Praying During COVID
Updated: Nov 18, 2020
This should come as no surprise, that the best way to stay encouraged, comforted and spiritually healthy during COVID, is to pray.
We all get side-tracked. Life events are vying for our attention. We're all focused on what we can do for personal health and success. And then, present reality, COVID happens. I'm not sure many were expecting global quarantine, and certainly not for a second time.
Decisions that impact the safety and wellbeing of people are complex. The decision to have virtual church in order to maintain the safety of people, is one such complex decision. We take solace in the ability to confide in God while at home and to worship Him with our church through virtual services. All of this comes with the knowledge, we'll be together again, experiencing in-person worship services. Throughout this decision, our community does not stop - nor our passion to hear God's voice in prayer.
Let's look at four points we can glean from King David, as penned in Psalms.
1. Hey God!
When David was going through a hard time, trying to find meaning in the madness; when he messed up or was wanting to hear God's voice, he would be found approaching God in praise, worship and prayer.
Voicing this, Psalm's often begin with "Hear me", "Hear my cry", or "Give ear". We can draw the conclusion that David was interested in being clearly heard and understood by God. I'm sure we all want that.
Approaching God is as simple as this, "Lord, hear me..." And, He certainly does. Pause for a moment and approach God with a "Hey Lord, it's me!" I have every confidence that's He's waiting for you there.
2. Seeking forgiveness is appropriate.
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to they lovingkindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (Ps. 51:1-3). See also Ps. 32:5.
David knew when he wasn't at his best. And further, he knew that in coming to God, he needed to be forgiven to move forward. He goes on to acknowledge that ultimately, his sin was against God. From birth, we're fighting against this nature to sin (51:5).
Both because of and in spite of this, God wants more for us. He gave us Himself (aka Jesus Christ) so that we could overcome sin. This mean that entering into His presence, receiving forgiveness of our sins, is as close or as far away, as simply asking God to forgive us.
3. God is present, even in struggle.
David wasn't afraid to get specific with God. Whether this was in praise or in suffering. People assume when something is good, blessed or positive, God is there. And, that's true, He is. Somewhere, the rumor got started that when we are going through something in life that is negative, which causes struggle, God may be mad at us or altogether, not present.
God certainly has times where He is disappointed. But, He is always present. King David knew about this side of God. After taking Bethsheeba, a married woman, and moving to have Uriah killed in battle, God dealt harshly with him. Here's what David had to say about that:
"Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice" (Ps. 51:8). He brought him low enough that David likened it to the breaking of bones.
As you've already seen, earlier he was praying for forgiveness. Then he moved to seeking God to restore spiritual joy and health. Here is where we repent and move forward, toward God. Again, He's ready!
Whatever you're going through right now - God hears you. Remember, He's an ever-present God.
There was a point where David was quite low. As he walked through the Valley of Kidron (aka the Valley of the Shadow of Death), he encouraged himself. "God, your my strength and protection...You give me peace when I have none...I'm not going to fear what's around me, or what's behind me, because you've got this God."
Pray Psalm 23 and others likened, as a standard of encouragement. God will restore joy and gladness. He will guide you through the storm.
Our part, finding His voice in prayer.