Pastor Sherry’s Message for April 10, 2020

The LORD tells us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 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 will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Based on these words, and given our present Covid-19 Crisis, we can safely assume we must (I) Humble ourselves, (II) Seek the Lord in prayer, (III) Confess our sins; (IV) Ask God’s forgiveness for our sins; and (V) Pray to Him to protect us and heal us from this terrible, deadly virus.  Apparently the Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), and the Anglican Church of North America (ACNA)—an estimated 550,000 faithful persons–have all agreed to pray and fast on Good Friday with these intentions.

If you would be willing to enter into a holy fast—a fast for holy purposes—simply remember that it is a spiritual discipline that has us deny ourselves of some or all food and drink.  Please do what you can.  If you cannot skip a meal, try fasting social media or TV or the news.  Biblical fasting took place when a loved one died (2 Samuel 1:11-12), to prepare for special times of renewing one’s relationship with God (Numbers 29:7), to express sincere repentance for one’s sins and the sins of others (Ezra 10:6), and when the people of God desired to cry out for God’s special help in extraordinary circumstances—like the Covid-19 virus–(2 Chronicles 20:3) Throughout history, God’s people have sought His help in times of trouble through prayer and fasting.

If you would like to join in with these Christ-followers from other denominations in this time of prayer, please feel free to use the following prayers and/or add your own as you feel led:

(I-II) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his [her] own way, and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

Let us pray:  Almighty God, we beseech You graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed and given into the hands of sinners and to suffer death upon the Cross; Who now lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

(III-IV) Please take a few minutes to consider your sins.  Remember what the apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:8-10àIf we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  If we claim we have sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives

You might make a list of your sins to convey to God at this time, using this modern wording of an ancient prayer: 

Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker and judge of us all:  We acknowledge and lament our many sins and offenses, which we have committed by thought, word, and deed against Your divine majesty, provoking most justly your righteous anger against us.  We are deeply sorry for these our transgressions; the burden of them is more than we can bear.  Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, most merciful Father; for your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may evermore serve and please You in newness of life to the honor and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen!

Since we know our God forgives all confessed sin—and places them…as far as the east is from the west… (Psalm 103:12), we can accept this in faith.  In thanksgiving and gratitude, and as an act of submission to God’s will, let us also pray the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father, in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our sins as we forgiven those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil—especially from the COVID-19 virus. Amen.

(V) These following are only suggested topics for your prayers:  Again, pray as the Holy Spirit leads you:

(1) Pray that God, in His power and mercy, would end the Coronavirus Pandemic.

(2) Pray that all our government leaders will be protected from the virus and that they will have the patience, wisdom, civility, and compassion to deal with the many problems facing our country in this perilous time.

(3) Pray for the safety of all members of the medical community and pray that they will be able to care for the sick with wisdom, kindness, and stamina.

(4) Pray that the sick will be healed and restored and that the elderly, and others with preexisting vulnerabilities, will be protected.

(5) Pray that the medical community will have the medical supplies, drugs, testing kits, protective equipment, ventilators, hospital and ICU beds to take care of the sick.

(6) Pray for those who are grieving for lost friends and family.

(7) Pray for the poor and all those who have been hurt by the economic downturn: employees—especially those in the service industry–the self-employed, small business owners, big businesses, churches, and charities.

(8) Pray that all those who have lost jobs will be able to return to work soon.

(9) Pray to restore the economy.

(10) Pray that in these difficult times hurting people will not turn to drug abuse, alcohol abuse, other addictions, and/or domestic abuse.

(11) Pray for those confined by quarantine those who are sheltered in place, and those practicing social distancing that they might not despair in loneliness and isolation.

(12) Pray for our education system at every level that has broken down under the threat of this disease. Pray for the millions of children who are trying to keep up with their schooling at home. Pray for wisdom, understanding, and the self-discipline to actually pursue their studies.

(13) Pray for the health and protection of all those who work in jobs that still serve the public every day and have greater exposure to the virus.

(14) Pray for a vaccine to end this virus and that this plague might not return among us.

(15) Pray that n this time of great national distress our people will show patience, kindness, grace, and love to all, and not turn to panic, greed, hoarding, and mischief. Pray that those cast down will be raised up.

(16) Pray for single mothers, widows, orphans, aliens, and outcasts in their distress.

(17) Pray for the peace and safety of the Church universal around the world.

(18) Pray for people everywhere according to their needs and for all the special needs that you know about.

(19) Pray that our countrymen and women will realize the brevity and uncertainty of life and would turn to Christ in repentance and faith.

(20) Pray that the people of God will love what He commands and desire what He promises.

(21) Pray that God will be pleased with our prayers and answer themin His infinite grace and mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

©2020 Rev. Dr. Sherry Adams


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