Almost everyone has or will be impacted by the recent COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. We ask that everyone take a moment to say the prayers below for some of the most impacted. Together with God's grace, we can conquer this.
Pray For People Who Are Infected With COVID-19 Or Facing Quarantine
During Your ministry on Earth You showed Your power and caring by healing people of all ages and stations of life from physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Be present now to people who need Your loving touch because of COVID-19. May they feel Your power of healing through the care of doctors and nurses.
Take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation from people receiving treatment or under quarantine. Give them a sense of purpose in pursuing health and protecting others from exposure to the disease. Protect their families and friends and bring peace to all who love them.
In your name I pray, Amen.
Pray For People At Higher Risk Of Developing The Disease
We lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
Pray For Medical Professionals, Caregivers, Researchers, And Leaders Responsible For Decisions About Fighting The New Coronavirus
We seek Your wisdom daily. Be with people making decisions that affect the lives and futures of our families, communities, countries, and the wider world. Inspire and invigorate people developing better tests to diagnose the virus, vaccines to prevent it, and protocols and communication to eliminate the disease’s spread. May truth and empathy be the touchstones of people setting policies for our protection.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
By: Kevin Jackson
Time does funny things to us. It causes us to slow down, hurt a little more, reflect on everything and miss a whole lot of things and people we have lost along the way. It also brings wisdom from experiences we have. As I get a little older, I am starting to think about what I wish I knew then that I know now.
If I could write a letter to my younger self, I wonder what I would say. Well, here it goes….
Dear Younger Me,
Everything is going to be great for you one day. I know things are tough right now, confusing and stressful. But one day, you will look back and wonder why those challenges caused you so much pain. As I think back on our life and the mistakes I have made, here is some advice I wish I would heard when I was your age.
Listen In Church
Oh, I wish I would have listened more in church. I know, when you are young it seems boring and not relatable. But if I knew Jesus then the way I know Him now, I would have made different choices in life. For too long I made my decisions based on what I wanted and not what Jesus wanted for me. Once I realized that life was about glorifying God and walking the path He has laid for me, my perspective changed and things became so much clearer.
Understand God’s Grace
You are blessed beyond what you deserve. That’s the truth and you need to understand that. It is not only the fact that you were blessed to be born where and when you were, blessed to have the family you have or blessed to have the opportunities you have. But you are blessed because of God’s grace and the fact that He sent His son to die for YOUR sins. I know this is hard to understand or accept now, but the older you get, the more you will understand what a HUGE blessing this is.
Thank Him Along The Way
What you don’t know now but you will later is you will have highs and lows in life. You will not understand why things are happening to you. You almost died at one point, but you didn’t. You have 2 beautiful daughters and an amazing wife. You have lost people you loved and don’t understand why. You have had heartache and joy. But you need to thank God all along the way. This is the journey He has planned for you. You may think you are in control but you are not. Thank God every day for the things you have, the people in your life, the lessons you have learned and, yes, even the heartaches you have experienced. All of it made you who I am today.
You Were Never Meant To Carry The Cross Alone
This is a big one. God didn’t design you to be independent. He didn’t design you to do it all by yourself. He didn’t design you to carry the weight of your sins. Jesus came and died for you and your sins a long time ago. All those burdens you have are not yours to carry, they are His. God created us in a way that we need Him constantly. We are dependent on Him. Think about what you need to by God. We have to have God to survive one minute on earth. We were designed this way by the Creator and Jesus came and died for you. Period. He came to carry the cross for you. Period. Yes, you can help, I guess, but you aren’t going to get very far along. Jesus can handle it, He already has.
Would I Change Anything?
Looking back, I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but I believe they were all part of God’s plan for you. So, sorry, not sorry. Honestly, you are going to make mistakes. You are going to go on dates you wish you hadn’t. You are going to take jobs you wish you hadn’t. You are going to pull away from God at one point (although you will realize one day He never pulled away from you) and wish you hadn’t. You are going to waste money you wish you hadn’t. You are going to make a ton of decisions that that you wish you hadn’t. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way. That painful and joyous journey has made me who I am today and, more importantly, who God wants me to be. We go through life sometimes not realizing what we are doing or why. But God does.
So, while you are going through life and becoming me one day, can you do a couple of things for me?
I will leave you with that. I hope you can use some of this knowledge to appreciate your life more and look forward to your future. God loves you so much and one day you will finally realize it. But once you do, it changes everything.
One final thing....read the below Bible verse and memorize it. It changes your life one day!
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11
P.S. One day you will marry a beautiful woman that makes your life so much better. Ask God for the patience to wait for her and once you find her, thank God every day for that blessing.
By: Carole L. Haines
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name, Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:1-3)
There are times in our lives where we feel confined, boxed in, restrained. The word “confined", here means “closed up, shut up, under restraint.” Ever feel like that? I know I have. When I was in such a time, I did everything I could to try and escape my confinement until God spoke to my heart and said.
“Stop bloodying your knuckles on the walls, trying to scrape and claw and find your own way out. Come to the Center of the Room, away from all those walls, that is where I am. Focus on me, sit with Me, Trust me to remove the walls when the Time is right.”
And so, I learned to Seek First the Kingdom of God in my confinement. I learned to gaze upon the face of Christ, to sit with Him in His Word and learn of Him. Days of confinement can be a mysterious gift from God. Perhaps He has been trying to get your attention for some time now. Perhaps you have not heard His Whispers, His beckoning for You to come away for awhile and just sit with Him in His Word, in His Presence. Walls are not only there to hinder us, sometimes they are put there by God to protect us.
Re-read the Scripture from Jeremiah 33 above. The Lord came to Jeremiah a second time while he was still confined. He told Jeremiah to call to Him and that He would answer and tell Jeremiah great and mighty things which he does not know.
Look to God in your confinement. Call to Him and listen to what He wants to tell you. Find a place alone, away from life’s clamoring and sit with God in His Word. He will speak to your heart there and perhaps reveal more of Himself to You, More of Yourself to You. Perhaps He will tell you great and mighty things that you do not already know. He is soooooo good to us, in every and all circumstances.
This post originally appeared on www.hisshadowings.com and was republished with permission.
Written By: Kevin Jackson
Tall tales of people that appear larger than life surround us every day. Our movies are filled with them. Sometimes we read about someone that is too good to be true and stories about things that seem unbelievable.
This is such a story, about a man that lived as a recluse most of his life. A man people looked upon as some sort of myth. The stories about him were fabled and unbelievable. No one knew what was true and what was pure fiction. Was this man a God? Was he the Savior? However, the gossip and stories did not really matter to him. It only added to his legend. It only added to his followers.
Our story begins with a prisoner, sitting in his cell waiting for his fate to be revealed. He was larger than life and ultimately it got him put away. Was he misunderstood, was he truly a criminal? He did not really care. He was focused on his mission. He had been told his entire life what his purpose was and he frankly did not give a flip about what people thought about him.
Now he sits here, in his dirty jail cell. This was not some country club white-collar detention center. This was a pit of despair. The roughest of the rough were put down here. Wet, dirty, dark and depressing. There were no TV privileges, no time out in the yard, just a jail cell 24/7 for who knows how long. This was hard time. It gave a man a lot of time to think about his life, his mission and his future.
As he thought back on his life, he knew he had lived a good one. Although he never married, many people loved him. He was special and he knew it. His mother was told she would never have any children her entire life. You see the prisoner was born when his parents were very old. Therefore, odds are he was on his own for most of his life. When he was younger, he quickly turned against society and the traditions of the day. He was a rebel, an outsider. He had left home and lived in the wilderness, homeless. He did not want any part of what society had become. He lived with the poor. He ate bugs and honey because money was nothing to him. Worldly stuff, he thought. “He was bigger than that, he was beyond this world”. His mother had told him that he was special, sent by God to save all people and he believed it.
People in the towns knew him as a man who lived out in the countryside and would preach about God, the coming of Christ and sin. Most thought he was just a crazy person who lived alone in the woods, somehow knew things and said things no one else had the guts to say. He called out people, EVERYONE, when they sinned and it often got him in trouble. No one likes to be called out publicly, especially people of power. They hated him for it and that only made his legend grow.
People were telling of stories of prophecies, miracles, preaching. “Did you hear about the man who lived in the woods?” “I heard he might be God, he might be the savior”. “I heard he was the prophet Elijah reincarnated.” I heard he preached to a 10,000 people.”
Whispers grew loud. Stories became unimaginable. He did not care. He only cared about telling people the truth. Honesty and guidance, that is all that matter to him. He did not let anybody get away with anything. There was no grey area to God’s laws. He was sent to save people from their sins and persecute those who disobeyed.
In his mind, the prisoner was royalty, God’s royalty, him and his entire family. Especially his cousin. He felt they were sent to this world to show people how to live. Unashamed, unafraid.
This led him to where he was today. Alone, jailed. Was he crazy? He did not believe so. He knew who he was. It was the rest of the world that was fallen. The reason he was in jail now was that he spoke the truth against the wrong man. Yeah, they all let this crazy man preach his “truth” out in the wilderness. They cared, but to them, frankly he was nothing more than a dirty homeless man that ate bugs and honey. The authorities looked the other way for many years.
Besides, even with his unabashed honesty, he was a charming man of sorts. The King liked him, truth be told. Even after he called him out for his affair and made it public knowledge. It made the King mad, but he also did not care much what people thought of him. That is probably what why he had a soft spot for John. They had that in common. However, ohh…. the Kings new wife was having none of that. She was disgraced and embarrassed. She was not going to let some weird religious freak spread rumors about her. She wanted his head, literally.
She eventually got it, on a platter. Although King Herod liked the prisoner, there is nothing like a woman scorn.
However, John the Forerunner, AKA John the Baptist knew he had fulfilled his calling. He had brought thousands to love God and follow his cousin Jesus. In addition, not only that, he had baptized Jesus himself.
John was an unashamed man of God. He lived dedicated to God and following God’s path for him, no matter what.
Unashamed, fully committed to God.
He lived dedicated to God and following God’s path for him. Maybe there is a lesson there for all of us.
The story of John The Baptist is described in numerous books in the Holy Bible such as Matthew and Luke. Read more on Bible.com.
Written By: Kevin Jackson
Rules…. we are surrounded by them everyday. Kids have rules like bed times, chores, respecting others, etc. Adults, well, we have rules too. Things like speed limits, criminal laws, ways to do things…..
Well, this is a story about some rules that are much more important than anything like that. Rules that will save your life if you abide by them.
Our story begins on a dark and cold night. An old man laid in his tent thinking about all he had been through. You see, his story goes back over 80 years to when he was abandoned by his family as a baby. Fearing for her son’s life, his mother had given him up in order to save him. Although certainly different circumstances, hundreds of mothers give their baby’s up for adoption every day in today’s world. However, this was no adoption; this was straight abandonment. He was a man of forgiveness, but this still affected him and helped create the man he was today.
He lived a lie for so long as a child, knowing he did not fit in. Tonight he was thinking about how he was able to face those challenges and still come out on the other side, some say victorious. He somehow found himself being a leader, even though he never meant to be and never thought he could be. He always viewed himself as that small boy that no one seemed to want.
Was his mother proud of who he had become? Was God? He knew he was on an important mission, but somehow still did not feel worthy. As a man of faith, he wondered why God put him in this position. Was God sure that he could handle this? He had failed God so many times before, even on this journey, that how can he be sure that it was God leading him and not some prideful ego.
However, none of that mattered tonight. Tonight was all about focus, all about the next part in the journey. The next step was showing all of the people that were following him that they were not wrong about him. That he was going to ultimately save them all.
The old man just could not sleep. He felt he had been laying there for hours. “It had to be morning,” he said to himself. “Will this night ever end”?
When the sun finally arose, he knew he did not have a choice. He was going to do what had never been done before. Today, he was going to climb that mountain while everyone watched. He was going to prove to them that they were right, that he was who they thought he was.
The old man started his journey up the mountain. He told everyone he would be back soon. However, honestly he was not sure how long it would take him to climb all the way up to the top and then back down. A week? Two? Who knows, but he pleaded with them to not give up on him and that he would be down soon.
The climb was tough, a lot tougher than he imagined. He kept thinking about what it took to even get here. The faith that these people had placed in him. The trust that God had given him. This was an honor; this was his destiny.
Over a month had gone by and there was no word from the old man. “Had he abandoned us,” they thought. “Did he die?” they worried. Certainly not. He was in good shape for an 80 year old, but geez…. climbing a mountain at his age? Maybe this guy was crazy. Maybe this guy wasn’t who he said he was.
That day they all gathered together with the old man’s brother, who happened to be there and decided that they were on their own. They accepted the fact that the old man was gone. Unsure and afraid, they had lost their faith in him and had lost their faith in God. Oh, how quickly people can change.
After 40 days on the mountain, the old man finally appeared. However, once he saw what was going on, he was very angry. Disappointed that the people had lost their faith in him and God that he threw down what he was carrying, smashing it all to pieces. “What was it he was carrying?” they thought. “He did not go up the mountain with it. Maybe this guy was right the entire time. Maybe God did talk to him as he said. Maybe he wasn’t crazy.”
As you might have figured out by now, the old man….. well, you know him as Moses. What he carried down that day from that mountain was the foundation of God’s scriptures and laws for us, the 10 Commandments. Although the originals were broken, they were soon replaced and to this day, these are the basic rules that we all know and we all live by. It is the foundation of most societies and cultures in this world. Most governmental laws are based on the 10 Commandments such as do not murder, do not steal. Well, you know them all.
However, it all started with a historical moment when a man who was an orphan obeyed God, dedicated his life to God’s direction and delivered on his promises.
Moses was a man who helped craft faith and religion for the entire world. He lived dedicated to God and following God’s path for him. Maybe there is a lesson there for all of us.
The story of Moses is described in the book of Exodus in the Holy Bible. The 10 Commandments are detailed specifically in Exodus, chapter 20. Read more on Bible.com.