As stated in the introduction of this blog series, as Christians, we have the opportunity to respond with faith and wisdom instead of fear and panic.
Here is the first strategy we can implement as we face the coronavirus pandemic.
1. Concentrate on Prayer
In the middle of all the uncertainty that surrounds us at this time, it may seem difficult to think of a “proper” prayer. Which is why the following prayer, spoken by a desperate-but-confident Judean king named Jehoshaphat is one we can apply today, if and when we are at a loss for words.
This prayer can be found in 2 Chronicles 20:9.
If disaster comes upon us – sword, judgement, pestilence, or famine – we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.
The king’s perspective in this prayer applies to our current situation. Our faith must be all encompassing as the king’s faith was. We must trust the Lord in the face of any disaster that might come – or is already in our midst.
What makes this prayer adequate as we face COVID-19?
Throughout the prayer, the king appeals to God’s character, His promises, and His actions in the past. If we continue reading in verse 12, we can notice that the prayer culminates in the statement, “We have no power against this multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You”
Doesn’t that sound all too familiar right now? Aren’t we defenseless against this virus? All we have are facemasks, 20 second hand-washing techniques, and if you were able to find some hand sanitizer, that’s pretty much all we have as a defense, (speaking in worldly terms/eyes). So, we can also say, “we have no power against this [virus] that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do…” because do we?
That may sound like we are singing defeat, but that isn’t where the prayer ends. What we can and should be doing to face coronavirus is putting our eyes upon God. In that manner, we can also add to the prayer, “but our eyes are upon You.”
Will We Pray or Will We Worry?
Now, I cannot force you to do something or the other. That is entirely up to you. What I can do, is leave you two options for you to choose from.
You can either allow yourselves to become consumed with worry, or you can choose like Jehoshaphat, and pray instead.
Whatever you decide, just note that worrying won’t change our current circumstances or even lower the risk of infection. It won’t help us fight off illness or move us into action. Instead, worrying about this pandemic (or anything else) will only increase our troubles.
Not that I’m trying to decide for you, but rather than worrying and being anxious, about the things we cannot control, Jesus calls us to respond with prayer and faith in Him (Matthew 6:33-34; Philippians 4:6-7).
Note: it takes the same ounce of energy to worry as to pray. The only difference, one leads to peace, the other to panic. I don’t know about you, but there’s enough panic going around, I’d rather trade that for peace.
The only way we can do that is to call out to Almighty God and ask Him to protect us from this disease. We need to ask God to touch those who are infected. We need to pray for everyone who is on the frontlines of this pandemic. We need to stand before the Lord in faith.
Remember, you can face the coronavirus by concentrating in prayer.