We live in strange times. Two weeks ago, there seemed a chance everything would blow over. Now businesses are closing doors. People are staying inside. Much of international travel is banned. 

It appears that many more will get sick and die. Businesses will suffer, and financial pressures will increase. These are real, unusual pressures. 

So, today we will be praying together for peace and protection. 

Because one thing we are certain of: God is in control of everything, and our prayers matter. 

Lord, we don’t understand why any of this is happening. And we know that you grieve over the tragedies that have taken place. We know that you grieve over the tragedies that happen every day with car crashes, murders, death from illnesses, and more. 

But most, you grieve over your beloved children not knowing you and living the life you’ve offered to us. 

Don’t let our fear sap our lives of the joy of your presence! Don’t let our anxieties outweigh the reality of your power and goodness and faithfulness. You are our refuge. You are who we go to for protection and strength. 

Strengthen us now to handle what’s ahead of us. Calm our troubled spirits. 

We know that you will not protect everyone from a bad outcome. But you have promised to be faithful, to never leave us, and to always hear our prayers and comfort us in our pain. 

Then, after we die, you have promised that our greatest reward will be given in the next life. That we will be taken home to be with you, in total peace, and given a new body that can never die from sickness, never lead us away from you with a corrupt nature, but only lead us deeper into your heart, where we will live forever in joy and purity. 

So, replace our panic with peace, even as you give us wisdom in how to respond to these quickly evolving changes to our world. And remind us that together, we can weather much more than we can alone. By supporting each other in true, practical ways in times like these. 

Let not our hearts be troubled. What can sickness do to us? Our life is by the Spirit, not our bodies. Sicknesses may ravage our bodies, but they can never steal the unending life Christ has given us! 

And yet there are those who will die in this epidemic never knowing your name, never loving you, Lord. For their sake, and for the sake of our families and the work you have for us to do in the future, we will not be foolish and risk spreading this illness. Instead, we will be wise in preventing ourselves from getting sick, and in preventing ourselves from spreading potential sicknesses that we don’t even know we have yet. We will not be selfish!

You gave your life as a ransom for us. You came to serve us, not to be served. So, what is it for us to stay indoors and listen to the advice of professionals in how to reasonably keep this illness from spreading? 

Forgive us for feeling selfish for our freedoms. Make us into servants during this crisis who do not risk the lives of others, so that others will see our claim to your name is true! 

And by your supernatural power, slow the spread of this virus, heal people around the world from it, and give the people who are working on medical solutions wisdom to find how to treat this epidemic effectively and save many lives. 

We worship you, Lord. We thank you for the life you have given us. Thank you for every day we’ve had with you, and with each other. Have mercy on us! Defend us in your name.