Should I Pray for the End of the Coronavirus Pandemic?

2020-04-25 Updated Map of Coronavirus
As the coronavirus “stay-in-place’ orders begin to recede among protests and alternative views of their effectiveness surfacing, I look forward to actually meeting with friends, having them over for dinner, going out to favorite restaurants again, and getting together as Christ-followers to worship and share teaching and encouragement.

See this week’s Wall Street Journal article on The Weekend Interview;
Conclusion, “Most disagreements among scientists reflect differences in perspective, not facts.”, i.e. data is transposed by each scientist’s subjective view to emphasize his/her priorities.  If you cannot access the WSJ article and would like to read it, contact me.

I was invited in a text from a friend, forwarded from a concerned citizen, to join one million people in praying for the coronavirus to end.  My reply was simply that I do not think superstitious prayers are effective in moving Father to act.  I wondered if the originator of the text really thought that of the estimated 2.4 billion Christians in the world, less than 0.05 per cent of them were praying for that?  You do the math: 1,000,000 divided by 2,400,000,000 = 0.000417 x 100.

Add to that the fact that Father does not heed popular opinion polls and can be moved by any individual sincere heart or whenever two or three gather in His name (Matthew 18:9).  ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares Yahweh.” (Isaiah 55:8)  He did not take a ballot whether or not to answer Elijah’s request for drought or rain after three years of empty skies (1 Kings 18:42-44; James 5:17).  Jeremiah did not exactly win a popularity contest when he announced the word from Yahweh in Jeremiah 26, yet his prophesies came true even though opposed by the majority.

It is hard to imagine this coronavirus could happen to the world without the Creator’s fingers in the works somewhere.  We often wonder when bad things happen in the world, especially on larger scales than our immediate circumstances, where is God or what is God doing when such things occur?

Some have speculated that the coronavirus is something of God’s judgment as they notice the geographic regions hardest hit do not reflect their spiritual perspectives.  Others suggest this is baloney because many Christ-followers are decimated by this indiscriminate disease.  I am content to leave such considerations up to Father and remain confident that He knows what He is doing.

He is not the author of bad things happening to people (except in times of judgment), but He knows how to make lemonade from the lemons we sometimes encounter in a fallen world.  (Personally, I do not like this illustration, as I have always enjoyed eating raw lemons, and am not convinced their flavor is ‘fallen,’ but most of you will get the gist. 😊)  In any case, our place is rarely to ask Father, “Why?” but rather to ask, “How can I continue to walk with You through this?  How can You use me to show others who You are and how much You love them?”

These are the questions we should always be asking, not just during a health crisis (if this is even that), and not just when things are out-of-the-ordinary difficult (which the coronavirus has made them).  This is a matter of Practicing the Presence (August 20, 2016), and must be the developing attitude for a Christ-follower every day of our brief lives.

As such, we need to be talking with Father about the pandemic currently gripping our media, the scientists’ attention, and political and social landscapes.  Whether or not to ask Him to end it is up to you in your discussion with Him.  However, we do need to be talking with Him about what He wants to accomplish in our hearts through this, and how we can show how amazing He is, even in the midst of the confusion over what the symptoms are, whether or not testing is accurate, or whose deaths are attributable to it.  He can calm our hearts even when politicians make announcements about each other’s comments that seem harder to follow than a spiked football in the end zone!

Last thoughts: Zoom is nice and I expect to keep up lots of such meetings even after this virus is history, but there is something very special about physical contact and presence for which Zoom or Skype can only act as temporary replacements or necessary accommodations.

So pray however you want about the coronavirus when you talk with your loving Father.  Remember, He understands us even when we do not know for what we should pray.  (Romans 8:26-31)  Whether praying for an end to the pandemic, praying for a friend in need, praying for an opportunity to meet that need . . . simply pray.  He wants to hear from you. 😉


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