Drawing near During Social Distancing:
A Prayer Guide During the Coronavirus Pandemic
by Garrett Higbee
In light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic we want to encourage intentional times of prayer both individually, as a family, and as local church families by way of video conference and social media platforms. As you pray, here are some ways you could seek the Lord in unity around some important praises and petitions.
Praise for God’s steadfast faithful love (Psm 31:7; Lam 3:32). Calm your hearts as you praise Him for His loving presence and provision. He is always with us but especially close when we are afraid, broken hearted, or distressed. Praise Him for His steadfast love and grace in times of trouble. Praise Him for hearing our prayers and worship.
Prayer and praise for the peace of God that passes all understanding (Isa 26:3-4; Phil 4:4-7). Acknowledge His power to guard us in the face of uncertainty and fearful circumstances. Pray for the peace that transcends bad news, rapidly changing situations, or knowing exactly what to do. Pray that people would go to God’s word afresh and find a peace anchored in a renewed mind and an eye set past the short-term and toward eternity.
Pray for our leaders and governing officials (Rom 13:1-4; 1 Tim 2:1-4). For wisdom, for cooperation, for God’s grace to guide them in all decisions. For church leaders to be a beacon of calming peace and cool-headed advice in their communities in this time of uncertainty. Pray for pastors who are being bombarded with needs, uncharted territory for serving the flock, and potential shortfalls in finances.
Pray for opportunities to witness, serve, love our communities and neighbors (Matt 5:16; John 13:34-35). To be appropriately careful but not isolate those who most need us. To open our hearts, our homes, and our churches to those in need. To provide prayer and care to those who are panicked, poor, or persecuted. To bring Christ, the Gospel, and an eternal perspective into conversations with family, friends, and co-workers. To look for ways to minister creatively in light of suspended events and services.
Pray for our international churches, their people, and their countries (Psm 33:8-12; Luke 12;30-31). Pray for those in churches in other nations, especially our brothers and sisters in the most hard-hit areas. Pray for aid, for containment of the virus, for any outreach from the churches that serve the communities. Pray that God might start a redemptive work in unbelievers and families struck by this and the communities reeling under this physical threat. Pray for a revival as people face mortality here and around the world.
Pray for those who are most at risk, most isolated, and most overwhelmed (Psm 9:9-10; Luke 4:18-19). Pray specifically for the elderly, those who have heart conditions, diabetes, and other conditions that make them particularly vulnerable. Pray for areas where health care is not good, or areas overwhelmed with cases. Pray for Gospel hope and God’s grace to sustain their hearts and contain this epidemic.
Prayer and praise for health workers and scientists (Psm 46:1; Daniel 2:30). Intercede for those trying to contain and care for those infected. Pray for the brave men and women caring for so many who are testing positive. Pray they would not contract the disease, that they would get the test kits, medicines, and help they need. Pray for a breakthrough in developing a vaccine and a cure for those infected. Praise God for the rapid response of the schools, churches, and other intuitions who are trying to flatten the curve of contagion. Most of all praise God for being in control, never changing, and our ever-present help in time of need.