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Just yesterday, President Trump turned to the body of Christ and asked us to pray.  We are certainly wading in streams we’ve not stepped into before, aren’t we?  Few of us could imagine the national or even global pandemic COVID-19 has become.  And while the measures being taken seem so great, they do serve to remind us of the gravity.  The last large-scale event of this order was probably 9/11.  And yet, even then, most of us recognize the thing that held this country together was the body of Christ coming together for prayer and for encouraging one another.

That was then.  This is now.  The major prescription for slowing the curve of COVID-19, other than bumping up our personal hygiene, is a term I was totally unaware of less than a month ago - “social distancing.”  For the body of Christ, that basically means doing away with gatherings at the church for worship and study and fellowship, in addition to prayer and encouragement.

As I write this article, we are still formulating First Presbyterian’s response.  While it all seems so fluid right now, I do agree with the President.  Even more convincing to me, I do agree with what God says in His Word.  We all know the Scriptures direct us to pray for our leaders and our nation, along with the rest of the world, especially in times of duress.  The Holy Spirit asks us to pray at all times, and particularly in times of need.  By my own calculations, this is certainly that time.  Let us pray and may we believe for the salvation of the world. Yes, it is time to pray.

"Father, we ask that You would deliver Your people and all humanity from this disease.  We ask that You would show Yourself strong and glorify Yourself, Your Son Jesus, and Your Holy Spirit through this deliverance, so that Jesus would be lifted up and draw all people to Himself.  We love You and we thank You for first loving us.  This is our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen."