The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic needs no introduction. The world has entered uncharted territory. At this time of major global upheaval, with uncertainty about what the future holds and personal concern for ourselves and our loved ones, the Church has a tremendous opportunity and responsibility to rise up and declare hope at this very challenging time. Here are 10 things Christians can do to respond:

 

As we approach Passover, the Biblical account of God’s protection over the Jewish people resonates with the current situation facing the world today. Exodus 12:13 says, “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

The believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has a tremendous hope in the midst of adversity. For the Christian, this picture of the Passover is further fulfilled by the Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice on the Cross was a sufficient provision, leading the Apostle Paul to pen in Romans chapter 8, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” (verse 35) and continuing in verse 38, “I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

(For more in-depth prayer pointers, click here)

Let us stand on these promises and proclaim them over our household.

  • Lord I pray for your protection over me and my family; that any germs that I might be exposed to will not harm us. 
  • I pray special protection for my loved ones who are the most vulnerable. 
  • I declare that “the plague will pass over” my household. Thank you that you are with me in the midst of this trial.

     

We are surrounded by negativity from 24-hour news to social media. The situation can be worrying and the lack of information, or too much information, may lead us to feel anxious. We must not dismiss the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, but we can take comfort from Scriptures such as “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).  The Bible also says that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). 

The words of the Apostle Paul remind us that prayer and praise are vital tools in helping us deal with personal anxiety: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

  • Lord, I declare that the Prince of Peace drives out fear. Fill me and my loved ones with your peace and comfort at this time. 

 

The Coronavirus pandemic is having a wide-ranging impact, from travel restrictions to the cancelling of events. Significantly, it is also sending shockwaves across the global economy. Aside from the illness, one cannot ignore the huge repercussions to our everyday lives and the potential long-term effects across the world. The Bible warns of significant events that must happen in the Last Days and it is wise to ask God for discernment in these times.

Matthew 24:6-8 says, “And you will hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

The Bible is clear that Christians must “keep watch” as our attention should be on things that are eternal and not on things of the earth (Colossians 3:1-3). Let the truth of this Word compel us to remain watchful and most importantly ensure that our hearts are right before God.

  • Lord, I don’t know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future. Help me to keep my eyes and my heart fixed Heavenwards.

 

Many people are rightly concerned about the Coronavirus, which is why encouraging one another is so important. Here is a Scripture you may like to share with someone who needs encouragement today:

 “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.” (Psalm 91:1-3).

“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.”
(Psalm 91:9-11)

  • Lord, the best place to find safety and security is in your presence. You are my refuge and I placed my trust in you.

 

Christians are vessels of God’s love and light and have the opportunity to shine amid the current chaos. There are numerous ways that you can show God’s love to others; for example, consider those who are elderly and vulnerable that need protecting and may need basic items. There may be people you know who are self-isolated who would benefit from a phone call. Maybe they would appreciate some food being left on their doorstep.  Those who cannot attend church may appreciate a recording of the sermon or delivery of communion, for example.

Then there is responsibility to the wider community. With some items disappearing from shops’ shelves, are there items you can share with your neighbour?

In Wuhan, there are moving stories of Christians putting the care of their neighbours above their own safety with brave believers risking their own lives to hand out protective masks, gloves and hygiene supplies. What a challenge to us all!

  • Lord, use me for your purpose to show God’s love to others and help me to be a blessing to those who are in need.

 

In obedience to the Bible, our political leaders need our prayers. Pray that they will have wisdom and discernment to know what actions to take. The Bible also instructs us to submit to authority. We all have a duty to comply with the advice being passed down by the relevant authorities in order to avoid spreading the virus and should be keeping up to date with the latest advice. It is important that we all take responsibility for protecting ourselves and others and avoid putting others at risk.

  • I pray for our leaders; for our Prime Minister / President and for all those in decision-making positions. I pray that they will have Godly wisdom and will also be protected from this virus.

 

Pray for places like Wuhan and other parts of China where thousands of families have lost loved ones and millions remain isolated from the outside world. Pray also for Italy, Spain, Iran, South Korea and other countries where the virus is spreading rapidly. Pray also for all those working to treat patients, including healthcare workers, thanking God for those who are dedicated to care for the sick.

(For more in-depth prayer pointers, click here.)

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

  • Lord, there is so much need around the world and so much suffering. May this be a time that hearts turn to Almighty God. We humble ourselves and confess that we have sinned. Pour out your mercy at this time and heal our land. 

     

The Coronavirus affects all people regardless of their background, but we must recognise that for those living in countries with lower medical resources the threat is even higher. Similarly, those living in countries with poorer human rights are also at risk. In Iran, for example, there has been concern over British mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who developed Coronavirus-like symptoms but was refused testing by the jail where she is wrongfully imprisoned. Thankfully, she is said to be making a recovery. There are other countries where if the virus was to spread, Christians and Jews could be last in line to receive proper treatment and supplies.

(For more in-depth prayer pointers, click here.)

Let us therefore be mindful of Galatians 6:10, 

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

  • Lord, I pray for all those living in places around the world where prejudice and persecution exists. Strengthen and comfort those who need it at this time.

     

Israel is not the only country affected by the Coronavirus. But the Bible gives clear instruction to pray for Israel and the Jewish people. This must continue during this pandemic.

Israel was the first country to impose strict border measures for people flying into Israel from China, which was extended last week with the banning of flights from Europe. At the time of writing Israel has been able to slow its spread, but there are expected to be economic consequences as a result. Let us pray that Israel’s leaders will have wisdom and that Israel will overcome.

Israel is also at the forefront of researching the virus, showing once again that it is a light to the nations. Furthermore, Israel has provided testing kits, training and hygiene supplies for the Palestinian Authority proving again that Israel is committed to peace and loving their neighbour. Yet, Israel is being targeted by a hate-filled campaign on social media with age-old anti-Semitism blaming Jews for the virus, including from members of the Iranian regime.

(For more in-depth prayer pointers, click here.)

Let us lay claim of the promise:

“As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.”
Psalm 125:2

  • Lord, I pray for and bless Israel at this time. Thank you that you are a faithful God who watches over Israel
  • Lord, we claim your promise that those who bless Israel will be blessed also.

     

We proclaim victory, in the name of Jesus, over this Coronavirus pandemic. We look to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in whom we place our trust and declare:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”
Psalm 103:2-4

(For more in-depth prayer pointers, click here.)

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