Pandemics that force us to be confined allow God to show us new and creative ways to be involved in ministry. God is creating some amazing ministry options these days.
I was blessed the other day when I opened Facebook. The first post I saw was one from my daughter-in-law. She had issued an invitation to all of her Facebook friends to submit prayer requests especially for frontline workers during this pandemic, with the assurance that she and her family would pray for them. I loved the idea.
Here is the text of what she posted: “Hey, the Swank’s are creating a prayer board. If you have a loved one working the frontlines in the helping industry…or another prayer need pm (private message) me. We will be taking a daily time each morning and night (and in between too) to cover this in prayer.”
She will then keep a list of those prayer requests and they will pray. If you happened to see the movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the story of Mr.(Fred) Rogers, you may remember that he kept a list of people he prayed for each day. She has several hundred friends on Facebook. It will be interesting to see the list of requests. She received some immediately because some of her friends are in the health care profession.
Not everyone is on Facebook but there are other ways to pray. Do you know people in the health care profession? Call them. Listen to their prayer requests. Pray with them.
If you don’t already have one, enlist a prayer partner you can call at least weekly, if not daily, to pray for each other, for your neighbors, your pastor and your church. Most phones have a feature that allows you to have two people on a call at the same time so perhaps there could be three of you praying together.
Who do you know that is somewhat isolated? It may be an elderly person or perhaps someone who is socially awkward that you could call regularly just to find how they are doing and to pray with them.
I had a college professor who regularly prayed through the church directory. At that time the church he attended had about 200 names in the directory. As I recall, he divided the number by 7 so that he prayed for each on at least weekly. Printed church directories are not as common as they once were. However, you are part of a small group or Sunday school class, make a list of each member and their family members and prayer for them each day. This is an especially important practice if you lead a group or teach a class.
If this is not a part of your regular practice, now is the time to begin. Pray for your pastor (s) daily. They are scrambling to figure out how to do ministry in a changing world. Pray for their protection from the enemy and pray that God will lead them in this time of turmoil. Never underestimate the power of prayer.