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March 16, 2020

Pastoral Prayer Amid COVID-19

Bill Zwicky


As Bethlehem “gathered” for a livestream all-church worship service on Sunday, March 15, South Elder Bill Zwicky led us in the prayer below. 

Father, would the song we just sang [“No Longer Slaves”] be a banner over our lives. We are no longer slaves to fear—we are children of God. Would your song of deliverance wash over us till all our fears are gone. Thank you that you chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless in your sight.

Thank you for the cross of Christ, that empowers a freedom from fear and brings reconciliation with our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Jesus, that you came that we might have abundant life, free from fear, this very day. Thank you that we have received a Spirit of adoption as sons and daughters, who can cry, “Abba! Father!”

So, Abba Father, give us strength in this day of adversity. Help us operate with prudence and compassionate care during the spread of COVID-19. Help us model the strength and hope of a people who are God’s children.

And Father, help us show compassion toward those who choose to respond differently or react more strongly to these circumstances and events. Would we be a steady people who are strengthened by God’s grace and would we be selfless in helping others by God’s power. 

And Father, if anyone of us is anxious, would we find refuge in praying to you, and praying for others, and would you grant your perfect peace which surpasses all understanding and guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

And Father, we lift up to you, those who may already be infected with COVID-19, would you grant healing. And to those who are more susceptible to the virus, would you protect them from getting infected. We pray for moms and dads as they parent children who may be afraid because they don’t understand why their parents are working from home or have to take a leave of absence from work. We pray for the elderly and those who may live alone and uncertain how to get the help they need. Would we be the feet and hands of Jesus that come alongside those who need help.

We also lift up our Global Partners—would you equip them with everything they need as they serve on the front lines of gospel work. And would these days provide new opportunities, new encouragement, and new souls into the Kingdom. 

Jesus, thank you that you stepped into our sickness, sin, and death. Thank you that you healed the sick and cared for the hurting. Help us to be a people like that. 

Lord, you rescued us from the universal epidemic of sin and the penalty of death. Give us strength and wisdom to use this opportunity to share with others the hope we have that is not found in remaining healthy this side of heaven. Remind us that to live is Christ, but to die is gain. Remind us that we truly have nothing ultimate to fear—not from COVID-19, not from natural disasters, or anything else.

So Father we pray for healing in our city, in our country, and in the world. We are grateful Father, for technology that lets us gather in a virtual way, but it’s far from preferable. We long to be together once more. Help us press on. Help us to walk with the sick, help us walk in the strength that you supply and show us how to use our health to serve, and not hide.

So we thank you heavenly Father, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ. So that we can be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.

And all God’s people said … AMEN