by Angie Thomas
Fear and panic seem to be running rampant across the globe as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc in one continent, country, and community at a time. As healthcare professionals and missionaries, many of us will be on the front lines battling this pandemic, caring for the sick and vulnerable. As believers in Christ, we have the amazing opportunity to stand boldly in faith and dispel fear and panic with God’s peace and truth.
However, if you are like me, as this crisis has intensified, perhaps you have found yourself wrestling with fear in very real ways. Prayer is the antidote to fear as God is calling His body to stand in courage. How do we honestly and humbly address our fears with faith and hope in our Almighty God?
Perhaps, it is helpful to look at the biblical origin of fear. It shows up almost immediately on the scene in Genesis 3 after Adam and Eve commit the first sin. The sweet fellowship they enjoyed with their Maker is now disrupted by their fear of God, so much that they hide from him. That is what fear does. It disrupts our trust in our Father and challenges our identity as His children.
But prayer provides an opportunity and extends an invitation for us to connect to the heart of our Abba Father. Romans 8:15-17 says it so beautifully, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs— heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.”
Our sonship in Christ must be the foundation of our prayers. Our identity in Christ as His heir diminishes fear and gives us immeasurable authority to proclaim God’s truth and promises over every seemingly difficult and impossible circumstance we experience.
Prayer is undoubtedly one of the most powerful tools we have in this pandemic. As believers in Christ, we have the opportunity to engage in the spiritual battles going on around us with wisdom and grace, standing in a place of victory in Christ. What are some practical ways we can do this?
These are just a few suggestions. Ask the Lord how He might want to grow and strengthen your prayer life during this time. Be obedient to what He lays on your heart. You can trust him as the Author and Perfecter of your faith. Let us rejoice in expectation of what He will do and the joy of joining Him in His redemptive work!
“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” -Ephesians 3:20-21