Robin J Johnson
Are you wrestling with many of the same frustrations as I am in these challenging times? We watch reports of a pandemic sweeping the globe and sadly the consequences of this deadly virus on millions of lives. What is the right thing to pray, who should I pray for and how? And for some maybe, should I even pray?
The following comes in two sections, Battling for Souls and Battling for Breakthrough. I hope and pray that there is some encouragement, insight and help for you as we hold on and definitely do keep praying.
Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension. 1 Timothy 2:8 (NASB)
Battling for Souls
As I read again this morning the founding scripture — the ‘Word’ from the Lord that sparked this prayer initiative — I am reminded of the first and most important reason why it is imperative to pray; freedom for the Good News of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed.
Most of all, I’m writing to encourage you to pray with gratitude to God. Pray for all men with all forms of prayers and requests as you intercede with intense passion. 2 And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (TPT)
Whether we are praying for everyone or those in authority and political leaders, the end game is the same. Live lives of peace that the Good News can be freely proclaimed.
It is pleasing to our Savior-God to pray for them. 4 He longs for everyone to embrace his life and return to the full knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 (TPT)
In the midst of this command to pray, the apostle Paul reminds us and secures us to the foundation on which our Christian faith is built.
For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NASB)
Engage in the battle
Nations wrestle with and try to control a deadly virus that is taking tens of thousands of lives daily across the whole world. In places it is not only a medical emergency, but people are starving due to not being able to work because of restrictions imposed. Millions are passing out into eternity, with or without Christ the Saviour. God alone knows. But the Christian church around the world must intentionally engage in the God given mandate; pray and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Political alignments are not our most important focus. We are citizens of heaven (Ephesians 2:19, Philippians 3:20), God’s redeemed people on earth to be a witness and make a difference in the lives of people in the communities where we live. While governments are seemingly willing to sacrifice lives for political power or pharmaceutical companies for financial gain, we must pray and we must preach Christ.
We are commissioned to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God with power (1 Corinthians 4:20). It is a Kingdom built on righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Our praying must be followed up with a testimony of Jesus. We cannot be silent! The whole world is in search of hope and peace while battling this perverse and evil disease from hell.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. John 10:10 (NASB)
The battle for souls must not be an optional extra, but an integral part of every believer’s life obeying the Lord’s command.
And he (Jesus) said to them, “As you go into all the world, preach openly the wonderful news of the gospel to the entire human race! Mark 16:15 (TPT)
Battling for Breakthrough
The world is battling with a giant health problem, which is non-discriminating, savage and for many deadly. Nevertheless, though sadly many have died, many more millions have also recovered. It is imperative to pray into the present situation with faith and wisdom. We must look to the Holy Spirit for His insight, leading, breakthrough and hope for ourselves and those around us.
The Scriptures impart to us encouragement and inspiration so that we can live in hope and endure all things. Romans 15:4 (TPT)
We continue to cry out to our God for His intervention, seeking Him for answers, to guide us through while we intentionally praying for truth and breakthrough.
- Praying for healing for those who are seriously unwell should be a priority.
- We pray that the virus as it mutates become less infectious and will completely die out.
- Pray for approval of available, safe and proven medicines to stop infection and to treat those with the virus. ( The drug Ivermectin is presently used in a number of countries with proven success against Covid-19)
- Health professionals and researching scientists need our prayers to discover other safe and efficient treatments and/or vaccines.
- Pray for church leaders, not be silent, but speak with wisdom and compassion.
- Pray for people’s freedom of choice to be upheld and not be forced into having or not having a vaccine.
Further, I believe it is essential to pray for the falsehoods to be revealed. The hidden agendas; the plans to deceive, manipulate and intimidate, plans of men and “schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) need to be exposed and pulled down. In some places, freedoms are slowly being eroded, citizens becoming conditioned to accept and surrender to an unprecedented level of government overreaction, overreaching and controls that will linger long after the health crisis passes. This resistance must also include mainstream media and social network organisations (EG YouTube, FB, Twitter etc) who censor and refuse true and honest research to be broadcast on their platforms.
The above is certainly not an exhaustive list, simply a starting point to help guide your prayer and intercession. There are so many areas for us to target. Without doubt there is an enormous amount of damage (apart from the virus itself) taking place throughout our communities. The collapse of businesses, financial hardship for those who have lost jobs and dreams. Reports of increasing;
- Mental health issues
- Youth self harming
- Family violence and child abuse
Without question we must also speak into those situations as well as pray. However, how we tackle that is a topic for another day.
It is time to start saving lives and get economies back on track. Hope must always be the undertone of all our prayers, along with faith and love.
A spiritual battle
Today’s encouragement is about fighting the hidden forces of darkness, pulling down strongholds and winning the spiritual battle. Obviously this is not a physical battle for people of faith, but a spiritual warfare, resisting the evil one and standing firm in truth and victory, in Jesus name.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:12-13 (NASB)
This is not the end of the world, but unless we rise up in prayer and intercession it could be the end of freedoms that past generations have fought and died for. Some have suggested that church leaders should be out front leading the protest marches, but I think that is counter productive. I know some might disagree, but I believe it is a point of faith. Do we solely put our faith in our God or do we, as the world does, think we can win the fight in the flesh? The battle must be won in the realm of the spirit, the strongholds of evil exposed and pulled down from their places of ruling.
I along with many feel the frustrations of the present situation and especially with those pushing agendas of fear built on lies and misinformation. We must not diminish our own strength by getting sidetracked into a personality battle. The Bible tells us, “The anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). Our anger and scheming is not going to win the battle for peace. We are people of faith, disciples of Jesus Christ who serve the Almighty God, whose “greatness is unsearchable” (Psalms 145:3)
Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, Jeremiah 32:17 (NASB)
We must put our emotional and spiritual energy into petitioning heaven and calling on the name of God for His intervening into our lives and nations. We are called to bless and not curse. This is not a personality battle no matter how upset and angered one might feel. We choose to believe God and His Word on which our faith is founded. For the praying men our foundation verse is clear.
Therefore, I encourage the men to pray on every occasion with hands lifted to God in worship with clean hearts, free from frustration or strife. 1 Timothy 2:8 (TPT)
Rise up and pray!
Pray at home, with your church, wherever you are “pray at all times”. There are numerous prayer movements across the nations that you can link with. Whether it is in person or on Zoom, wherever, however, pray and believe God because He is a God who invites and answers prayer.
And now we are brothers and sisters in God’s family because of the blood of Jesus, and he welcomes us to come right into the most holy sanctuary in the heavenly realm—boldly and with no hesitation. Hebrews 10:19 (TPT)