It is time we respond to a call to prayer. As of February 7, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus which began in Wuhan, China has killed more than 600 and infected more than 31,000, mostly in that country. Deaths outside of China are rare, but every continent except two (Africa and South America) has seen infections. The virus spread to 25 countries, including many in Southeast Asia. Sadly, the doctor credited with sounding the alarm on the disease in China has himself succumbed to the virus.
Mammoth Church in China
It’s well known that millions of Christians live in China, though most do not attend the state registered, government-controlled churches. Purdue University’s Center on Religion and Chinese Society puts the estimate of Protestants in China between 93 and 115 million and Catholics between 10 and 12 million. Combined, the number equals about 1/3 the population of the United States. Christians in China have endured intense persecution from the government, and now they are facing coronavirus.
Call To prayer: What Can You Do?
It may seem that you are helpless as you watch the news and read updates on the virus, but actually, you’re not. Paul encouraged Timothy to pick up an effective weapon: “I urge, then, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” (1 Timothy 2:1)
Stand in the gap for our Chinese brothers and sisters in Christ, asking for:
– The protection of families, churches, and whole cities from the coronavirus, especially the elderly who are more susceptible to this illness
– Healing and comfort for those infected
– A halt to the spread of the virus within China and in other countries
– The creation of an effective vaccine, which Chinese scientists are working on
– Wisdom for Christians and others, especially those in the government, on how to stop the spread of the disease and bring healing
– Provisions for Christians and others in lockdown locations
– Opportunities to spread the gospel and for many Chinese to come to salvation in Jesus Christ
Call To Prayer: Final Words
May the worldwide church rise up in prayer and petition for our family in China and the many thousands of unbelievers affected by this virus. Your prayers matter. Your prayers can bring change because “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16)