I’ve never suffered from vertigo, but I’m told an inner ear infection disrupts your balance and throws off your equilibrium. You may be feeling a similar kind of disorientation during the coronavirus pandemic as Bible studies, small groups and events are temporarily paused or moved onto digital platforms. The way forward for ministry in this unusual season may be murky, but one path is crystal clear:
Interrupted ministry is a call to accelerated prayer.
What if these interruptions are God’s invitation to earnest prayer? What if disruption is a trumpet call for fasting? We rightly say (and sincerely mean it!), that prayer is the work of the ministry. Right now, we have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to prove we believe it. God works through our prayers to set His plans in motion. Imagine what can happen when thousands of women bow before the throne of heaven to ask fervently for healing in our land.
Interrupted ministry is a gift to be used wisely. When the gift is unwrapped, we discover we desperately need God for more than the halt of COVID-19:
- We pray because we yearn for His presence.
- We pray because we long for the Church to once again blaze with His glory (2 Chron. 7:1-3; 14)!
- We pray because we hunger for God’s glory to fill the earth as the waters cover the sea (Hab. 3:2).
I sincerely hope this Steadfast Prayer Guide will help you rise up as a faithful watch-woman on the wall (Isa. 62:6–7; Ezek. 22:30) and enlist more to join the battle. I urge you to lead the charge by forming online or text prayer groups. Let’s wear out our knees until God rains down salvation and righteousness (Isa. 45:8). Now more than ever, may we “continue steadfastly in prayer”—together.
A 7-Day Steadfast Prayer Guide
Continue steadfastly in prayer. (Col. 4:2)
Open your prayer time with praise. Read Psalm 96.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Josh. 24:15)
- Families who are experiencing separation to remain united in heart
- Reconciliation in broken relationships
- Prodigals to sense the need to return home
- Marriages to be fortified
- Children to be shaped in Christ-like ways that impact their future
- Physical protection and health for the sick and vulnerable
- Daily provision for those crippled by reduced income or unemployment
TUESDAY—Churches and Pastors
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Eph. 5:14)
- Christ to purify His Bride to shine with the gospel
- Unity in the Spirit despite the loss of corporate worship
- Churches to become true houses of prayer
- Pastors to receive a special grace and wisdom from above to shepherd the flock and proclaim the Word
- Wayward believers to return to the Lord
- Churches to repent from self-sufficiency and tolerance of sin
- A spirit of humility to sweep through churches
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. (Col. 3:12–15)
- Christians to be rooted in the Word not bound by fear
- Radical peace and hope that displays the gospel in the midst of a global crisis
- Believers to be quick to practically and sacrificially minister to others
- Believers to give generously in our weakness
- Believers to love our neighbors as we love ourselves
- Lukewarm hearts to return to Jesus, their first love
- God to expose idols and sin hindering personal revival
- People to say, “Yes, Lord!” in obedience to Scripture
He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Heb. 7:25)
- God to give Christians hearts that break for lost souls
- God to send us as laborers into the harvest
- Divine opportunities to share the hope of Christ
- Hearts of stone to turn into flesh
- Scales to fall from blinded eyes
- Those who are perishing and apart from God
FRIDAY—Government Officials and Healthcare Providers
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage! (Ps. 33:10–12)
- God to turn the hearts of our leaders back to Him so our nation can once again declare in unity that we’re “one nation under God”
- Leaders to give and receive wise counsel
- Elected officials to be honest
- Godly men to understand and interpret these strange times
- Healthcare workers to have stamina and daily strength
- Doctors and nurses to be physically protected
- Provision of medical supplies
SATURDAY—Movement of Prayer
“Yet even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments.” Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love; and he relents over disaster. Who knows whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him. (Joel 2:12–14)
- God to raise up fierce women who will commit to faithful, focused prayer
- A spirit of prayer to spread like wildfire across the nation and world
- Earnest prayer to become more contagious than the coronavirus
- Prayer to be our first response in every situation
- United voices to say, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”
- Christians to daily seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness
SUNDAY—Revival and Spiritual Awakening
“Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.” (Hos. 6:1)
- The Lord to revive us again that His people may rejoice in Him
- God to display His fame and renew His mighty deeds in our day
- God to fulfill His promise to restore the years the locusts have eaten
- Jesus to be exalted over all the earth
- God’s Spirit to rapidly advance the gospel, revive the Church, transform culture, and reverse the course of history
Thank Him for how He will answer in His perfect timing and way!
Close with Psalm 72:17–18,
May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. Come, Lord Jesus! Amen.