Responding in Intercession to the Covid-19 Crisis
While these are of course primary focuses for prayer, I want to suggest that there may be more at play here than is immediately obvious. It actually might be that the Lord is strategically using this international crisis to radically disrupt the status quo so that He can move in unprecedented ways. I’m not saying He caused it, but I am saying He can use that which was intended for evil - for good, and for the salvation of many (Gen 50:20). If you agree with me, let’s endeavour to discern how to pray strategically so that the Church can be strengthened and step into this unique moment, seeing great advances for the kingdom of God!
Let’s think first about what’s happening in the hearts of our fellow Canadians.
With this in mind, how do we partner with God’s purposes in our prayers?
From that place of peace, let’s move into faith.
The reports we are getting out of China involve testimonies of the Church in revival, fearlessly serving and caring for those in quarantine and gathering daily for communion and prayer because they have little fear of death. The influence of this kind of demonstration of the gospel, in such a counter-culture manner, cannot be quelled. It will change China. It is like the, seemingly insignificant, mustard seed thrown into the garden that grows against all odds to overshadow all the other plants. In Korea, again, the Church is stepping into the need, boldly going out into the streets to distribute masks at the request of the police.
In Iran, another global hotspot, BBC reports that 54,000 prisoners have been released to combat the spread of the virus in the prisons. We have to wonder how many of these are political prisoners, Christians and dissidents that the Lord has just arranged to have sprung for this hour! Remember, the fastest growing church in the world is in Iran right now! God is sovereignly turning for good, what the enemy meant for evil. He is doing it overseas, He can do it here.
So let’s get down to intercession! Here are some strategic prayer points:
- Pray that fear doesn’t gain access to the heart of the Canadian Church, but rather, that we grow in a deep abiding trust in Jesus, a trust that will serve us so well even beyond this crisis.
- Pray for revival! Pray that the fresh awareness of mortality and the feeling that so much is beyond our control right now would draw hearts back to faith who have fallen away. Pray that this crisis massively softens and humbles hearts across this nation. Pray it creates a wide-spread hunger for God and the peace He alone brings.
- Pray for the increase of the gift of healing in the Church.
- Pray that we shift away from our focus on temporal, earthly values and reorient to value what really matters. The Lord is seeking to use this situation to set many of us free from idols. Pray as well that the revelation of the resurrection becomes prominent and dynamic as it was in the early Church, breaking our fear of death.
- Pray for those who personally or as businesses, are suffering significant financial losses, or layoffs. Pray that the Lord would provide for them and we would all continue to choose generosity.
- Pray for compassionate evangelistic strategies to be given to the Church. Ask the Lord to show us how to best serve the spiritual, emotional and even practical needs of our communities.
- Pray for Spirit-led outreach and care for the elderly who are at higher risk of infection and already prone to both isolation and fear. Could many be brought into the kingdom in the last years of their lives? Could the Church beautifully serve this demographic in this hour?
- Pray for the Church to be more united than ever as we share resources and help each other be bold, creative and wise in our evangelism and service.
- Pray for an activation of intercession to tip us into a true move of God. We cannot worry and effectively pray at the same time, so let us practice the principles of Phil 4: 5b-7 “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- And of course, pray for the Covid-19 pandemic to be supernaturally arrested by the hand of God!
by Sara Maynard