When our church’s leaders met on Tuesday (electronically, of course), one of them shared a good idea that I want to share with you.
It’s hard for us to pray in each other’s presence right now. In times of crisis, one of the church’s greatest and most powerful and encouraging tools is corporate prayer. But we can’t get together to pray in these days. It’s just not safe.
It’s possible to have online prayer meetings, and they can be valuable. But we can also pray, on our own, in our homes (or at work, if we are deemed essential services).
The elder I mentioned above shared with me an email from the Yonge Street Mission that expressed ways that the church can pray. I’m going to adapt its suggestions as ways that we can pray together, even though we are apart:
- Pray for peace to reign in our communities. In place of panic and fear, ask the Lord to fill our villages, towns and cities with compassion and grace.
- Pray for people who will be most impacted by service interruptions, such as access to meals, food banks, fellowship groups, and those who cannot connect with community online because they do not use the Internet.
- Pray for people whose employment is affected by this crisis – those who have lost their jobs permanently or temporarily, those who are deep in debt, as well as those whose work demands have ramped up or become more dangerous because of Coronavirus. Pray especially for those on the front lines of medical care, and those in essential services.
- Pray for people who struggle with isolation, especially those who live alone and those who depend on regular visits from friends or loved ones.
As you pray, ask the Lord how he can use you to make someone’s situation better, whether through a phone call or an email, leaving a few needed groceries on their front porch, or sending a card of encouragement.
And pray in faith.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4.6-7, NLT).
By the way, if you don’t have an online church home in these days, you are welcome to join the online community with St. Paul’s Church, Nobleton on Sundays at 10:00 a.m. on Facebook Live, or for replay anytime on our YouTube channel.