10 specific prayers for responding to coronavirus anxiety

March 14, 2020 by Lindy Lowry in Asia

As we consider how to do life in the midst of mass confusion and widespread fear, one of our recent stories reminded me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6: ““Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink … but seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Vital words for us. And yet in difficult times when death tolls rise and life as we know it has stopped, it can be difficult to actually put those words into action in our lives and in our hearts. How do we “not worry about tomorrow” and instead “seek Him first.”  A recent story we’ve shared has stuck with me—a story of a family who has experienced severe persecution for their decision and resolve to follow Jesus in their Indian village. The family was boycotted by their community and extended family.

This family’s father says he had times of doubt in God’s goodness. During those times, he would come to the Lord in prayer. In prayer, he was reminded of  God’s truth. “Often when I felt discouraged, I spent time in prayer,” he shares. “It was then I gained the courage to trust in Him; it’s true that we need the courage to trust in God.”

Courage, he says, comes through prayer.

How do we not worry and live lives of boldness, not fear? Scripture and the dark-hours experiences of our persecuted brothers and sisters tell us that prayer is our action point. Jesus calls us to pray because that is where we find His presence. Below, we share 10 specific prayers you can pray and adapt to your family and community. Hopefully, you’ll add your prayers to this list and find courage to follow Jesus’ example as you bring your requests to our Savior who acknowledges that in this world, we will have trouble, yet He doesn’t leave us there. “But take heart!” He says, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

  • Pray that God would calm fears and that His people would be reminded we have a different identity—one of boldness, not of fear. Pray that the church would be a calming presence and radiant light in the face of so much confusion and darkness.
  • Pray that we would be people of compassion who intentionally reach out to others in our neighborhoods and to our family around the world where following Jesus often results in denial of community healthcare, less or no access to medicines and social boycott.
  • Pray for world leaders as they work with healthcare organizations and the medical community to develop next steps. Pray that all would be united for the common good.
  • Pray with researchers and biologists as they work to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Pray for wisdom and insight.
  • Pray with first-responders around the world who are tasked with triaging, testing, and treating increasing numbers of people. Ask God to give them patience, wisdom and a gentle spirit as they work to navigate fears and offer effective treatment. Hospitals are seeing unprecedented numbers of patients with symptoms of flu.
  • Pray with church leaders as they offer insight and wisdom to their congregations and communities. Ask God to give them opportunities to be voices of reason, clarity and grace.
  • Pray with the families of the 5,000-plus people (as of March 14, 2020) who have died and for those undergoing treatment. Ask God to comfort the broken-hearted and to strengthen those who are suffering physically and emotionally.
  • Pray for those whose jobs or hours have been cut due to economic downturn. Pray for parents who are struggling to work and care for their children. Pray that churches would look for ways to reach out to families in their communities to provide for them and show them the love of Christ.
  • Pray that God’s people would be unified as one Church, and that we would look to the lives and faith of our persecuted brothers and sisters as we navigate fear and the unknown … that we would look to them for guidance and for hope.
  • Pray that we as God’s people would be reminded of our hope in Christ and the truth that our Savior who died and rose for us has already overcome the world. Pray that we would be people who read His Word and take both His call and His promises to head and heart.

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