This is such an interesting time in our world. To have a common interest with every other human on earth is a strange feeling isn’t it? Whether you’re concerned about how the virus itself may affect you or your family, wary of what opportunities your government might take right now to remove some of your freedoms, or unsure of what the economic ramifications will be for your family , we’re all experiencing some form of uncertainty as a result of this virus.
But the truth is, virus or no virus, the same God who has always been in control is still in control right now. If nothing else, I hope this virus reminds us of that and causes us to turn our hearts to a greater dependence on the Lord.
For me personally, I’ve had to re-evaluate how much time I spend in prayer compared to how much time I spend trying to come up with my own solutions to the world’s problems. (As if that’s going to do any good anyway!)
I hope you’ll join me in praying for our world rather than overthinking everything that’s going on. I’ve collected a list of specific ways you can pray during this pandemic.
1. Pray for government leaders to have wisdom in making decisions for those under their leadership.
I Timothy 2:1-2 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
2. Pray for the health of your loved ones and for the healthcare workers who are caring for the sick.
James 5:14-16 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
3. Pray that the Gospel would be spread to a dying world.
I Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
4. Pray for persecuted Christians around the world. Many have been freed from prison as a result of the virus, while others are facing even greater difficulties than they had previously.
Hebrews 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
5. Pray for victims of spousal and child abuse. For many, staying home for weeks on end with an abusive parent or spouse will be psychologically and physically damaging without the reprieve of work or school.
Proverbs 31:8-9 Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
6. Pray for the emotional needs people will have during times of isolation, especially those who will be cut off from family.
Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
7. Pray that God would comfort those who have lost loved ones and give peace to those who have ill family members.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8. Pray for God’s provision during a time of economic hardship
Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
9. Pray for revival in the church. Pray that believers would exhibit unity and love to one another, that our hearts would be alerted to the urgency to spread the gospel, that God would increase our faith in Him.
Ephesians 5:15-19 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
1o. Pray that God would give you personal opportunities to show His love to others during this time.
Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
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There is a disease that is more deadly than any disease the earth has ever known. It has killed more people than every virus combined, and yet I rarely hear it spoken of. The news media regularly updates the public on the latest Coronavirus statistics, and the virus has become a part of our conversations with friends, family, and strangers at the grocery store. And yet, the most deadly disease of all receives little of our attention.
The symptoms of this disease are varied and horrifying. They include but are not limited to:
Some people display extremely mild symptoms, which makes it easy to ignore this disease. But if left untreated, everyone affected, no matter how mild their symptoms appear to be, will die.
Every human on earth is infected with this disease. It is passed from the parents to every child ever born, and it has been this way since the birth of the first children on earth.
Many treatment options have been tried, but all fail except for one. The mortality rate of this disease, no matter what treatment is applied, is 100%. But when the one successful treatment is applied, 100% of those who receive it not only live, but they live forever.
I’m sure you’ve figured out by now that the disease I’m referring to is sin. We are all infected with it. (1) It causes all manner of death and destruction here on earth, and for those who do not receive the only Cure, it results in eternal death. (2)
Many do not pay any heed to the seriousness of this disease because they do not seem to be affected in such terrible ways as others. They have never been driven to murder, steal, or commit adultery, and so they fail to recognize that even the less obvious symptoms like pride, covetousness, or using God’s name in vain are still sin and still will result in eternal death. (3)
Many try to cure this disease themselves by “turning over a new leaf,” by spending time with others who have been cured and assuming the cure will apply to them too, or by assuming that their symptoms have not been bad enough to warrant death. (4)
But the truth is that there is only one cure for this disease, and that is to be cleansed from its filthiness. Complete cleansing only comes when one is washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. (5)
Everyone who will be washed, will be made clean and will be cured from this disease. (6)
The disease of sin has left death and destruction in its wake all around the world. Even the diseases about which we are currently so concerned are a result of sin’s influence on this earth.
People are rushing to prepare themselves for the possibility of the Coronavirus hitting their area. Where is the rush to prepare for the coming judgment of God?
Courageous doctors and nurses risk their health to care for those infected with deadly diseases around the world. Do we have the same concern for those who are infected with the disease of sin?
As a domestic violence advocate, I see and hear about the horrific effects of sin on a regular basis. I see the cruelty that a sinful heart is willing to inflict upon another human being. I’m all for the law holding accountable anyone who would harm another person in any way. But I also realize that better laws and accountability will not ultimately stop hatred, abuse, assault, and murder. Those things come from the heart, and while a perpetrator may sit behind bars, if his heart is not cleansed from its filthiness he will never change.
The only hope for abusers and their victims is the Gospel. The only hope for thieves and their victims is the Gospel. The only hope for liars and their victims is the Gospel. The only hope for any of us is the Gospel!
Should we acknowledge and prepare for worldwide diseases? Should we take action on behalf of the 6 women who are killed by a partner or family member every single hour? Should we insist that people who would sexually assault another individual be removed from the streets?
Absolutely, yes! But the root of all these terrible things is sin, and the only remedy is Jesus! Through him, murderers, pedophiles, thieves and liars can be cleansed from their filthiness. Through him, people who are moral but can never attain the standard of perfection God requires can be cleansed from their sin. In him, the victims of heinous crimes and abuses can find unconditional, healing love.
So while we speak of diseases, crimes, and abuses and brainstorm solutions to these problems, let us not forget to speak of Jesus. Let us not lose Him in the midst of these important conversations, for He is the most important solution of all.
(1) Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Romans 3:10-12 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
(2) John 3:18-19 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
(3) James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
(4) Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
(5) John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
(6) John 11:25-26 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
As our family continues to be blessed with more children, the amount of time I have to myself decreases.
Thankfully, my children sleep really well most of the time, and I can usually get up early and have a few minutes to spend time alone with the Lord while things are still quiet. But there are seasons when that doesn't happen, such as when I have a new baby , when one of the kids is sick, or when I was struggling very badly with chronic fatigue and would sleep until I heard the kids up running around.
During those times it is extremely difficult to find any time to spend time with the Lord reading his word and praying. From the time my feet hit the floor until the time my body finally falls asleep at night, I am busy wiping noses, changing diapers, cleaning up messes, and listening to childish chatter. But, oh how desperately I need the Lord! Most days the first two words I think when I wake up are either “Help, Lord!” or “Lord, help!” I cannot complete this monumental task of nurturing souls, loving my husband, and maintaining a smoothly running household on my own strength. It is HARD!
I'm sure many, many of you are in the same boat, so I want to share some practical ways I have found to spend time learning from God's Word and praying even when it's not possible to get up earlier than everyone else and have your own quiet time.
1. Memorize scripture – Even if I have only a minute or two of quiet time, I get a whole lot more bang for my buck if I spend that time putting scripture to memory rather than just reading it. I can then spend time meditating on God's Word all throughout the day, and I'm not confined to whatever quiet time I may have the chance to enjoy. (See also: 10 Ways to Help Your Child Memorize Scripture – these will work for you too!)
2. Keep scripture around the house – This goes along with #1. I can be thinking on the words of Scripture as I see it throughout my house. I want my mind (and the minds of my family members) to be saturated with God's Word, and all it takes is a little effort to print out verses and post them all around the house. I can remember memorizing several verses as a child just because they were hung in places where I would frequently look. Over time I just simply knew them without even trying. (Find a free printable of Philippians 4:8 right here.)
3. Pray in the shower or while you're getting dressed – these few moments that I get to spend alone are invaluable. I enjoy having a few minutes of quiet to spend in prayer.
4. Read and pray with your children – If my children are already up when I wake up, I don't forgo my time with the Lord. I simply allow my children to join me. That way I can still learn from his Word, and my children can learn as well. They'll also see how important it is to depend on the Lord every day and learn to love God's Word for themselves. (See also: How to Help Young Children Develop Their Own Relationship with God)
5. Meditate on scripture as you fall asleep – One of my favorite times to review the scripture I've memorized is as I'm falling asleep at night. Rather than letting my mind race thinking about all the things I have to do the next day, meditating on Scripture quiets my thoughts and keeps my focus on Christ rather than on my problems.
6. Keep a Bible handy – I keep Bibles scattered throughout the house and in the car. That way whenever I do happen to find a few quiet minutes, I can pick one up wherever I am and read a little bit.
7. Listen to scripture on audio – there are several audio versions of the Bible available. Search apps on your phone for Scripture on audio. You can listen to scripture as you do your work around the house or drive somewhere. We also use these Scripture song CD‘s for our kids to keep scripture going in the house throughout the day.