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COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word and Prayer to Heart [Part 2]

Canva - Woman Holding White and Blue Mask Photo by Kaspars Misins
Written by Patti Greene

COVID-19 [Part 2]

It was Tuesday, March 24, 2020, in Houston Texas—the last day all the nail and hair salons in our area could operate under the newly imposed state laws due to COVID-19.

To me, it was the last day I could get my hair colored gray to match my gray roots!

One week earlier I took the plunge and had 5-6” of my long hair cut off. My wonderful hairdresser (yes, I am showing my age by calling her that) kept three tufts of my hair to skillfully practice various dye methods to see which shade of gray would be best suited for me. Unfortunately, none of the three gray strands fit the bill–and we both recognized that.

Not knowing when the salons would be given the green light to open again, I left the shop both disappointed and empowered—disappointed I could not obtain my gray hair and empowered because I still had the choice not to go through with a dye job.

Perhaps that is how you feel with COVID-19—disappointed, empowered, or both!

Maybe you must Stay-at-Home or Stay-in-Place. Maybe your children are out of school and you don’t know how to teach them remotely or even worse, you are still having to work leaving your children unattended all day. Maybe you have been furloughed and you don’t know if you will have a job when all this is over. Maybe you had to cancel your cruise. Maybe you can’t find food or toilet paper in the grocery stores. Or maybe you have lost half or more of your life savings in the stock market.

Or on the opposite side of the spectrum, maybe you are grateful for the time to do some Spring cleaning. Maybe you are looking forward to just being home with your family. Maybe you are grateful for the time to read and spend time with the Lord. Or maybe you are thankful your church has an online service you can participate in.

The Word of God and Prayer

We may be disappointed in what is going on, but we can also be empowered because we have the choice in how we respond to the circumstances this virus has foisted on us.

I am choosing to spend this time in the Word of God and prayer.

In last week’s post titled COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart, I shared,

The question is, “Why is God allowing this?” Honestly, I don’t know. But I do know that He knew about it and He knew when it [the Coronavirus] would arrive.

Whether the coronavirus is just a medical occurrence or a foreshadowing of what is to come in our world, only our Heavenly Father knows for sure. ¹

And one week later, after reading multiple secular and Christian articles from various viewpoints, I feel the same way.

The Word of God—The Bible—has many purposes in our lives. Click here to read.

But prayer has many purposes in our lives, as well. Prayer . . .

  • Allows for faith, trust, and humility to develop
  • Creates humility and obedience in our lives
  • Builds compassion
  • Unlocks divine resources
  • Allows the Holy Spirit’s presence to guide and help us
  • Equips us to face every situation that comes our way
  • Develops our character
  • Permits us to see situations from God’s perspective
  • Shows us our weaknesses and failings, among other purposes.

Below are some Old Testament Bible verses from the King James Version to help us during this present-day situation.

Read them, pray over them, write them down, memorize them, meditate on them, highlight them in your Bible, or look them up in other Bible versions. But, please take them to heart and let the Holy Spirit of the Living God speak supernaturally to you through prayer.

As in all cases, when a particular verse is shared alone, there is always the possibility it may be misunderstood. I pray that these verses are not in that category. However, if you feel any verse is difficult to understand, out of context, or hard to digest, please take the time to look up the verse and read it in context to completely understand what God is saying to you or to one of his “ancient” servants.

The Pentateuch

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation. Exodus 15:13

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18

God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Numbers 23:19

If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 30:10

And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8

The Histories

One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you. Joshua 23:10

And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous. And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the Lord is your way wherein ye go. Judges 18:5-6

And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: Ruth 4:15

He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 1 Samuel 2:9

And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul: And he said, The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. 2 Samuel 22:1-4

(Elijah says to a widow) And keep the charge of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself. 1 Kings 2:3

And David enquired of God, saying, Shall I go up against the Philistines? And wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto him, Go up; for I will deliver them into thine hand. 1 Chronicles 14:10

And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:2

For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments. Ezra 7:10

Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned. Nehemiah 1:6

For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this? Esther 4:14

Poetry and Wisdom

He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. Job 5:19

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:8-10

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness. The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:8-9

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday…Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. Psalm 91:5-6, 14

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. Ecclesiastes 11:5

Major Prophets

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Isaiah 43:2-3

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee. Isaiah 54:10

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11

Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3

Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Lamentations 5:19

 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. Ezekiel 36:26-27

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him; Daniel 9:9

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Daniel 12:2

Minor Prophets

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. Hosea 4:6

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: Joel 2:28

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord. Obadiah 1:4

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. Jonah 3:1

Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. Micah 7:7-8

The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. Zephaniah 2:3

Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Haggai 1:5-6

Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee; Zechariah 9:12

And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Malachi 4:6

Headlines, Articles, and Reports

This week countless headlines, articles, and reports seemed threatening, gloomy and ominous. Regrettably, we can anticipate more will come this following week, but let’s try looking at them from our Heavenly Father’s viewpoint. We can when we are grounded in His Word and prayer. He will show us how to pray. Let’s not let Satan create a fear in us. That is what he wants to do, so our hearts will worry and stray from God.

Recent headlines include…

  • Health care workers on frontlines feel like ‘lambs to the slaughterhouse’
  • Hedge funder Bill Ackman profited $2.6B in Coronavirus market rout
  • Southwestern Baptist Seminary full-time faculty members were let go for financial reasons
  • Pestilence-Is the coronavirus an end-time biblical plague?
  • Surging traffic is slowing down our Internet
  • Virtual happy hours are the new shut-in activity—and everyone’s invited
  • How can you have a church in the age of social distancing?
  • Women are begging for pills to end their pregnancies
  • The reality is that the disease is beyond our capacity to handle in this country
  • Hospitals across the U.S. consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients
  • Texas colleges change to pass-fail grading during the pandemic
  • Amazon delivery guy spits on package

Conclusion

The happenings of the day will create fear, loneliness, and an unsettled feeling to many. But, let’s try looking at them from our Heavenly Father’s viewpoint. It is then, and only then, we can experience the wonders of God (during this time) through prayer and His Word—The Bible.

So as with my hair, I was disappointed I couldn’t reach my goal of leaving the salon with my new gray hair. But, I was empowered I had the choice I could wait for a better day and a better color.

We may be disappointed regarding the state of world affairs right now or we can be empowered to make a difference in our life or in the life of others. It is my choice! And, it is your choice.

God promises to care of us. Just keep looking to Him through prayer and the Word of God.

He loves you.

To read COVID-19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart Part 1, click here.

God Bless.

GreenePastures.org

Bible Verses: See above.

Prayers:

“20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic” by Jen Pollock Michel

1. For the sick and infected: God, heal and help. Sustain bodies and spirits. Contain the spread of infection.

2. For our vulnerable populations: God, protect our elderly and those suffering from chronic disease. Provide for the poor, especially the uninsured.

3. For the young and the strong: God, give them the necessary caution to keep them from unwittingly spreading this disease. Inspire them to help.

4. For our local, state, and federal governments: God, help our elected officials as they allocate the necessary resources for combatting this pandemic. Help them to provide more tests.

5. For our scientific community, leading the charge to understand the disease and communicate its gravity: God, give them knowledge, wisdom, and a persuasive voice.

6. For the media, committed to providing up-to-date information: God, help them to communicate with appropriate seriousness without causing panic.

7. For consumers of media, looking to be well-informed: God, help us find the most helpful local information to equip us to be good neighbors. Keep us from anxiety and panic, and enable us to implement the recommended strategies, even at a cost to ourselves.

8. For those with mental health challenges who feel isolated, anxious, and helpless: God, provide them every necessary support.

9. For the homeless, unable to practice the protocols of social distancing in the shelter system: Protect them from disease, and provide isolation shelters in every city.

10. For international travelers stuck in foreign countries: God, help them return home safely and quickly.

11. For Christian missionaries throughout the world, especially in areas with high rates of infection: God, provide them with words of hope, and equip them to love and serve those around them.

12. For workers in a variety of industries facing layoffs and financial hardship: God, keep them from panic, and inspire your church to generously support them.

13. For families with young children at home for the foreseeable future: God, help mothers and fathers to partner together creatively for the care and flourishing of their children. For single mothers and fathers, grow their networks of support.

14. For parents who cannot stay home from work but must find care for their children: God, present them with creative solutions.

15. For those in need of regular therapies and treatments that must now be postponed: God, help them to stay patient and positive.

16. For business leaders making difficult decisions that affect the lives of their employees: God, give these women and men wisdom, and help them to lead self-sacrificially.

17. For pastors and church leaders faced with the challenges of social distancing: God, help them to creatively imagine how to pastor their congregants and love their cities well.

18. For college and university students, whose courses of study are changing, whose placements are canceled, whose graduation is uncertain: God, show them that while life is uncertain, their trust is in you.

19. For Christians in every neighborhood, community, and city: May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world.

20. For frontline health care workers, we thank you for their vocational call to serve us. We also pray:

  • God, keep them safe and healthy. Keep their families safe and healthy.
  • God, help them to be knowledgeable about the diagnosis and treatment of this disease, as well as the changing protocols.
  • God, help them to stay clear-minded in the midst of the surrounding panic.
  • God, deliver them from anxiety for their own loved ones (aging parents, children, spouses, roommates).
  • God, give them compassion for every patient in their care.
  • God, provide for them financially, especially if they fall ill and are unable to work.
  • God, help Christians in health care to exhibit extraordinary peace, so that many would ask about the reason for their hope. Give them opportunities to proclaim the gospel. ²

Bibliography

¹ Greene, Patti. “COVID 19: It’s Time to Take God’s Word to Heart. Greene Pastures Blog. 24 March 2020. http://greenepastures.org/COVID-19.

² Michel, Jen Pollock, “20 Prayers to Pray During This Pandemic.” Christianity Today. Mar 18 2020. Accessed Mar 29 2020. https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2020/march-web-only/covid-19-coronavirus-20-prayers-to-pray-during-pandemic.html

All Bible verses come from the King James Version.

Patti Greene’s Bio

Patti Greene is a fun-loving (but serious) coffee drinking wife, mom, and Grammi! She serves as a Bible teacher and Sunday School helper in her home church in Katy, Texas. She writes and speaks with the sole purpose of leading and maturing others in Jesus Christ and His everlasting love. To receive blogs from GreenePastures.org delivered straight to your email, please sign up from this blog or email her at Patti@GreenePastures.org with your email address, and you will be added to the email listing. You will need to confirm your decision to be added to the blog by email. You can also catch up with her on her Twitter feed at (@PattiGreene13) or her Facebook Patti Greene-Pastures page at (https://www.facebook.com/author.greene).

Books by Patti Greene

Christian Caregiving

Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending

Devotional Prayer Journals

Answer Me: Developing a Heart for Prayer

Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer

@PattiGreene13 #PattiGreene13 #bgbg2

 

About the author

Patti Greene

Patti Greene is the author of three outstanding devotional prayer journals, Answer Me, Anchor Me, and Awaken Me and a book titled "Christian Caregiving: Practical Advice for a Happy Ending." Patti earned a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University and pursued graduate studies in religious education and library science spending two years as a second-grade teacher. After spending 12 years as a stay-at-home mom, Greene spent 18 more years as a school librarian in St. Louis, Missouri and Houston, Texas. When not writing books or blogs, Greene spends her time caregiving, reading, researching, and hanging out with her family and friends. Patti and her husband have three adult children and five grandchildren. Visit her blog at GreenePastures.org.

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