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4 Ways to Pray for Your Church during Self-Isolation

March 23, 2020
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Photo by Amaury Gutierrez on Unsplash

While the coronavirus continues its spread in the U.S. and we all continue to adjust to the new realities and rhythms of social distancing and self-isolation, as I mentioned in last week’s post, one thing the church can do in any situation is pray. Today I want to elaborate on that and share four ways you can pray for your church during this season of self-isolation.

Pray for the situation. The psalms are filled with the prayers of God’s people crying out for help and deliverance from hard situations. “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck” (Ps. 69:1). “In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord” (Ps. 77:2). As we face a national and global crisis, it is fitting that God’s people would lift their voices to seek God’s help, protection, and deliverance from this dreadful disease.

Pray for spiritual fruit. Though it’s good to pray for the situation, we also recognize that God works through hard circumstances to bring spiritual growth and maturity to his people. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (Jms. 1:2-4). So don’t just pray that all this goes away; pray also that God accomplishes in and through his people all he intends through this hardship.

Pray for the saints. While it’s good to pray generally for these things, it’s even better to pray them for specific people in your church. “To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18). Pray these things for your family and for your small group—those with whom you regularly share life. Pray them for the elderly and vulnerable, the lonely and isolated, who need God’s encouragement in a special way. Pray them for your leaders, who are making hard decisions about how to shepherd the flock in unpredictable circumstances. Pray them for your missionaries, whose life and work has been similarly turned upside-down, with even more unpredictable circumstances.

Pray for salvation. Finally, pray that God would use this season of disruption, sickness, and fear to awaken the hearts of the lost, that they might sense their need of Jesus and turn to him in repentance and faith. Pray that God, through the witness of his church, would “open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [Christ]” (Acts 26:18). Pray specifically for those in your life who don’t know Christ, even those for whom you had all but given up hope, that God would do a great work of salvation in this time. And be ready to celebrate when he answers. Pray with expectation—that God will do it.

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