Prayers to Pray

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.

–Pastor Bruce

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