FBC Prayer Guide: Praying About Covid-19
I am providing a couple of ways to approach your prayer time. The first lists 19 concerns for us to pray for at global, regional, and church levels. The umbrella over all is for the proclamation of the gospel. The second approach focuses on 19 characteristics of God. Pray that these will be seen amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Pray that they are seen through God’s people.
Whichever list you use, take your time. We rarely pray for an extended period. But if you spend only three minutes on each item, you will pray for an hour. What a great use of an hour!!
19 Needs and Concerns
Hopefully these will spark many other needs and concerns to pray for. Try not to leave these generic. Put names to these concerns. For example, we have healthcare professionals in our church who are facing the possibility of being extremely taxed if the infection spreads in Longview. Many of us know missionaries and missions agencies who are facing difficult decisions. Be specific.
In addition, pray for your role in meeting these needs. What would God have you and your family or small group do to help with these needs?
- That the proclamation of the gospel will be magnified as people face life’s frailty
National and International
- Protection of our missionaries working around the world
- Wisdom for missions agencies on how best to minister
- Wisdom for government leaders as they set policies
- The successful implementation of plans to slow the spread of the virus (development of tests, provision of medical facilities and equipment, etc.)
- The swift development of a vaccine
- Global slowdown in the number of new cases
- Protection of area businesses
- Protection for those in area nursing homes and other high-risk individuals
- Provision for our health care system (tests, equipment, facilities, manpower, etc.)
- Provision and protection for our local health care providers
- Wisdom for community leaders in setting area policies.
- Protection of area churches and their ministries – many already made the difficult decision to close
- Protection for those in the church who are high risk
- Protect the income of those whose jobs will be affected
- That this will unite us and not divide us
- Wisdom for FBC leadership
- That we would be a church who exudes joy, peace and faith
- That we would care for one another well
19 Traits of God
Asking for God to be glorified through a situation means that we are asking for God’s character to be revealed. This prayer session is about being specific in asking for God to be glorified. There are many other traits you can include – please do!
It might feel odd at first to pray through God’s attributes. I suggested a way to start on a few of them. You will pick up steam as you get specific. An example from the first trait: “Father, my neighbor is high risk. Please reassure her that you are aware of her condition and her fears. Give me the boldness and compassion to make myself more aware of her needs and strive to meet them.” You can make a similar prayer for your doctors and their families, political leaders, church leaders, etc. Once you get into praying through the attributes, you might discover you don’t have nearly enough time together in your group.
- Aware – God knows everything that is happening. “Father, make us aware of those around us.”
- Powerful – God can accomplish anything He desires. “Father, minister through us in your power.”
- Present – God can act anywhere at any time. “Father, help us be present for those near us.”
- Compassionate – God’s heart breaks for the hurting and it moves Him to action.
- Faithful – God does not go back on His promises or abandon His people.
- Forgiving – God does not reject us because of our failings.
- Generous – God gives sacrificially for our well-being.
- Good – God always does what is morally right.
- Gracious – God accomplishes for us what we cannot accomplish ourselves.
- Holy – There is no one like God. “Father, help us show that no one is like You.”
- Just – God upholds what is right and condemns what is wrong.
- Kind – God is never harsh or cruel.
- Loving – God desires unity with us and our well-being.
- Merciful – God protects us from self-destruction.
- Patient – God does not give up on us.
- Righteous – God is blameless.
- Sovereign – There is no higher authority than God. He is in control.
- Trustworthy – God is always worthy of our confidence.
- Wise – God always makes the right decision.
Words from those before us
Below our excerpts from two prayers written and prayed by Puritans. They give beautiful and powerful words of faith in trying times. They are taken from The Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett.
From the Prayer, “Caring Love”
Thou hast been mindful of me and visited me, taken charge of me from birth, cared in all conditions for me, fed me at thy table, drawn the curtains of love around me, given me new mercies every morning.
From the Prayer, “Divine Support”
THOU ART THE BLESSED GOD, happy in thyself, source of happiness in thy creatures, my Maker, Benefactor, Proprietor, Upholder. Thou hast produced and sustained me, supported and indulged me, saved and kept me; Thou art in every situation able to meet my needs and miseries. May I live by thee, live for thee, never be satisfied with my Christian progress but as I resemble Christ; And may conformity to his principles, temper, and conduct grow hourly in my life.
Light Shining Out of Darkness by William Cowper
Cowper lived in the mid-to-late 1700s. He suffered mental illness and found comfort in writing hymns and poems. This poem is the source of the phrase, “God moves in mysterious ways.”
God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Judge not the LORD by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
GOD is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.
Lee, Stephen. Puritan Prayers, Poems & Meditations: Collection of Authentic Puritan Prayers, Poems & Devotions. Kindle Edition.