Prayer Guidelines for Coronavirus
There are many prayer initiatives that focus on prayer for the COVID-19 global crisis. There is for instance a global call to prayer by two major networks – 18-22 March. A Day of prayer on 22 March by another group that functions globally, etc. Many will follow.
The following are some guidelines for people that want to pray about this issue. It can be used for the church in South Africa but also globally.
A call has gone out from different international Christian ministries, for a focussed time of prayer and fasting regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Believers are encouraged to fast from 18 – 22 March 2020, and to form small prayer groups to come together to humble themselves before God and earnestly pray for God’s mercy across the nations of the world.
Prayer for Coronavirus
Fasting has always been one of the ways that God’s people used to humble themselves before the Lord in times of extreme crisis. There are countless Biblical examples of fasting (Neh.1:4; Dan.9:3; Ezra 8:21,22; 1Sam.1:7; 2Sam.12:17; Judg.20:26; Psa.35:13; Act.13:2,3). Biblical fasting is to refrain from eating (and sometimes drinking) for a specific time. We encourage people to fast for 1 meal, for 1 day or for 3 days. Believers are also encouraged to continue with fasting once a week during the National State of Disaster.
Many churches have cancelled their Sunday Services in compliance with the National State of Disaster restrictions on gatherings of more than 100 people. But there is no limit on small groups gathering for prayer. We therefore encourage prayer groups to meet where possible, to pray for each other, and for the prayer points listed beneath. We also encourage prayer groups to use social media like Whatsapp, Zoom and Skype, to pray together on a regular basis.
It is the duty of the Church to give guidance in a time of national and international crises. One way to do that is to refrain from spreading lies, disinformation and fake news. Fake news has a very negative effect on people, and it diminishes our faith. It is directly opposed to truth. Forwarding any message without discerning or testing its validity is spreading lies and falsehood. Let us refrain from doing so and rather give ourselves to prayer about this matter.
PRAYER POINTS CONCERNING COVID-19
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
According to the Bible, God is the source of healing (Exodus 15:26; Psa.103:3; Luk.5:17). According to the Bible, God sometimes used plagues and sickness as a means to discipline his people and to draw them back to Him in repentance. Let us therefore humble ourselves before the Lord as we all know that sin abounds.
Father God, we come before You in the Name of Jesus Christ. We acknowledge that You are the God who heals. We confess that we and the people in our world have sinned and done wicked things. Lord God, we confess that we have forsaken you as our main source of life and have put out trust in other sources such as finances, education, influence and affluence. We repent for this idolatry! We turn to you! We humble ourselves through prayer and fasting as we seek your face. Lord give us hearts that are turning from our wicked ways. Will you hear our prayer, O God, forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:13,14; Jeremiah 2:13).
2 Corinthians 4:2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
Father God, we renounce all the covenants we have made with the ways of darkness, knowingly or unknowingly. We renounce our rebellion against your laws. We turn to you! (Ezra 10:2-3, Isaiah 28:15-18).
- Atonement by the blood of Jesus
Col 2:13-14 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,  having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.
Lord Jesus Christ, thank You that you became sin for us, so that we can be made the righteousness of God. Thank You that You bore our sins on the cross and paid a price through your blood and by your stripes we are healed. Thank You for taking all the records that speak against us and nailing it on the cross, rendering them powerless because of the blood of Jesus. (2Cor.5:21; 1Pet.2:24; Isa.53:5).
- Spiritual warfare
Mat.10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease (Mark 3:13–19; Luke 6:12–16).
Lord Jesus Christ, in your name we have authority over unclean spirits, all kinds of sickness and disease. We confess that by faith in the name of Jesus we can pray for the sick. We pray for a demonstration of the power of God through healing and deliverance. Please deliver us from unbelief, fear and anxiety, and fill our hearts with faith and hope (Act.3:16; Luk.17:19; Mar.9:23; Mat.13:58). We pray Psalm 91:3-5, in faith that You will deliver us from this deadly disease of Covid-19. May your presence be our protection. Our trust is in You.
Psalm 91:1-16 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." Surely, He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness, nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look and see the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honour him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation.”
Romans 6:12-13 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin,but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
Father God, we choose to serve You today, through faith in the name of Jesus Christ. We pray that people all around the world will turn to You and put their trust in You. Father God, cause us to pay attention to your instructions and to obey them so that we will be protected and preserved from all evil. (Joshua 24:15; Exodus 15:26).
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Lord Jesus Christ, we pray in your name for the Lord of the Harvest to send out labourers into His harvest. We present ourselves to You as these labourers. Send us out to do the works of the Kingdom, to preach the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness, to lay hands on the sick and pray for them, and to minister to those who are in need. (Matthew 9:38; Mark 16:15-18; Act.26:18; Luk.10:9).
- No fear
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Father God, in the name of Jesus we speak “Peace!” into this atmosphere of panic. We pray that the fear and panic that gripped people will cause them to turn to You in their time of need. Deliver us as believers from the spirit of fear and fill us with love and compassion. May the God of peace guard our minds and hearts, so that we will be sober and self-controlled. Help us to not contribute to this spirit of fear, but rather, through our words and actions, to restore an atmosphere of faith, trust, peace and hope. Help us to discern and stop fake news. Father we pray that You will put a restraint on Governments as to their authority to control people. We pray that there will not be such control over the Church, that we cannot freely share the Gospel, meet together to pray or minister the Word. We pray that evangelism will not be hindered, but rather that more opportunities for evangelism will open on a daily basis. We pray that many people will put their trust in You and be delivered from fear (Phil.4:7; Luk.12:7; Heb.13:6).
- Sharing the gospel
1 Corinthians 15:19-22 (ESV)
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
Father God, we pray in the name of that the Covid crisis will become an unprecedented opportunity to share the Gospel. Please bless and multiply the Church all across the world and open many doors for Christians worldwide to share the Gospel with people who are open to listen, especially during conversations about Covid-19 (2Tim.4:2).
We pray that Christians will reach out to the victims of the virus with love and compassion, and with the ministry of divine healing (Gal.6:9-10).
We pray that scientists will come up with a vaccine that will help to curb the spread of the virus (Jam.1:5), and that the economic impact and turmoil in the stock markets will present opportunities to share the Gospel in the business world (1Tim.6:17-19).
- Unity and humility
Philippians 2:1-3 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
Father God, we pray that in this time of severe uncertainty and fear, that the Church of Jesus Christ will be joined in heart, mind and action. That there will be a concerted action by Christians to help to help and assist the sick and the poor who have no means to care for themselves. Help us to not be selfish or greedy, but willing to share with those who are in need. Father, we humble ourselves before You. Break every stronghold of pride and arrogance, so that we can become truly one. Help us to esteem people around us and to treat them with respect and consideration. May our actions soften the hearts of unbelievers so that they will want to hear about Jesus.
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