Praying is a good thing. Always! For the believer prayer should be the first thing we go to. And yet we know that some prayers are more effective than others, at least to our human experience. So how should you pray during the COVID-19 crisis?
There are Christian believers who have gotten and will get sick, even die, from this virus. Does that mean God is not hearing prayer? Where is God in the middle of all this? What should we expect as a result of our prayers?
I begin from the perspective that God hears us, He invites our prayers and He responds to our prayers. But prayer is not a heavenly vending machine; put in a certain prayer and get out a certain blessing. God is not under our control. (Would you really want Him to be?) He's too big for that.
So here are a few biblically founded principles and ways to pray during any crisis, and specifically during this season.
Pray for Peace
As serious as the COVID-19 virus is, the impact of fear and anxiety in this season is even greater. Individuals, families, investors, businesses and governments are often taking actions as much from panic as from wisdom. Yes, serious actions have been and will be needed, but this much fear?
In Scripture, God tells His human children to "Fear not!" over and over again because we naturally respond to uncertainty with fear. And that's certainly true today. Experiencing peace in the midst of the very real storm we find ourselves in is not a normal human response. It takes a miracle.
And that's exactly the miracle Jesus offers. His peace is a gift!
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).
"I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
Jesus' gift of peace is not a denial of reality. It's not based on circumstances or a passive acceptance of doom. It's based on a resolute knowledge of who our God is, of who is on our side, regardless of what truths our human senses perceive. Instead, it's based on the rest of the truth.
Jesus, I ask for Your supernatural gift of peace in the midst of this storm. I give everyone and everything to You. I accept Your peace and choose to let that peace guide and transform my mind, my decisions and my life. Amen.
What Would You Have Me to Do?
People bring different styles of coping to big problems, different ways of bringing their faith to bear facing tough stuff. Fascinating research shows that those who see themselves as cooperating with God in addressing challenges generally have the best outcomes.
Biblical examples show that usually God has something for us to do in working with Him to answer our own prayers. The children of Israel had to fight to take possession of the land of Canaan (the book of Joshua). Hezekiah had to put a lump of figs on the boil in order to get well (Isa. 38:21). The blind man had to go wash in the pool of Siloam in order to receive his sight (John 9:7).)
This does not mean you and I struggle, try harder and expect to figure out things on our own. It does mean we usually have a role to play. And we need God's wisdom in order to do so.
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but so much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure" (Phil. 2:12-13).
God works. And we work.
Jesus, please come right into the middle of this circumstance. Break the hold of this virus on humanity. By Your mercy bring this to an end quickly!
And Jesus, show me what I am to do here and now. Show me what precautions I am to take, what decisions to make and actions to do, and who of Your children I am to help in this season. Amen.
The Blood of Jesus
I learned many years ago about the power of the blood of Jesus. Most of us have only touched the surface of understanding all that Jesus accomplished in His victory over sin and death, and the ongoing need we have to remain under the power and protection of His blood.
Remember the old gospel song, "There is power, power, wonder-working power/ in the precious blood of the Lamb." That power accomplishes much more than just forgiveness.
In this age, we apply the blood of Jesus through our words. This has become a daily part of my life with God, and I believe it's more needed now than ever. This does not mean a problem-free life, but it provides a protection that is not available any other way. There's no magic in specific words. But the power in the blood of Jesus is real.
"They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11).
I encourage you to pray something like this each day, as I do:
Jesus, I plead Your blood over my life for today, over my spirit, my soul, my body. I plead Your blood over my family [name them] and over all that concerns me. I place everything that concerns me under the blood of Jesus and let go of everything that cannot remain under Your blood—any habits, material things, thoughts or people.
May nothing come to impact me or my family today that does not first come through Your blood—nothing from the enemy, from other people or from the natural world. I take my stand under the banner of Your blood and choose to remain there for today and always. Amen.
And I pray for you even now, that Jesus' presence bless you, protect you and fill you with His peace.
Your Turn: How are you praying during this crisis season? Do any of these prayers resonate in your soul today? Leave a message below.
Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained doctor of ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the fully alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com.
This article originally appeared at drcarolministries.com.
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