Only a week ago, I found it rather humorous how people everywhere were panicking about this coronavirus. But as I’ve watched things develop over the past several days, I’ve started to wonder if my lackadaisical, optimistic attitude is not a good thing. Sure, it’s good to be hopeful and to trust in the Lord, but it’s also good to be wise and to have our eyes open to what’s going on around us.
As I’ve watched the rules & regulations become stricter each day, the stock market plummet and businesses close, I’ve started to better understand why so many people are concerned, and the question I’ve started asking myself is “Why?”
Why is this happening at this time? For what purpose has God allowed this?
Is this God’s judgment? A call to revival? Neither? Both?
What is God trying to tell us?
And how many people are actually listening?
Have I been naive, blowing this all off as though it’s nothing to worry about? Or is God trying to send us a message? Maybe He’s trying to tell us to stop trusting in ourselves and to get down on our knees!
Amos 4 comes to mind, where God runs down the list of all the calamities He had sent on Israel: famine and blight, locusts and plagues, war and death; and in between each trouble comes the sad refrain, “Yet you have not returned to Me.”
If this coronavirus is a call to repentance, then may God’s people hear!
You are so holy, so just. You hold the whole world in Your hands, craziness and all. It is in times like these that we realize that we truly have no control, that You are sovereign over all, and that our lives are completely dependent on You.
And oh, how we have wronged You! Like Nehemiah, I confess that “both my father’s house and I have sinned” (Neh. 1:6 NKJV).
America deserves your judgment, Lord. I have no right to even ask You to remove it. We have trampled on Your name, stamped out Your law, and lifted ourselves up in pride while scorning Your word. We have called evil “good” and good “evil.” We have sacrificed our children, dishonored the elderly, created idols for ourselves, and praised all sorts of perversions.
And Your church has fallen asleep. We have stuffed ourselves with knowledge, but not applied it. We have allowed materialism to creep in and take hold. Your body has become a corporate machine that cranks out more false converts than true believers, more “baby Christians” than mature ones, more programs than pilgrims. We’ve elevated man’s word above Yours, our own feelings over Your truth, and our own desires over Your will.
I confess there are many times when I have loved man’s praise more than Yours. I have not made you my #1 priority at all times. I have clung to pride in the name of optimism or self-confidence. I have not sought You as I ought, nor proclaimed Your name as I should. I have let the affairs of this world distract me from You. I have let selfishness and fear rule over me and hold me back from complete obedience.
What have I to offer You, Lord? On what basis can I dare to plead for this crisis to end? Certainly not on my own merit, or that of my country’s.
So it is strictly on the basis of Your mercy that I cry out. On the basis of Your lovingkindness, which reaches to the heavens. Your love is great, even in the midst of our troubles. You are our Refuge, our strong Tower, our Deliverer. Your mercies are new every morning, and Your promise is to work all things for good.
So God, I ask that You would break us, but not crush us. Break our hearts in genuine repentance, call us back to Yourself, give us ears to hear, eyes to see, and hearts to understand. Lead Your people back to Yourself.
Oh God, this could be the start of something great, if only we would turn to You! May Your Holy Spirit come upon us like never before, Lord. May He convict, exhort, and restore. May we see Your glory at this time, and may we see Your Church arise!
Forgive us of our trespasses, which are so many. Restore us to Yourself; create in us clean hearts. Hear the prayers of those who cry out to You in faithfulness, and grant us Your mercy.
I pray against this virus, God – that You would halt it in its tracks. That You would cover us with Your protective wings, that we would have nothing to fear.
But most of all I pray that Your name would be glorified, that Your call to repentance would not be ignored, and that we would see Your Spirit move in mighty ways.
In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray this all.