If you are a Christian then you should be praying for an end to this pandemic. This virus is not from God. He is a generous, caring and compassionate God, and does not want anyone to suffer. No one. Jesus came to bring life, and more of it. This virus is bringing death and destruction – it is not from God. As Christians let us take a stand against the pandemic and push it back in Jesus Name. We have the authority.
I am a teacher. I do not mean that I get paid to teach at a school or the like, although that is also true, but what I am referring to is that my ministry is that of a teacher. And as a teacher I want to direct you in two ways. First of all, I want to indicate how important it is to pray, rather than just listen to podcasts, watch videos and chat online with friends. There have been a few prophecies out there indicating a quick end to the pandemic. The response has been two-fold – on one side some are saying that’s great, “bring it on Lord!.” And another side is talking about testing the prophets to see if they are truly speaking from God or not. I would like to suggest a third response – pray it into existence!
Nehemiah was a cupbearer in Babylon about seventy years after the Jews had been taken captivity. Jeremiah had prophesied that God was going to restore his people back in their own nation around this time. Nehemiah could have decided to wait and see how the Lord would achieve that; but he did not.
Nehemiah heard about the devastation in Jerusalem, and he went to prayer. Just as there is much devastation today. I know some are simply stuck at home and are getting reacquainted with their family living with them. Children are enjoying having both parents around, and parents are enjoying a slower lifestyle. It is good to see that there is some positive in the midst of this. But other people have lost their jobs, are in the process of losing their business, and some have lost someone close to them. People who need treatment for other conditions are not able to get that treatment right now, in some cases. Others are still stuck far from home, unsure about what is going to happen in the foreseeable future. There is devastation. Families are wondering how they are going to survive this pandemic.
When Nehemiah saw the devastation, he went to prayer. He went to the One who could bring the solution. He confessed his sins, and the sins of his people. He reminded God of his word, and his promises. And he did this for several days. And that is what we should be doing.
The results of Nehemiah’s prayers are there in the book bearing his name in the Bible. The king allows him to return to Jerusalem, and even sends a lot of help with him. Then the people pulled together, different families taking responsibility for different parts of the wall. Families worked together.
And today we need to pray together. Families need to pray together. And that brings me to my second direction. How do we pray? The problem is so many of us, even though we are Christians, are not praying together, or in many cases even alone. Now is a time when this needs to change. I have been a Christian for many years and have tried several different ideas for prayer. This is how I often move in praying for others today – I always start with thanksgiving, praise and worship. I find this really helps me to focus on who God is, what he has already done, and what I believe he is able to do now. I may just give thanks for ten different things, and then sing a couple of praise and worship songs. I declare the truth in those songs, not what the situation seems to say, but the truth. And then I will ask God to move, to push back the virus, to heal those who are sick, to protect those who are not. I will ask for my family, for my church family, for my work colleagues, for my leaders, for those on the front lines. I will thank him for those who have recovered and pray that others would also quickly recover. I pray for a vaccine to be prepared soon and for medicine to be discovered that will help those presently sick.
This prayer time may only take fifteen minutes, so I can do it more than once a day! Or I can stop for a few seconds in the midst of preparing supper and pray again that our loving heavenly Father would push back the virus. And if I hear some more bad news, I will make a renewed effort to focus again on the Lord and pray into that new situation too.
We can make a difference. Come on Church, lets storm the heavens with our requests, with our thanksgiving, with our praises. It will change things.