Yesterday our Premier in Alberta announced that because of the Covid-19 outbreak all schools are closed and classes cancelled for all students in the Province for the remainder of the school year. All daycares are closed. It is an aggressive measure to “flattening the curve” in the spread of this virus. Our federal government announced today that international flights are cancelled and foreign travellers are banned from entering Canada. Canadians living or vacationing abroad are to come home ASAP. Libraries, arenas, recreation centres, museums and more community spaces and businesses are closed. All churches are not to have in-house services. Our church has been proactive for awhile with a live stream of our Worship Services on YouTube, so my husband and I tuned in online on Sunday morning. This was not a new experience for me because for all intents and purposes I have self-isolated myself all through my months of cancer treatments because of my compromised immunity. I know what it’s like to socially distance myself to keep myself healthy. I understood the need then, but I was sooooo excited to be around people again after my treatments that this new forced confinement is very disappointing.
It is a pandemic. I have never seen this kind of world-wide response in my lifetime. Unfortunately, even with the progressive and overly cautious approach in trying to stop the spread of this virus, more and more people are being diagnosed with the disease each day. The most vulnerable, the elderly, those with pre-existing health conditions, and others, like me, with compromised immune systems, must be safe-guarded. I also think of the economic implications for all of those people who have been laid off, or hours cut substantially because their workplaces have been shut down. Social distancing means that people don’t go out to restaurants, attend plays, go to movies, shop in malls etc. Parents are forced now to find childcare, or keep little ones occupied within the confines of their homes. My adult children have all been directly affected with layoffs because of business closures, schools being closed and hours of work cut. Mortgages and rent still need to be paid, bills paid, and their futures are uncertain. My mother’s heart breaks for them. My husband and I see our retirement savings investments dwindle away with the stock market plunging to new lows. It is hard to not feel anxious so I have clung to this scripture: “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5: 6-7 NASB)
It is timely that my Pastor has been preaching a sermon series on Prayer. Another scripture comes to mind with regards to this current world situation: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV).
This is a call to prayer!
I ask my world-wide readership to join me today and through the following weeks and months ahead to pray in the following way:
1. Praise God for His Sovereignty! God is in control! Do not doubt His ability to provide for your needs. He is faithful. He will never leave you or forsake you! Ask according to His Will and He will listen from Heaven and answer your prayers. Pray God will stop this Covid-19 virus. He is able!
2. Pray for all world, country, provincial, municipal, and civic leaders. They have an unprecedented task to make decisions on our behalf to stem the tide of this health pandemic. I don’t envy their task!
3. Pray for all those frontline workers in healthcare, (doctors, nurses, technicians etc.), who are ministering to so many at this time. Pray for them and for their families to be protected from catching this virus, or any contagion that might prevent them from doing their work. I praise God for each and every one of them! Along with praying for them, I want to THANK them for their service!
4. Pray for the most vulnerable. Pray for all seniors, those with immune-compromised systems, those with previous health concerns, those who have mental health issues, those who are homeless, etc. Pray they will be protected from the Covid-19 virus. I can’t help but think of all those undergoing chemo and radiation treatments right now. I know from experience how challenging it is to face cancer on its own, but add to that a concern of getting a deadly virus, my heartfelt prayers continue for all who are battling, or have battled cancer.
5. Pray for parents. With economic stresses at an all time high, now add the need to seek alternative childcare or to stay home with school-aged children and not work. There are no places open in our community right now to take children to work off energy, nor can they play outside as it’s still too cold. My daughter has reached out to families she knows that she is available to help with homeschooling questions they might have. She has expertise in online schooling as well as running a day home. I pray for her and the countless others who want to assist parents at this time.
6. Pray for all those affected with job layoffs, work and business closures etc. I pray for the global economy and those who have been affected by a falling stock market etc. Pray God will provide for financial and daily needs. Pray for families, relationships, and marriages to stay strong during this crisis even in the midst of facing financial, mental, and physical challenges.
7. Pray, as Christians, that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus at this time. Check up on your neighbours. Yes, we have to social distance ourselves, but there are numerous ways to connect with one another. Text, phone, Skype, FaceTime, message one another. Let them know you are praying for them. Don’t hoard food and other supplies for yourself. Share, or buy extra to give to others.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Listen to the prompting of God and pray as He leads you. I will continue to pray, blog, and connect with you here on Journey Thoughts, and hopefully I can continue to encourage readers as we traverse this journey road together.
Lastly, stay focused on God and stay in THE Word people! Scripture says: “Do not fear, for I am with you; for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ( Isaiah 41:10)
Need further encouragement? Read 25 Encouraging Verses That Prove God Is In Control.