When our country entered the fray of those affected by the novel coronavirus in early 2020, not many people were concerned. But, as cases grew, some of us started stocking up, others spent time in prayer, or information gathering. Our ambivalence was replaced by anxiety while many of us shelter in place and others work on the front lines. We needed help and relief from the anxiety and fear.
(updated December 2020) As we headed into April, the number of cases in the U.S. and worldwide grew exponentially, and our hometowns were not exempt. In fact, some of us lost sleep or broke down over the stress. Clearly, a world wide pandemic was frightening.
However, like many of you, I feel God’s call for continuous prayer from believers. So, with this post, I want to remind all of us some of what God’s word says about prayer.
With practice we can:
Trade anxiety for scripture filled prayer & move mountains.
From personal experience, I know that through prayer we can cast off anxiety and choose to trust God, but to do it we need to sharpen our weapons with scripture. To move mountains we need the power of the word of God.
1. We replace anxiety with scripture. To be effective, we fill our minds and hearts with his words, so that doubt and fear are replaced with truth.
The truth of Gods’ word dispels anxiety because it is truth, it is powerful, and trustworthy.
Isaiah 55:11 My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.
New King James Version
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
We can be assured with this scripture that his word will not be empty, it will accomplish things.
If you pray or have prayed at any time over this virus and time of crisis, even a simple, “God help us,” you are part of the war. When you raised the weapon of prayer, you became a warrior.
If you then pray the word of God, your weapon of prayer becomes more powerful.
When you and I pray and speak with God, we come to the giver of every good and perfect gift. He has plans not to harm us, but to give us hope and a future. These are his words.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, with whom there is no change or shifting shadow.
Jeremiah 29:11,12 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.…
We can add those scriptures to our prayer life. As we thank God for every good and perfect gift and ask for his plan, we can also thank him for the future he has for us. With confidence, thank God for hope. Expect hope, and look for it.
God tells us to pray without ceasing, and pray together (Mathew 18:18,19 below), agreeing on the good things. We can pray for healings, mercy and God’s guiding hand. Better, when we pray his words.
“…prayer is about cooperating with God and abandoning our desires and submitting to God’s will. In fact, Matthew 6:8 says, ‘…for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.'” https://www.allaboutprayer.org/corporate-prayer.htm
2. When we pray, our mindset, attitude, and goals are important.
Thankfulness, humility, & forgiveness: When we pray, instead of anxiety, we are choosing God’s plan, God’s loving ways, and God’s will.
In Philippians 4:6, we find scripture that tells us to pray with an attitude of thankfulness.
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Our prayers should also bring us closer to the humble spirit God has called us to. Any prayer should be established in humility.
2 Chronicles 7:14 If My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
Without question, we must pray with forgiveness in our hearts, faith that God has our best interests at heart, and confidence in his word.
Mark 11:24,25 “Truly I tell you that if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and has no doubt in his heart but believes that it will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand to pray, if you hold anything against another, forgive it, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your trespasses as well.”…
Let us forgive any sin against us, ask for forgiveness for any wrong doing on our part, and release any lingering hurt.
We choose to extend forgiveness, so that we can pray without selfish desires or sin in our lives.
3. Prayers prayed in agreement with others command a blessing.
Since we know unity commands a blessing (Psalm 133:1-3) then prayer with a unified purpose and goal will command a blessing.
“How Pleasant to Live in Harmony
1A song of ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony! 2It is like fine oil on the head, running down on the beard, running down Aaron’s beard over the collar of his robes. 3It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the mountains of Zion. For there the LORD has bestowed the blessing of life forevermore.…” https://biblehub.com/psalms/133-2.htm
Prayer where we command this virus to be bound, rendered harmless and without affect in our families could change the outcome. I would pray then that the coronavirus is bound on earth and in heaven, that healing and new life is loosed in our homes.
Mathew 18:18,19 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven.…
Write a prayer using scripture. Read it, pray it , share it. Replace your anxiety, fear , and doubt with scripture filled prayer and feel the power of hope fill your thoughts. Let God heal your mind with his words starting today.
Barefoot and praying,
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God is in control. “…we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea…” Psalm 46:2