In this past hour, the global death toll passed one thousand.
I am typically a glass half-full kind of person, even to a fault. It’s just how I roll. I lean toward hope-filled optimism.
But sadly, I must confess. In recent days, I have been haunted by anxious thoughts. I find my feelings draped in the shadow of the global epidemic. This morning’s news reported a further increase in cases across China. The weekend’s numbers were a far cry from the decline they had hoped would come with the opening of additional new hospitals.
With cruise ships full of people held at bay and college students recently returned and quarantined, I find myself vacillating. In certain moments, I feel confident the odds are very low that anyone I know, too close to home, will actually be impacted. Then in other moments, I pause and remember: “That’s what everyone thinks until suddenly an illness has become a full-blown pandemic.”
And I am swept into a tsunami of puzzling questions that reach beyond the immediate illness.
What about the psyche and stamina of government leaders who are carrying the burdens of decision-making related to public safety?
How will the researchers who are working on vaccines and treatments hold up under the pressure?
And what must it be like to be one of the masked caregivers, nurses, or doctors to the many thousands affected by the virus?
What will this mean soon for China and the global economy, for thousands upon thousands of workers, corporate executives, and their industries both large and small?
Questions and fears spin, and I wonder. Is there really anything that any one person can do? Then I am struck by the powerful reality that every one of us can pray.
Based on faith in our divine King—whose hands are hands of healing—this one thing can be powerful. We pray to the God who has promised to hear us and answer in response to our faith-filled prayers.
Just today, a global missions leader I highly respect, Craig Kordic, received this list of prayer requests for the Church in Wuhan, China from a pastor serving in the massive city. He shared: Although it’s not one of the strongest Christian provinces in China, it’s estimated that among the 11 million inhabitants of the whole Wuhan Prefecture, @ 470,000 (or 4 percent) are professing Christian believers, including 240,000 house church members and 160,000 members of government-approved Three-Self churches. There are more than 3,000,000 Christians in all of Hubei Province.
* Please pray for the peace of Christ to rule and reign in our hearts, so that we may be a witness to those who are without hope.
* Pray that through this hardship, God’s children will grow nearer to the Almighty and that the Lord will use it to purify our souls and give us many opportunities to proclaim the gospel.
* Please pray for God’s mercy upon Wuhan, and ask Him to bring peace upon our city, province and all of China at this time.
* Please intercede, asking our wonderful Savior to bring peace and healing to those who are afflicted with the illness, to provide supernatural strength and protection for the medical personnel struggling on the front lines, and to bless every official at every level, who are working to help the people of Wuhan!
* Please ask the Lord to use this pestilence for His glory, so that when it is over, there will be many more souls born-again into the kingdom of God than have perished.
Will you join me? Will you commit to incorporating these simple, profound heart cries into your prayers, starting tonight and in the days to come?
We can be confident that King Jesus will hear us and bring his mercy, his hands of healing touch, his great wisdom, breakthroughs, and powerful strength.
What can one person really accomplish? Every one of can pray!