Below are some personal thoughts from my experience of praying through COVID-19. I hope that you find it encouraging.
From about the beginning of May this year during the first COVID-19 lock down, there has been one question that has kept bugging me. It is a question that has been asked many times about suffering in the world by non-believers and believers in Christ. Previously, I have just brushed it off and pushed it to the very back of my mind. However, the question kept returning to me to a point where I could no longer ignore it. I looked online to see if any Church Leaders had been brave enough to answer this big question. Virtually all teaching has been about how to cope and deal with the consequences of COVID-19, which has its place.
I learned a long time ago, the only way to get a question like mine answered was to go straight to the top. So I did, I prayed about it. Funnily enough, I didn’t have to wait long for an answer. As an aside, the one thing that has changed in my Christian faith since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic is my prayer life. I realised that my prayers were too formulaic and robotic, I must have bored God. God just wants me to turn up and to talk to him, not a fixed running order or script every time I talk to him. Yes, I still know whom I am talking to and his awesomeness and power but now I hope I am more real and less boring. So back to my big question. I consistently prayed, I asked God to reveal something to me and answer my question. Since I’d procrastinated over asking for so long I felt that God’s initial response to me was, “nice of you to ask” in a cheeky wink kind of way. I have no idea about the theology around that, I am guessing that you don’t either. Once we had got past the yes I know, why am I so dumb sometimes. I started to pray and ask God to help me understand our current circumstances. The very personal answer I received was this:
David, since the time of Noah, I have only intervened globally in the affairs and workings of the World only a finite number of times. However, I have intervened and will continue to intervene individually for you. As I continued to pray I received a deep sense that God was longing for me to talk to him more and more. That my individual daily walk with God had never been so important. For my prayers to be a conversation not at a set time but throughout my day.
This felt very personal to me, like a one to one with God, this has continued and I have experienced more and more of this. If this is true for me it could help others too.
Yes, I still speak to God my Adoration/Blessing, Contrition/Repentance, Thanksgiving/Gratitude and Supplication/Petition/Intercession but I hope I do not bore him anymore.
So what was my question?
Father God, you can heal the world of COVID-19 in the blink of an eye, so why haven’t you?”