A Call to Prayer

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

2020-01-23-00207

“Citadels of Power” may inspire or intimidate. God’s almighty power is for our benefit and blessing. | San Antonio Riverwalk | January 2020

During these surreal days of the unfolding COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, people are inclined to look to all manner of different places for information, comfort, help, and advice. We determined at St. John that we would utilize Harris County and CDC information sources for our decision making on issues of gatherings and other plans. 

More important, however, we are turning to God for wisdom, comfort, advice, and help. Some people think of prayer as an exercise of vain foolishness. Many people think of prayer as “good vibes” or a calming and centering spiritual exercise.

I think more of it than that. With that in mind, I will use this blog over the next 40 days as a call to prayer. We start today with this prayer asking for help and reminding us to look to God for the help we need. This is not to dismiss good hygiene. This is not to reject careful and sensible precautions. This is to recognize God’s preeminence over all things and the blessedness of our access to the throne of God’s grace through prayer.

So let us pray! Just last night I realized that my prayers – in addition simply to asking God to put a stop to this virus – ought to be that God would help me know what I am to do. In addition to praying for wisdom for doctors, researchers, and medical personnel, I need to pray for discernment for my own actions, witness, and planning.

So let us pray! Pray for wisdom, guidance, protection, help, and discernment for yourself and others. But pray also for a steadfast heart to trust in God above all, and courage to do the things you know you should do. Pray that God would help you to look to him, and remember that the hills are beautiful, they are not the source of our help. Our help comes from God. 

I invite you to pray this prayer from the National Day of Prayer committee…

Heavenly Father, we turn to You in prayer not panic in response to this pandemic. We praise You as our Almighty Creator and Sustainer. You are the author of our days, our refuge and strength.

Lord, we humbly ask that You push back and remove this virus from us; glorify Yourself in this national and global emergency. We cry out to You in unified prayer:

For those who have suffered loss of family and friends from this virus. Please comfort them.

For those who are currently sick we ask that You heal them.

For those who are filled with fear and anxiety in the uncertainty of what to do, or in isolation of quarantine, we ask that You be their courage and that they would acknowledge Your presence. Thank You for being our God who never leaves or forsakes us.

For those who are not able to go to work and earn a paycheck we ask that You provide for their needs. Please connect them with services who are providing food and other resources at this time.

For those who are researching and responding to the pandemic we ask that You pour out Your wisdom, knowledge and understanding in them and through them. Please incline our ears to truth and give us steadfast hearts as our confidence is in You. Give us discernment to divide rumors from reality, help us to make wise decisions and listen to good information.

For all hospital and nursing home staff, doctors, nurses, lab technicians, first responders, military personnel, and everyone who is at risk to exposure as they serve and care for those who are or may have been infected. Please protect them and give them and their families peace as they serve. Help them to keep patients calm as they work and walk in faith in You.

Lord, help us always to respond with Your love to our neighbors. Prompt us to check on those near and dear to us as well as neighbors we might not have met yet who may need our help. Help us to remember those around us who are most vulnerable to this virus and to help them by bringing them groceries or other things that will help keep them from exposure.

For those who are making decisions about closures and cancellations we ask that You guide them to consider what is best for people not profit. Lord that they will trust You and make the safest decision for the population they serve, teach, entertain, and employ. Continue to pour out Your creativity on us in the methods of staying connected and productive through technology.

We pray that this unprecedented time in our generation would be used to draw nearer to You and our families. Turn our attention to the many times we have thought or said, “we don’t have enough time to ________.” Help us to use this time to rightly reset and prioritize our relationship with You and our family. Let us draw near to You in faith as our Father and our fortress. 

Deliver us from this disease we pray and let Your glory fill the earth as You respond to our prayers. Amen.

1 comment
  1. Lorene Kettler said:

    One of my very favorite Psalms. Thank you for the wonderful prayer.

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