This year, hundreds of thousands of families will have an empty seat at the dinner table because of losing a loved one to COVID-19. Our country is going through one of the worst mass casualty events in our history. Our citizens are profoundly hurting—whether through a physical illness, an economic loss, social isolation, or the death of a loved one.
Fortunately, we serve a God that is more powerful than any disease and offers more comfort than could ever satisfy. God is near to those who are brokenhearted over the loss of so much, and he hears us when we cry to him.
As believers, the most important thing we can do is pray for our country. We do not grieve as people without hope. Instead, we are people who know the end of the story—that God will soon do away with death once and for all. Until that day comes, we pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Here are some ways we can be praying for our nation:
God is near to those who are brokenhearted over the loss of so much, and he hears us when we cry to him.
- The elimination of COVID-19. First and foremost, we should be praying for a complete and total eradication of this disease. Pray for protection over your neighborhood, city, and state. Pray that God would prevent the spread of the virus and that it wouldn’t harm another person.
- Treatments and therapeutics. We should pray for the doctors, nurses, and scientists working to soften the effects of COVID-19. Pray for breakthroughs in vaccines, treatments, and technologies that prevent COVID-19 from being so deadly.
- Comfort for the brokenhearted. Psalm 34 tells us that the Lord is near to those crushed in spirit. Pray that everyone who has lost someone or been discouraged or felt the sting of loneliness would feel the Lord’s nearness and comfort during their grief.
- Recovered economy. Pray for God’s provision for our economy. Pray that businesses would not have to close; that families are able to keep food on the table. Pray for those that have lost their jobs to be able to find work. Pray for the Lord’s kind intervention that folks would not lose their livelihood and our nation’s economy would regain strength.
- Wisdom for civic leaders. Paul exhorts us in his letter to Timothy to pray for those in authority. Lift up local and national government officials and pray for God to grant them an extra measure of wisdom, discernment, and courage.
- Endurance for pastors. Our pastors have had to make incredibly difficult decisions throughout this year. They’ve lead our congregations through the pandemic, civic unrest, and a contentious national election. Pray for endurance, perseverance, and encouragement for their spirit. Pray for rest and renewal during this stressful season. Pray that their work would see fruit.
These are just examples of things that have been on my heart through this third wave of the pandemic. I would encourage you, whenever you feel anxious or afraid or see another COVID story on the news, to pray for God’s protection and refuge. As the writer of Hebrews tells us: “Let us boldly approach the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need” (Heb. 4:16).