Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear…Psalm 112:6-8
“The very moment I call to You for a Father’s help the tide of battle turns and my enemies flee. This one thing I know: God is on my side!”Psalm 56:9
Positives from this virus is that so many of us have realised how we can help one another and how we all have an important role to play in maintaining the spirit of unity of neighbourliness.
Roger Knight, in Madley, who posts a regular Thought every Wednesday, writes:
I recall reading that prisoners of war in Japanese concentration camps could withstand almost anything physically, despite cruelty and malnutrition, but once their mood collapsed they withdrew and, turning faces to the wall, could die within three days.
We, however, have no need to feel imprisoned as our PM has grasped that going walking and cycling is excellent for maintaining the wellbeing of both minds and bodies, together with contact by phone and email and social media with other people.
God always wants unity — unity with Him, unity with others and unity within ourselves. Positives from this virus is that so many of us have realised how we can help one another and how we all have an important role to play in maintaining the spirit of unity of neighbourliness. We are all needed in some way by others, to keep up our spirits at a challenging time. Even the most housebound and older members of society can pass on experiences of the past when we pulled together — our country needs you and us all.
The hand of God was on the people to give them unity of mind to carry out what the king [or Prime Minister?] and his officials ordered, following the word of the Lord.2 Chronicles 30:12.
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.Psalm 131:1
“I will cause anxiety, fear, and panic. I will cause the churches to lock their doors. I will cause Christians not to worship together on Sunday….
Writing on his Facebook page, Fr. Jerome Zeiler, priest at St Patrick’s, Columbus, Ohio, USA offers a perspective in dialogue, about the ways Satan sows fear and animosity, but Jesus shows people His way of love and trust, during this time of physical distancing:
“I will cause anxiety, fear, and panic. I will cause the churches to lock their doors. I will cause Christians not to worship together on Sunday. I will cause the sacraments not to be given or received. I will cause fights to break out at the grocery stores and on social media and inside the home. I will cause greater animosity between nations. I will cause turmoil inside and out.”
“I will restore the family. I will bring husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters closer together. I will greatly strengthen the communal life of religious brothers and sisters. I will greatly strengthen the spiritual lives of my priests. I will bring dinner back to the kitchen table and to the refectory. I will help my children slow down their lives and appreciate what really matters. I will teach my children to rely on me and not on what is of this world. I will deepen my children’s faith in me. I will renew their prayer life. I will deepen their love for me and for one another.”
If you are used to a minister leading a prayer, or simply asking God to meet your needs (supplication) or ‘standing in the gap’ for another (intercession), this is another, rather different, way to express words of faith.
This is not asking, but using the spiritual authority we have, as children of God* to bring change in the heavenlies which then filters down as change on earth. As those who have believed in Jesus as the sinless Saviour who has secured forgiveness for us by doing for us what we could never do for ourselves, and having trusted Him with our lives and chosen Him to be our Lord – we have spiritual authority. We are part of the royal priesthood* that belongs to the Great High Priest, Jesus Christ – and we know Him!
When you are friends with the ‘top person’, you can see things happen – and blessing is the best and safest way to go about this because “we bless” gives God plenty of scope to do it His way, and not ours. We can do this, to great effect!
*See Bible study below
Lord, we thank You for new life in Jesus and the reassurance that in Him we are given righteousness through His sinless sacrifice. And authority in prayer: “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 2 Cor. 5:21, James 5:16.
We bless our community with Your peace, awareness of Your love, and protection from illness. At this time of restriction and also anxiety, we bless families and children, those struggling to work in difficult circumstances, people at home and especially those on their own.
We bless doctors, nurses, paramedics and all ‘on the front line’ of health care, with wisdom, strength and protection for themselves and their families. We bless those who have developed Covid-19 symptoms with a healthy immune response and unusually rapid recovery.
We bless those who are giving national leadership with heaven’s guidance, and unity across the political landscape.
And we bless this country with a spiritual awakening, to rise up and pray in a new awareness of Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords. Amen.
Some people find written-out prayers really helpful – and others hate them, preferring to approach God in a more free and Spirit-led way. Have the best of both worlds with this sample prayer, based on Psalm 91, a starting point for your own, or to pray as an individual or as a family. Be blessed. –Ian Greig
Father God, You are the Almighty, the Most High, my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust. At a time of fear and threat, I look to You for peace. I rest in Your shadow.
I am putting my trust in You to save me from the “deadly pestilence” and the fear of waking up in the night unwell or finding myself exposed to other carriers during the day.
I put my trust in Your promise that saying, “The LORD is my refuge, and He is my dwelling”, I will not be overtaken by harm and disaster. You are my safe place and my security, and I thank You that angels commanded by You are real and present to guard me and those close to me.
I thank You so much that, through Jesus and not any righteousness of my own, I can call on You, sense Your answer and experience Your peace-bringing presence with me. Thank You for Your ongoing salvation in spirit, soul and body in Jesus, in whose name I pray, Amen.
“God is love”, 1 John 4:16, and to proclaim God’s love over Weobley and its villages is surely what He would have us do at this time. Maybe it took an epidemic to get us to take our call seriously – to pray down God’s blessing on our friends and neighbours.