Ps 60:11–12, “Give us aid against the foe, for human help is worthless. With God we will perform valiantly, he will trample our foes.”
God, you know all things, you see all things, and you are over all things. So, you know that there is an invisible enemy of darkness wreaking havoc on the globe. It spreads in stealth, yet it leaves a visible wake. It takes lives, leaving family and friends devastated. It has caused fear, panic, and anxiety among a world who realizes just how powerless they are against such an enemy. As a result, our elected officials, along with the scientific and medical community, have been working around the clock to help bring security and protection to people.
In pursuit of securing and protecting people, our leaders have made decisions to err on the side of life, which has adversely affected the economy—both nationally and globally—as nonessential businesses and organizations have been temporarily closed. As a result, millions of people have lost their jobs, and find themselves in such an exposed and vulnerable position.
As this invisible foe has completely disrupted our lives, driving many to shelter in place, abuse and mental illness cases have spiked. As the crisis lingers, people hear confusing remarks by both government officials, scientists, medical professionals, and news agencies. Our nation is a skeptic. We don’t know who to believe. We don’t’ know who to turn to. We don’t’ know who we can trust. We are desperate. We are broken. We are in need.
It’s not that we weren’t in need before this enemy invaded our lives. We were. Yet, this enemy has magnified just how small, weak, and vulnerable we really are—as it has crippled super nations. This invisible enemy has made us, once again, realize that we are not in control. In fact, we have very little control.
We realize that pain and suffering are part of life in a falling world. But we also know that you are not some cosmic God on a distant journey—who is oblivious to our ill condition. No, you are a refuge and strength, a very presence who is near in times of trouble.
That’s why we turn to you, Lord, our help and aid, our redeemer and rescuer, our warrior and commander, our mighty arm and strong tower. We know the only way that this darkness and evil is defeated; the only way that this vile virus and the devastating effects are halted and reversed is through your kindness and mercy. We know that our future hope is in the God who has promised to make all things new.
Hear our prayer—Jehovah Jireh (God our Provider) and Jehovah Shammah (The God who is there)—today.
We know ultimately that human help is worthless. We know that every good and perfect gift is handed down by the Father of lights. We know that you make it rain on the just and the unjust. We know that our knowledge, intellect, ingenuity, and creativity is part of the imago Dei on our lives. We know that our striving to create systems and structures that bring about the flourishing of nations, states, cities, communities, and organizations is a function of humanity imaging their Creator. In short, we know that our performance as humanity is part of the common grace of God on and in our lives.
Therefore, we pray that you would be present with our elected officials. Will you give them wisdom, discernment, understanding, and unity in this most pressing time? Will you work to transform the hearts of those politicians who are arrogant, proud, and who have selfish ambitions. Will you work to make them humble, meek, and selfless.
Will you be present with the scientific community? As they work around the clock developing tests, medical equipment, and a vaccine, will you give them a mind and heart to work? Will you give them supernatural wisdom and understanding into how to create a vaccine that protects against this virus?
Will you be present with the medical community? As they find themselves on the front lines in this battle against an invisible foe, will you protect them? Keep them safe? When they are tired, will you give them a sharp mind to care for patients and for themselves—that they may remember to follow all the safety precautions as they finish their shifts.
Will you watch over the vulnerable? Will you protect the older generation? We love them so much. We honor them. Will you watch over vulnerable children and spouses who live in an abusive environment? Will you shut the mouths of the verbally abusive? Will you paralyze the hands of the physically abusive? Will you transform the heart and behavior of such abhorrent people as we believe you died for both victims and perpetrators?
Will you guide our nation as we enter into a time of recovery, restoration, and rebuilding? Will you restore jobs and vocations? Will you save businesses from closing? Will you provide new ideas and innovations to launch new endeavors that bring flourishing to our economy and lives? In the process of being gracious and merciful, may you turn hearts to yourself? May people realize that behind their resiliency and their performance, there is a God that has granted them breathe, energy, and endurance—who desires for them to know him and be known by him. Will you bring unity to our nation, states, cities, and communities—even in our diversity?
Will you revitalize your church? We repent and confess to you, our King. We repent and confess of institutionalizing the church, of worshipping the models and methods—the tools of doing church rather than the Lord of the church. We repent and confess of entangling ourselves in the civilian (earthly) affairs rather than engaging our world as aliens, exiles, and sojourners on our pilgrimage to the New City.
May we engage our culture as ambassadors of a God-glorifying, Christ-centered, and Spirit-empowered culture. May we winsomely work for the common good and towards the flourishing of our world as we point people to the world to come. May we be about being the church for the world rather than getting the world into the church.
The foe we face today isn’t stronger or more powerful than you. We know that you can just utter a word, and the foe would be destroyed. Yet, we also know that you are working behind the gory and pain-stricken scenes to bring about your plan and mission in the world to create a people for yourself from all peoples on planet earth. While we may not fully understand why you do what you do, or why you allow bad things to happen—we trust you!
Lord you are great and greatly to be praised. Lord you are good, and your mercy endures forever. And Lord, you are our Savior and King and we trust and follow you. In closing our God, give us and our world aid, for our human efforts are worthless without your intervention and engagement.