26 March – 16 April 2020
As we embark on the journey of the COVID-19 lockdown in South Africa that none of us ever expected in our lifetime, there are several aspects of everyday life in need of continuous prayer. Apart from the economic challenge this time poses to us all, there are also very practical issues to consider in prayer. Not all families live in harmony and not all display uplifting character in their homes. Many will be extremely vulnerable to abuse, shortage and much more. Also, not all citizens will willingly adhere to the lockdown requirements and so put others at risk. So how and what can we pray?
1.Time with God – Be sure to schedule yourself more time with the Lord than usual and keep to it. Pray for others, for the nations of the earth, and for literally millions to be saved at this time as they find peace from all their fears in Jesus Christ. Spend time in worship (even with a video/DVD). Consider taking up a 21-day Bible reading plan – there are several available on the Internet. Be still before the Lord and daily consider your life in Him. Study, pray and proclaim each of His names over your own life, your family, city, town and nation.
Links to explore:
- How to Pray – 21 Days with Pete Greig
- 21 Day Bible Reading plan
- Bible reading plans for challenging situations
2.Single people – People living by themselves, especially those who love to socialise, will feel very lonely at this time. Be sure to contact them often – on WhatsApp calls, Zoom, or if they live next door, be sure to get their number in order to contact them.
Declare the name of God: El-Roi (The Lord that Sees me) – Gen.16:13‑14.
3.Elderly living by themselves – Not all elderly people live in retirement facilities. Many are still strong enough to live on their own. If you know you have such neighbours, see how you can contact them – even putting a note under their door with your number. Offer to buy them supplies from the supermarket or pharmacy. Take a little time to connect with them daily. Learn about their lives, their former occupation etc. Always ask what you can pray for them.
Declare the name of God: Resting Place – Jer.50:6.
4.Families – Families will face many different challenges. Some families are used to praying together, playing together and taking great care of one another. Other families are dysfunctional and being forced indoors for 21 days can have a negative impact on them.
Declare the name of God: Rock that is Higher than I– Ps.62:2.
Let us pray in general for the following matters concerning families:
a) Family time – Pray for spontaneous family times to erupt with joy and opportunities to fellowship in a non-stressful way. Pray for families to develop new family disciplines, good memories and enjoyable activities in which all can share.
Declare the name of God: The Lord is your Shade –121:5.
b) Family altar – Pray for heads of homes to take special effort once a day to pull together the family at lunch or dinner time. Starting just to pray for each other’s fears and concerns, and then also for others in more difficult situations than they. Read guidelines for setting up a family altar.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh-Rohi (The Lord is my Shepherd) –23:1.
c) Couples time – Pray for couples to be able to sort out old strifes, disagreements and accusations. Ask for great grace to be able to just sit and have a normal conversation; to rediscover the things they liked about each other when they met. Pray for the restoration of many marriages at this time, that the enemy will not steal away marriages through a divorce after this lockdown time.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh-Nissi (The Lord my Banner) –17:15.
d) Conflict – Pray for family members to find ways in which to resolve conflict and live in peace with each other. Ask that all will guard their hearts from offence, irritation, accusation and anger, and grow closer in relationship to each other.
Declare the name of God: Shiloh (Peacemaker) –49:10.
e) Domestic violence – Many homes fear one individual who acts violently in almost everything they do. Pray for the grace of God for such situations to subside. Especially pray for the misuse of alcohol and drugs to subside.
Declare the name of God: Shield of your Help –33:29.
f) Mental, physical and sexual abuse – This is truly a time to count our words. Let us pray this for ourselves, and especially in families where they do not know the Lord; where they openly and continuously swear and blaspheme God’s name. Also, for God’s correction of perpetrators of physical and sexual abuse – that it will be exposed and put to an end. Pray for the protection of victims and those vulnerable in such situations.
Declare the name of God: Wall of Fire –2:5.
g) Reconciliation – Pray for humility in all our hearts; to say sorry, to make right our wrongs and to admit when we have been out of line. Pray for fathers to give attention to their children, listen to them and pray for them. Pray for mothers to take time with their children, nurturing them in their needs. Pray for children to again trust and respect their parents, opening their hearts towards them and be reconciled.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh (The Eternal, Ever Loving One) –3:6.
5.Crime shut down – Continue to pray for criminals to be caught and arrested. Pray for no looting, scheming, money laundering, unfair trade and excessive pricing on essential products. Pray for an increase of goodwill, sharing and caring among people.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh-Tsidkenu (The Lord Our Righteousness) – Jer.23:6; 33:16.
6.Growing, production and quality control of food, medical supplies, deliveries and pricing – Please pray for every farmer in our nation, for food security, water purification and sanitation, electricity, as well as gas and fuel production. Pray for the provision and distribution of these goods and services across the nation daily, without interruption or obstruction.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh-Jireh (The Lord Will Provide) – Gen.22:8‑14.
7.Security services, traffic control, SANDF, SAPD – Lift up in prayer every sphere of law and order in our nation before God’s throne. Pray for godly law and order in our nation at this time; for men and women working very long hours, often in the face of great adversity. Pray for them to execute their jobs in all righteousness and not accept any bribes. Pray for them for wisdom to handle difficult situations that may arise as people rebel against the lockdown or when special crises arise.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh-Elyon (The Lord Most High) – (Ps.7:17)
8.Fear and anxiety – It is normal for any person to experience moments or times of severe shock, anxiety and fear. Especially if a loved one passes away and you cannot attend their funeral due to the lockdown. At such times, pray for the peace of the Lord that surpasses all understanding to flood the grieving person’s heart and mind. (Phil.4:7). Pray this for everyone struggling. Pray often until there is victory. Pray from victory to victory.
Declare the name of God: Emmanuel (God with us) – Matt.1:23.
9.Vaccine, cure for virus – So much controversy exists concerning a future vaccine or cure for the virus. Let us pray that God will intervene and supernaturally heal people. Pray for Christians to pray for everyone God brings across their path, face to face, over the phone, social media etc. Pray for a testimony of healing that surpasses the necessity of a vaccine. Pray for God’s mercy to bring an end to the spread of this virus.
Declare the name of God: Yahweh-Ropheka (The Lord your Healer) – Ex 15:26.
10.Screen time – Please pray for parents to practise technology time-out with young children and spend quality time with them. Pray for people not to watch TV, movies or play games the whole time, but to practise healthy interpersonal relationships as well. Pray for fathers and children to re-connect in special ways.
Declare the name of God: Everlasting Father – Isa.9:6; Holy Father – John17:1
11.Join others in prayer – There are several prayer initiatives promoted by different ministries and churches. Be sure to join in at least one of them to keep you focussed in a community that prays. Following are some suggestions of such prayer initiatives:
- WhatsApp Revival Prayer Watch – Join believers to pray for the church and for revival Wednesday evenings from 18:00-22:00 (4 hours). To join: https://chat.whatsapp.com/KM8hVyjPn8j0dXiw4LHISP
- WhatsApp Word Watch Initiative
- Isa Watch – A weekly prayer watch for the salvation of Muslims in South Africa. To join WhatsApp: +27 74 838 7084
- Presidential Prayer Watch – A weekly prayer watch for the president. To join WhatsApp: +27 84 506 9853
- Jericho Walls Prayer Room – A prayer initiative for upcoming issues of importance in South Africa and internationally. To join WhatsApp: +27 84 989 8000
- Jericho Walls Prayer App – Daily prayer pointers and articles on prayer. Free download from Google Play Store or App Store.