20 Bible verses, 10 prayers for being the Church to a world on edge

March 16, 2020 by Lindy Lowry in Stories of Persecution

As a people who follow Jesus and His ways, we have the opportunity and calling to be a “city on a hill” and live our lives in a way that shines a radiant light in the darkness. Through His Word, God gives us specific instruction and encouragement for being a people who are the Church—not just do church. At Open Doors, we’ve been sharing key scriptures we can look to. And a recent Facebook post asking people to share their go-to verses for when they’re afraid offers more than 15 others.

 

We hope these verses will help you meditate on God’s Word and consider how you will be salt and light in this “new normal.” Open Doors is praying with you…

Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure; they will have no far; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor (Psalm 112:6-9).

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).

I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and all will then go well for them and for their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear for me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in them doing good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul (Jer. 32: 39-41).

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” and Isaiah 41:10 ” Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (2: Tim. 1:7).

Fear thee not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. The Lord gave me this Scripture the first day I got saved and have remembered this from that day (Isa. 41:10).

Do not be anxious about anything , but in everything make your requests to God ..by prayer, thanksgiving and placing your request to God, the peace of God will guard your heart and mind fully beyond understanding (Phil. 4: 6–7).

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit (Jer. 17:7-8).

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging (Psalm 46:2).

When I said my foot is slipping, your love oh Lord supported me. When anxiety was great within me your consolation brought joy to my soul (Psalm 94:18-19).

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet will I rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as sure footed as a deer, able to tread upon the heights (Hab. 3:17-19).

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Tim. 1:6-7).

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation (Psalm 91:14-16).

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths (Prov. 3:5-6).

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18).

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away (Mark 16:4).

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope (Jer. 29,11).

You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance (Psalm 32:7).

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10).

‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand’ (Isa. 41:10).

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”
For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper
And from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with His pinions,
And under His wings you may seek refuge;
His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day; … (Psalm 91: 1-8).

Pray with Open Doors

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.

  • 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 race to develop a coronavirus vaccine and treatment. 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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