MOUNTAIN VIEW CHURCH FAMILY:
Thank you all who logged on to listen to our “Sunday Message” this past Sunday (or since then). I pray that you were encouraged and challenged by God’s Word.
Thank you also those of you who gave so generously this past week. We know that some tough times are already upon a few of you and that many of you will have your hours reduced at work in the days ahead and that some of you will even lose your employment. We are praying for God’s provision for you and we are also praying that those who are continuing to experience God’s provision will continue to give generously to Mountain View so that we can continue our ministries (albeit in some new and different ways) & so we can continue to send support to the many missionaries and ministries that we support around the world.
Speaking of prayer, a recent Christianity Today article gives us some suggestions for how we might pray in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find the article at: https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/march-web-only/covid-19-coronavirus-20-prayers-to-pray-during-pandemic.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=29820176&utm_content=703100842&utm_campaign=email. And, we will paste it below as well. Please be praying for one another, those who are experiencing hardship because of what is happening around us, our leaders, our first responders, those whose jobs require them to be in contact with the public — including medical workers, grocery store employees, etc.
We will seek to keep you updated about our plans going forward as the week unfolds. Please let us know how we might pray for you and if you have needs we might be able to meet. We have some in our church family who have offered to help those who need it and we can connect them with you depending upon your needs.
20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic
As COVID-19 sends the globe into crisis, it also sends us to our knees.
JEN POLLOCK MICHEL MARCH 18, 2020
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.
7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.
8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: God, provide them every necessary support.
9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Protect them from disease, and provide isolation shelters in every city.
10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: God, help them return home safely and quickly.
11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.
12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: God, keep them from panic, and inspire your church to generously support them.
13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.
14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: God, present them with creative solutions.
15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: God, help them to stay patient and positive.
16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.
17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: God, help them to creatively imagine how to pastor their congregants and love their cities well.
18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are cancelled, whose graduation is uncertain: God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in you.
19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.
20. For frontline health care workers, we thank you for their vocational call to serve us. We also pray:
- God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy.
- God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
- God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic.
- God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
- God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
- God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
- God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many would ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
God, we trust that you are good and do good. Teach us to be your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus, who laid down his life for the sake of love. Glorify his name as you equip us with everything needed for doing your will. Amen