Five Prayer Resolutions to Carry You Through This Pandemic
Most of us have never stepped into a moment like the one we are currently experiencing. And in the haze of the unknown, we might ask how we can possibly make a difference. But while our coronavirus situation is new, the church’s calling has not changed.
Be it peacetime or pandemic, the people of God are called to pray.
We don’t even have to wonder how we should pray, because the disciples asked Jesus, and he responded with what we call “The Lord’s Prayer” in Matthew 6:
“Pray then like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”
– Matthew 6:9–13 ESV
Based on this prayer, here are five resolutions to guide you and help you stay resolved in your faith during the weeks to come.
1. Resolve to spend time daily with the Father.
“Our Father in heaven …”
Jesus teaches us to pray to our Father. The psalmist intimately knew God as a loving Father, which is why he could say, “O God … in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by” (Psalm 57:1).
In a time filled with storms, fear, anxiety, pain, and questions, let’s be people who are resolved to spend time every day with God our Father, the One who controls the wind and the waves, the One who is peace personified, the One who is solid ground when all other ground is sinking sand.
2. Resolve to seek God’s glory above all else.
“ … hallowed be your name.”
The most central concern in our prayer should be to ask God to make his name first in people’s hearts. Praying for God’s glory above all else means we are forced to stop and think about what God’s purposes may be in all of this and not just how it personally affects us.
One of the easiest ways to seek God’s glory is by adding “so that” to all our prayer requests, ensuring that what we are praying for is the advancement of God’s glory and kingdom above all else. So we pray, “God, stop this disease so that people will see your power.” “Lord, keep us safe so that we can take the gospel to places that have experienced this deadly virus without the hope of the gospel.” And, “Father, provide for the poor during this season so that they would know you are near to the broken.”
3. Resolve to see your community healed like heaven.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
One way we can love our neighbors and communities well, while still obeying authorities and orders from the state, is by praying for them.
God tells us, “[I]f my people who are called by my name 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).
Church, this is our greatest calling right now: to be people who humble ourselves, recognizing we don’t have all the solutions to a virus but also proclaiming that we do have the ultimate solution to humanity’s greatest disease of sin—and his name is Jesus.
4. Resolve to believe today you have everything you need for today.
“Give us this day our daily bread …”
Jesus never promises us a plan or offers a clear path. He tells us to ask God for what we need today and believe he will meet us there.
God gives strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. And with Jesus, we can truly say, “That’s enough.” With Jesus, we can be still and know that he is the God who is in control, sovereign, and Jehovah Jireh, our Provider.
5. Resolve to fight against the schemes of the evil one.
“… deliver us from evil.”
Satan often does some of his greatest work when we are in isolation. He prowls around like a lion, seeking to devour by making us stingy instead of generous, making us view others as threats rather than image-bearers worthy of compassion, and making us believe the lie that we’re all alone in our fear and anxiety.
The only way to combat the plans of the evil one is by meeting his schemes with Scripture. Open the Bible. Read God’s promises. Don’t just be on the defense. Be on the offense, remembering that we don’t fight for victory but from victory.
Physically Separated, Spiritually Together
A.W. Tozer said, “Worshipers never leave church. We carry our sanctuary with us wherever we go.”
Our sanctuary, the Holy Spirit, lives inside of us. It’s his presence that enables us to have prayer-infused confidence, compassion, and selflessness when we talk about the coronavirus because the Holy Spirit reminds us of our Savior, who put on flesh and stepped into our sickness, sin, and death and shed his own blood in order for us to be healed.
Now we who are found in Jesus can proclaim to others that, because of Jesus, we have the hope that though we die, yet shall we live. We possess hope not just for this life but also for the life to come.
Let these resolutions drive you deeper into that good news.