Wednesday, March 18, 2020
We are calling Athens to a citywide day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, March 18. We are in uncharted waters as we journey through this Coronavirus pandemic. The Church has an opportunity to respond in faith and love. One thing we can do that no one else can, is to approach our Father in heaven and ask Him to move. As such, we are asking people to give up a meal or more on Wednesday and take time to pray through the guide below. Use this guide as a launch pad for where the Spirit would lead you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray as you ought to (Romans 8:26-27). Feel free to open your Bible to the references and soak in them as you pray! Your prayers in such a time as this will make a huge difference!!!
In Psalm 91 we are told that those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. As you start praying thank Him for His protection and proclaim that the Lord Almighty is your refuge and your fortress, that He is your God, in whom you trust! Proclaim that His word says He will save you from every trap of the enemy and from the deadly disease. His faithfulness is your shield, proclaim that you take refuge under it.
In Psalm 46 we see that God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in our time of need. Proclaim that though the earth gives way, or the mountain falls into the sea or the ground quakes, you will not fear because your hope is in Him. This is the passage that reminds us to “be still and know I am God” (v10). Take a few moments and fix your eyes on the One who is sovereign and faithful!
Just as 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that we’re to be thankful in all things, in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us, take some time and thank the Lord for this opportunity. Yes, though God is not the cause of the Coronavirus, He is in the midst of it, and will bring good out of it (Romans 8:28). Psalm 136:1 says that we are to “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good, His love endures forever.” Yes, God is good, ALWAYS! So as you pray, think on all the things you can praise and thank God for (Philippians 4:8-9).
Trust the Lord
Jesus said terrible times will come, with persecution, earthquakes, famine, pestilences, wars… but we are to not be frightened (Luke 21:9). We are called to watch and pray (Luke 21:36), trusting the Lord through it all. Pray for God to grant you a grace to trust Him through this ordeal (Proverbs 3:5-6).
Confess your sins
We are told in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if we humble ourselves, pray, seek His face and repent, He will hear our prayer, forgive our sins and heal our land! Ask God for a grace over His people to respond to this crisis. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will life you up (James 3:10). Let Him show you any place of fear and anxiety in you, then confess it before Him. Ask Him to do the same in your church and across our city! While you’re at it, ask God to expose other hidden sins in His Body, and that includes you.
Ask for peace
Ask Him to grant you the grace to be at peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says we are to not be anxious about anything (which includes the coronavirus) but instead pray with thanksgiving. The promised result of this is a peace that surpasses understanding. Peace is not the absence of problems but the presence of a person in the midst of those problems, and that person is Jesus Christ! Cast your anxiety before Him and let Him saturate you with His otherworldly peace (1 Peter 5:7). It is this peace you carry that others will see and ask about your faith (John 14:27). Isaiah 26:3 tells us that His perfect peace is found when we keep our mind steadfast on Jesus. Ask God to grant you the ability to keep your focus on Him through the coronavirus ordeal. Pray this for your church, its leaders and everyone a part of it, that they would keep their minds fixed on Jesus and ask God to release His peace as they do.
There is undoubtedly a spirit operating behind the coronavirus. The word corona can be defined as “crown.” The enemy is deceiving the world to bow in fear, anxiety, panic and terror before this dark power. By you putting on the peace of God that transcends all understanding, and praying for His peace for others, you are engaging in spiritual warfare. You are not bowing to this worldly demonic power but to Jesus Christ alone! Ask God to bring fear, anxiety, panic and terror under His feet. For it says in Romans 16:20 that, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.”
Pray for those affected
Pray for those afflicted by the coronavirus, for those who are sick, for those who are in quarantine, for those who are fearful and anxious, for those who will be financially impacted, for those parents that will need to stay home from work with their children, for the first responders, those who work in hospitals or senior centers … Ask God who else you need to pray for.
Pray for boldness in the church
Ask God for a boldness in His church to live and testify of their faith. Pray for your church and the churches in our city to rise up and shine for Jesus, to be His hands and feet in this time of need. During a plague that ravaged the Roman empire, the early church stood out because they loved and ministered to those who were sick from it, even when everyone else abandoned them. Ask God who you are supposed to love on during this unprecedented time. Ask God to show His people how to be intentional with His love!
Pray for your neighborhood
Pray for your neighbors, by name (if you know them). Ask God to use this season of fear, panic and unknown to reveal Himself to them, to stir questions of eternity, to shake their strongholds of disbelief and to draw them to Himself. Ask God to show you how to be a light to your neighbors, as well as how to practically love them in their time of need!
Pray for the government
We are told in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for all those in authority. This is an important moment to do just that. Pray for our president and his administration, including the coronavirus task force. Pray for our governor, mayor and the council members as they respond to the needs in our state and city. Pray for all those working to end the virus spread. Ask God to protect them and grant them wisdom from above to find new breakthroughs and answers. Pray that our leaders (local and national) would bend their knee to Jesus, crying out for His deliverance.
Pray for students
Though young people are not the main concern of fatal results of the coronavirus, they can still get sick, and possibly be asymptomatic carriers of the virus. As such, school and colleges have been closed. Pray for the students you know who are socially distanced right now, that God would meet them, reveal Himself to them, and that this time of social distancing would be a destiny moment that will change the trajectory of their lives as they choose to follow Jesus wholeheartedly!
We recently finished up PrayUGA, three weeks of prayer for every student at UGA. Each of these 38,000 students have been prayed for at least six times during those three weeks. Many are still being prayed for through the end of this semester. If you are still praying for your students, or have your list of students from PrayUGA, please saturate them in prayer right now. Many students are in self quarantine after going on cruises, mission trips or leaving the country for Spring Break. Pray that while classes are closed for at least the next two weeks God would be working in their hearts, revealing Himself to them through this isolation period. Pray for God to use this season to draw these students you’ve been praying for to Jesus. That in this time of pause, they would hear His call to them, they would see Him truthfully, that every lie and stronghold that has hindered them from coming to Him would be torn down and demolished. That they would see NOW in light of ETERNITY.
Recently we had The Mix, where some 2,500 Middle School & High School students from mostly the greater Athens area attended, and MANY made decisions for Christ. Please pray for these students, for their faith to grow, for those who haven’t made decisions yet to be drawn back to that place where they almost responded. Pray that God would use this as a catalyst for revival on every Middle and High School campus in our city!
Pray for families
Families are being dramatically impacted by the coronavirus. Pray for God’s peace to rest on the families across our city and nation. Pray for the families you know. Pray for parents as they need to care for their kids and keeping them distanced from others. Pray for God to release patience and creativity over parents and that many beautiful memories would be made. Ask God to use this to bring reconciliation in families!
Pray for your pastor
This is uncharted territory, and your pastor (and church leadership) need your prayer more than ever. Please pray that they would have wisdom, courage, grace, peace, etc., as they lead your congregation forward. Pray for protection over them and their families. Pray for creative solutions to stay in touch with (and shepherd) the congregation, even how to have and maintain online gatherings. Pray that God would meet them, refresh them and give them all that they need throughout this season. Pray that your church would come out of this crisis stronger than ever!
Pray for revival
Ask God to use the coronavirus as a catalyst for revival, awakening and transformation in Athens, across our nation and world! Thank the Lord for taking what the enemy means for evil and turning it into good. Pray for a new level of unity to emerge between neighbors, churches, and even within our local and national government. Ask God to do miracles as people help one another and work together to bring comfort and healing in our city and nation. Ask God to do awesomely as His people pray over these coming weeks.
As you wrap your time in prayer, please thank the Lord for hearing your prayers and answering them with awesomeness (Psalm 65:5 – NLT). Thank Him for who He is… always good, faithful, loving, kind, sovereign…
Standing together in Him!
Athens Prayer Network