Every church in Canada is wondering what re-opening is going to look like, as we begin to move out of the COVID-19 restrictions. The first steps have felt kind of strange. In fact, they hardly seemed like church at all, with no singing or opportunities for fellowship.
So, as Boards and committees are meeting together to discuss the practicalities of doing church and ministry again, while, at the same time, meeting all the regulations and guidelines laid out by our government officials, are we also taking the time to bathe our deliberations in prayer? Are we looking to the Head of the Church to reveal His mind in these matters?
One of the things of which we can be certain is that God has a purpose in everything, even the Corona Virus. As the Bible encourages in James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Also, in a season of testing, Paul wrote from a Roman prison in Philippians 1:12, “I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel…”
We know God’s general purposes are that He be glorified in everything; that we, as believers, mature in our faith; and that the Gospel of the Kingdom be proclaimed “to the ends of the earth.” In the midst of trial and frustration, these are also days of great opportunity. People are inquiring about God in unprecedented numbers. My wife recently said, “You know, we might be right in the middle of “The Covid Revival.”
So how do we pray, as we seek to stay “on course?” If this pandemic has been allowed to happen, it is safe to say that God does not want us to return to “business as usual.”
In light of this, I have listed some areas of prayer that might help guide us. Remember, God makes it clear in James 1:5 that He is willing to provide us with the insights we need: “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
PRAYER FOR PASTORS AND CHURCH LEADERS
- Divine insight to know how to proceed with reopening - following recommended regulations - being sensitive to the best medical advice - and protecting the most vulnerable.
-Discernment to understand what God is doing and saying during this time.
-Dedication to communicating God’s will and message to all people.
-Determination to follow God’s leadership.
-Discretion to perceive what ministries to reinstate and what ministries to temporarily or permanently remove.
-Sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the most vulnerable and how to best minister to them.
-Flexibility to adapt and change as God directs.
-Revelation as to how to communicate and effectively stay in touch with everyone.
-Fervor, knowing that the current lockdown is providing amazing opportunities to reach many more people with the gospel.
PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE
-Healing for those suffering from COVID-19 and others who are prevented from getting needed medical help.
-Intentionality in making the most of these days, spending quality time with our families and with God in prayer.
-Deliberateness in taking any opportunity of being a witness in any encounter with our neighbors.
-Faithfulness in continuing to give generously to the church, Christian ministries and to meet the needs of those who are suffering.
-Understanding of what God is saying and doing in this season so we can be a part of His plan.
PRAYER FOR OUR NATION AND WORLD
-Astuteness for all provincial, national and world leaders as they make important decisions.
-Desperation that would lead unsaved people to turn from idols to the living God.
-Revival for every church across our nation…that a fresh wind of the Spirit would blow through our churches!
-Unity with like-minded believers, as we cry out together for spiritual awakening.
-Awareness and conviction for the millions of lost people who are headed to an eternity without Christ.
Let’s pray that God would bring about the greatest spiritual harvest the world has ever seen!
One of the things this pandemic has revealed is that people are increasingly responsive to spiritual things, especially those who previously had no spiritual inclination. With church doors being shut, it has made it clear that if we ever hope to reach our nation or world for Christ, we must begin to equip all believers to become effective witnesses in their daily lives and relationships.
Ambassadors for Christ Canada is uniquely positioned to respond to this need. Through a two-year relationship with your church, we will provide the framework your church needs to develop your congregation to become effective witnesses in their daily relationships. Each individual who participates will be trained and equipped to become a natural and effective witness in their everyday situations of their everyday lives. Please contact us if we can help your church fulfill the Great Commission in these unprecedented times and into the future.