A Plea for Prayer and Evangelism in Anxious Times

By Patricia Newman

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:6-8

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Matthew 6:27

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Matthew 28:19-20

My house shall be called the house of prayer.
Matthew 21:13

Anxious times are upon our land and upon the nations. How quickly things can change! The coronavirus pandemic has taken its toll. Fear over the spread of the disease has displaced climate change anxiety, albeit temporarily, as the global mortality rate from the disease continues to rise. The rate of transmission of the infection is alarming, almost unreal. No nation has yet a handle on this disease. People are afraid to die. No one wants to die. Jesus said:

I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
John 11:25-26

The destructive effect of the virus, on the economies of the nations, fuels further anxiety. The travel industry, hotels, restaurants and, of course, the stock market have all been badly affected. We are witnessing widespread panic as people stockpile foods and other necessities, and even fight over them. The Prime Minister, levelling with the British people, recently announced that many in this country will lose loved ones before their time due to Covid-19. We are told that as much as 80% of the population could contract the virus. But the Sovereign God is on the throne. The unchanging God is Almighty. He controls the climate. He controls disease. As Christians we are not called to anxiety. It is not our portion. Faith is. Truth is. Love is. As we mourn the mounting devastation and loss of life caused by the coronavirus, we must pray in faith and in line with the will of God.

In our largely Godless world, many have rejected the one true Trinitarian God - the Author and Giver of life. From experience in evangelism, many claim that God does not exist; and others, while acknowledging God, are content to live as though He did not exist. Many refuse their creature status, imagining themselves to be the invincible masters of their own lives.This pandemic reminds us how fragile life is.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Psalm 90:12

Some mockers and scoffers say: "Where is your God when the coronavirus is spreading and killing people?" O the terrible arrogance and pride of the human heart! While they continually reject the God of the Bible and His word, they quickly point the finger at God when disaster strikes.

Those without Christ in this world will naturally be wracked with anxiety in times like this, as they have rejected our Blessed Hope and the only Prince of Peace. They are locked into a vain and passing world, standing on sinking sand. The coronavirus is indeed a tragedy for the world, alongside other current tragedies in this fallen world.

We must not, however, lose sight of the truth that there is a greater tragedy besetting the world, and it is this: millions are dying every year from many causes and going to an eternity in hell. The greatest tragedy is SIN. Unrepented-of sin and its eternal consequence. Many are glued to the news but this truth does not make the news. The reality of anyone dying in a Christless state is a far greater tragedy. The Bible states that "it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement" (Hebrews 9:27). How would they fare in the judgement who have rejected the Mercy of God in Christ Jesus? Are we living and earnestly preaching the truth of the gospel of Christ?

The church's commission to go into all the world and preach the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit to every creature (Mark 16:15) is all the more urgent in these desperate times. As children of God, we must show the love of God to those that are suffering and give practical help whenever we can. But God's priority remains the spread of the gospel and making disciples from all nations - Matthew 28:19-20. God commands men everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to Him - Acts 17:30-31. 

Many so-called churches must repent of apostasy having departed from the word of God. Only the true gospel of Jesus Christ can save. We cannot afford to be lukewarm. The church must fast and pray and call upon the Lord of heaven and earth. The church must step up in evangelism in obedience to God. Our fruitfulness in this regard will depend upon our faithfulness. We must be true to God by standing on His inerrant word. He is WORTHY! The world needs Jesus. How we need to call upon the Lord in sincerity and in truth! If we don't call upon the true and living God, seeking His mercy, interceding for the lost, who will? Who can?

Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause thine anger toward us to cease.
Wilt thou be angry with us for ever? wilt thou draw out thine anger to all generations?
Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
Psalm 85:4-7

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.
Psalm 86:5

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Comments

  1. A word in season for the body of Christ.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lord be magnified! Thank you, Sister Bridget.

      May our faithful God grant us all grace in this trying season for the glory of His holy Name.

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