Today, Sunday, is a National Day of Prayer to help fight the Wuhan coronavirus. Those who do not have faith (and even some who do) have been ridiculing the President and those who adhere to Judeo-Christian faiths ever since he announced on Friday that we should pray because we are a nation that “has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.”
He is absolutely correct on both major points. We have historically been a nation that has turned to God to help us through our troubles and it can be an effective way to fight not only the coronavirus, but also the despair that has been flooding over people as a result of the pandemic’s rise.
“As we unite in prayer, we are reminded that there is no burden too heavy for God to lift or for this country to bear with His help. Luke 1:37 promises that ‘For with God nothing shall be impossible,’ and those words are just as true today as they have ever been,” President Trump said in his proclamation.
This is something Americans should take very seriously. Many if not most churches will not be holding services today, opting instead for streaming sermons or no gatherings at all. Many Americans only pray on Sunday, and right now we desperately need as many Americans praying as possible.
On this National Day of Prayer, we come together to pray for all who have suffered from and been affected by #coronavirus here in the United States and all across the world.
Today we unite, as one nation under God, to ask for His comfort and healing.
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) March 15, 2020
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) March 15, 2020
On top of all that we should normally pray for in thanksgiving and reverence to our Creator, I’ve put together a list of things to remember in our prayers today and going forward. I am not a pastor or theologian, but I believe there are seven things that should fill our prayer as a nation during this time of perceived crisis.
An end to the Wuhan coronavirus across the nation and around the world
This is the obvious one. We as a nation and a world of people need the coronavirus to be brought to a quick end. The longer it lasts, the more damage it will do. Deaths will rise. Economies will falter. Lives will be turned upside down. As nice it would be for our day-to-day lives to be filled with prayer, we must unify in asking our Father for help on this day at the very least.
Just as Daniel of the Old Testament often prayed for his nation, so too must we prayer for our nation as well. There are those who do not believe in the power of prayer, but it has been demonstrated since the dawn of mankind that prayer has a supernatural efficacy, especially when done by groups. Not all prayers are answered, or more accurately, not all prayers are granted. We are flawed creatures with a sinful nature who don’t always know what’s best for us or what’s part of God’s plan. Nevertheless, we must pray because the only requests that are granted are those that are asked.
Protection for those infected
It is human nature to pray for our own protection. Even the bravest, most giving people want to avoid personal harm whenever possible. But let’s not forget that there are those who are already suffering, those who are already infected, and they need prayers from the masses to help them now.
Older people in particular have proven to be extremely vulnerable. All of the deaths that have come from the coronavirus in the United States as of the writing of this article have been over 40-years-old and the majority of them have been over 70-years-old. They need our prayers the most.
As ludicrous as it has been so far with lines stretching through parking lots so people can get toilet paper, it can actually get much worse than this if calm is not restored soon. People are scared. They’re acting irrationally. These reactions have prompted rational people to act in similar ways. Knowing that it’s inappropriate to stockpile thousands of rolls of toilet paper doesn’t always mean we won’t do it when there’s a shortage.
But it’s more than just toilet paper. People are already showing signs of turning violent over this. Reports of people getting stabbed over bottled water demonstrate the basest forms of self-preservation are emerging. We need Americans to calm down and act more rationally before things turn much worse than they already have thus far.
Help for those harmed by the panic
Grocery stores and toilet paper companies may be making out well, but those in many other industries have been harmed. There are too many to even list a sampling as businesses struggle with fewer buyers, sick or scared employees, government restrictions, and panic-induced crime.
Even things that seem mundane like school closings can throw lives into disarray as parents struggle to get to work while their kids are stuck at home. It isn’t just those infected who are being harmed. This disruption is life-changing for many.
Discernment of the truth about this disease
A valid argument can be made that mainstream media is at least partially to blame for the panic. There is something happening that seems demonic in nature. It may just be standard “Trump Derangement Syndrome” infecting newsrooms who see the coronavirus as an opportunity to make the President look bad, but it may also be much worse than that. We may never know all of the factors behind the media-driven panic. Lest we forget, this is the same media that generally ignored the swine flu in 2009 despite an estimated 700 million to 1.4 billion people infected.
There is also disinformation coming from other sources, though still feeding into American media. China has done everything it can to cover up the virus. Since that hasn’t worked, they’ve gone so far as to point fingers at the U.S. Army. Americans and citizens of the world need truthful information about this pandemic, but in lieu of that we need the people to have discernment about what’s real and what’s false.
Just as we should pray for calm now, we should pray for hope in the future. After the coronavirus itself subsides, there will still be billions of people affected by it. There will be much struggle and likely much strife as well.
We need hope to flow across our country once again. For the sake of the economy, the future, and our very sanity, hope is a powerful fuel to keep people going through tough times.
God’s Will be done
Above all else, we should always pray that God’s Will be done. I’ve heard arguments before that God doesn’t need permission for His Will to be done, but that’s missing the point. It’s true that He doesn’t need permission, but praying for His Will to be done is not for Him. It’s for us. It’s acknowledgement and acceptance that we understand where we stand in this world. We are His, and therefore we need to remind ourselves daily, as Jesus Christ instructed, that God’s Will must be done.
The power and importance of prayers are dismissed by many, even some who claim to be faithful to a Biblical worldview. Today, on this National Day of Prayer, it’s important that we come together, bend the knee, and ask for help that we desperately need.
The power and importance of prayers are dismissed by many, even some who claim to be faithful to a Biblical worldview.
— JD Rucker (@JDRucker) March 15, 2020