The whole world is reeling from the threat of the coronavirus. COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption as sports leagues, conferences, and churches have closed their doors and medical professionals race to treat those infected and to develop a vaccine. This can be a time of great despair and uncertainty.
For Christians, this should be a moment of vigilance as we do everything we can to love our vulnerable neighbors. It should also be a time of prayer. The Southern Baptist Convention has urged churches, most of whom will not be meeting, to make this Sunday a day of prayer. And the president has declared Sunday a National Day of Prayer.
So how should we pray? Here is a sample prayer for families, groups, and churches as we gather in digital diaspora to worship:
Heavenly Father, we acknowledge our dependence upon you. This virus has reminded us of our frailty. We have subdued much of the earth with our innovation and creative acts, but we are reminded in this moment how frail and powerless we really are. So we repent of our self-sufficiency and hubris.
Lord, we lament the fallen nature of our world, which mars the beauty of your created order. COVID-19 comes to steal and destroy, to worm its way through human bodies and spread its vile sickness across communities and nations and the world. We, like your Son, weep and rage at sickness and death. And yet we know that it was Jesus whose death and resurrection defeated this final foe. We long for the day you resurrect our bodies and restore the world.
As we endure this new normal in our lives, we pray earnestly for the heroic medical doctors, nurses, and health care professionals who are putting their lives on the line for their neighbors. May you give them strength and physical immunity during this time, so they can help push back against this ravaging virus.
We pray for the scientists, disease experts, and epidemiologists who are working feverishly on vaccines and testing mechanisms. Lord, we thank you for gifting them with knowledge and wisdom we don’t have. We pray for their endurance, for breakthroughs, and for resources.
Lord, you are the Great Physician, so we pray for healing for the victims of COVID-19. Lord, you are the Creator, with power over the creation, so we pray for COVID-19 to be destroyed. Spirit of God, you are the Comforter, so please comfort our troubled souls.
Dear God, move in the hearts of our public officials. As you have instructed us in your Word, we earnestly beseech you on behalf of our president, Congress, governors, mayors, and local officials. We pray you guide them with wisdom and strength and discernment.
We also pray for the people in our nation and the nations of the world to be humbled and turn to you in repentance and faith. We know you are the Prince of peace, Lord of lords, the King of kings. We praise you for your goodness and your mercy. And we ask this all in the name of Jesus, our Lord.