises, Praises, to You the only wise God, Father of all. All Glory belongs to You!!! Praising gives me strength, and it leads me to You, Lord. Jesus goes before me as I lift my hands, my mind, my heart to You. With Your divine connection, the Holy Spirit who causes me to learn, teaches me how to greet others with love, testimonies of goodness and peace that at times I cannot understand. Because of You, I continue to praise and say “Holy, Holy, Holy, how wonderful You are.” Please allow me to be used by Thee, we love you Father God and I will forever adore, follow, and trust You. In Your Son Jesus' name Amen.