Someone I love dearly works in a hospital in an area that has been hard hit by the coronavirus COVID-19. In a text message, she briefly described the strain on people and resources that she and all the health care workers are dealing with. When I asked how we can help, she responded, “Make COVID go away.”
Along with millions of others, I have been praying during this pandemic for healing for the victims, protection for the vulnerable, strength for the medical personnel, wisdom for those working toward a vaccine or cure, peace for those who are afraid, provision for those who can’t work, comfort for those who have had their lives turned upside-down. But until I received that text, it never occurred to me to pray against the virus itself.
All the media and the government agencies are predicting that the coronavirus will get much, much worse before it gets better. Medical staff are planning for a surge of patients that will strain and probably overwhelm their ability to keep up. We have accepted this as inevitable, but it’s not.
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to kill and steal and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” The thief he is referring to is the devil, the enemy of God and the human race. This pandemic is surely out to kill and steal and destroy, so it’s obvious where it came from.
Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
“Truly, truly I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.” – Jesus (John 14:12)
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. (James 5:16-18)
“And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons,; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will place their hands on the sick and they will recover.” -Jesus (Mark 16:17-20)
“Truly I tell you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” -Jesus (Matthew 17:20)
There is a story in the gospels where Jesus is asleep in the boat with his disciples and a storm threatens to capsize them. When the disciples wake Jesus, he commands the storm to be still, and it does. Then he asks the disciples, “Where is your faith??” implying that they could have calmed the storm themselves. It is time for those of us who say we believe in Jesus to start acting like we truly believe what he says. We need to start using the authority he died to give us, to wield the power of his Spirit within us. We all need to submit to God and resist the devil, and command every last shred of this coronavirus to die in the name of Jesus. With God, nothing is impossible. We can do this! Standing together, we can stop this disease in its tracks, to the glory of God! We have nothing to lose and everything to gain.