Praying in response to the Coronavirus

As God's people, we are called to live in faith and not fear. And we are called to respond to disasters in prayer. Pete Greig is the director of the 24/7 Prayer Movement in England. He shares the following way of systemmatically praying for the Coronavirus outbreak:

 

A Special Lectio in Response to the Coronavirus

Pete Greig

 

It’s Tuesday the 10th of March and today we are changing our usual format to intercede against the devastation and fear currently being caused by coronavirus around the world.

 

Pause

 

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.

 

Pause and pray

 

Rejoice and Reflect

I rejoice in God’s protection today, joining with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 46…

 

God is our refuge and strength,

always ready to help in times of trouble.

So we will not fear when earthquakes come

and the mountains crumble into the sea.

Let the oceans roar and foam.

Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!…

The nations are in chaos,

and their kingdoms crumble!

God’s voice thunders,

and the earth melts!

The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;

the God of Israel is our fortress. 

Psalm 46:1–3,6–7 

 

We join together, to pray verses from the Bible, in response to the global coronavirus crisis.

 

Lord Jesus Christ, I ask You to protect us from the spread of the coronavirus. You are powerful and merciful; let this be my prayer:

 

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

Psalm 57:1

 

Ask

Jehovah Shalom, Lord of Peace, I remember those living in coronavirus hotspots and those currently in isolation. May they know Your presence in their isolation, Your peace in their turmoil and Your patience in their waiting. Prince of Peace, You are powerful and merciful; let this be their prayer:

 

… may your mercy come quickly to meet us, for we are in desperate need. Help us, God our Saviour, for the glory of your name.

Psalm 79:8–9

 

Pause and pray

 

God of all comfort and counsel, I pray for those who are grieving, reeling from the sudden loss of loved ones. May they find Your fellowship in their suffering, Your comfort in their loss, and Your hope in their despair. I name before You those known to me who are vulnerable and scared – the frail, the sick and the elderly. God of all comfort, You are powerful and merciful; may this be my prayer:

 

He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us.

2 Corinthians 1:10

 

Pause and pray

 

Jehovah Rapha, God who heals, I pray for all medical professionals who are daily dealing with the intense pressures of this crisis. Grant them resilience in weariness, discernment in diagnosis, and compassion upon compassion as they care. I thank You for the army of researchers, working steadily and quietly towards a cure – give them clarity, serendipity and unexpected breakthroughs today. Would You rise above this present darkness as the sun of righteousness with healing in Your wings (Mal. 4:1)? 

 

May this be my prayer:

Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.

Jeremiah 32:17 

 

Pause and pray

 

God of all wisdom, I pray for the World Health Organisation, national governments, and heads of schools, hospitals and other institutions. Since You have positioned these people in public service for this hour, I ask You to grant them wisdom, beyond their own wisdom, as to how to contain this virus; faith, beyond their own faith, to fight this fear; and strength, beyond their own strength, to support institutions and people in their care in this time of turmoil. God of all wisdom and counsel, You are powerful and merciful; may this be my prayer:

 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear

Psalm 46:1–2

 

Pause and pray

 

Yield

Prayer of Yielding

I pray the blessing of Psalm 91: ‘Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you’(Psa. 91:3–7).

 

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.

Psalm 4:1

 

May El Shaddai, the Lord God Almighty who loves us, protect us. May Jesus Christ, His Son who died for us, save us. And may the Holy Spirit, who broods over the chaos and fills us with His presence, intercede for us and in us for others at this time.

 

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Timothy 4:18

 

Closing Prayer

Father, help me to live this day to the full,

 being true to You, in every way.

Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,

 being kind to everyone I meet.

Spirit, help me to love the lost,

 proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.

Amen.

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