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Prayer and trust: A Christian response to COVID-19

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In Luke 21:10, Jesus addresses problems which come upon mankind: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences.”

In 1527, a great plague was devastating Germany. Many were dying because medicines available today were unavailable then.

Martin Luther wrote his hymn “A Mighty Fortress” at this time, which is based on Psalm 46. It includes the words “A mighty fortress is our God. A trusty shield and weapon. He helps us free from ev’ry need that hath us now o’ertaken.”

As Luther and other pastors were ministering to the sick and dying, they assured them of the promise Jesus gives us at Luke 21:28: “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Jesus never gave promises that our illnesses in this world would be miraculously healed, but he does give us the assurance of an eternal healing that is better than any earthly healing.

Because of the sinful nature of this world, we all at some point will get sick and die. That is unavoidable.

But we have this promise of God that there is an eternal resolution to this problem of sin. Jesus Christ, true God from eternity, became a true man, born of the virgin Mary, in order to die for our sins on the cross.

The wages of sin are death, but Jesus paid that penalty for us when he died on the cross. He took every sin we have ever committed and paid the price. We deserve to die for our sin, but Jesus paid that penalty for us.

Now believing this and trusting in Jesus as our Savior, we have God’s promise that our sins have been forgiven, we are reconciled to him, and we have his promise that when we leave this sinful world we will enter into his kingdom where there will be no more COVID-19 or other plagues.

So what do we do about COVID-19?

We pray to God to give wisdom and guidance to our medical research agencies that they will develop a response to this disease in time to stop the pestilence from spreading even further.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of President Trump’s White House Task Force stated that we are in a crucial period during which it is possible to significantly limit the spread of the virus by smart action on the part of the public.

Therefore, we pray for the wisdom to take those actions necessary to limit the spread of the disease. And we pray for our national and international leaders that they will make the decisions that guide these steps.

In summary, we pray.

We pray for wisdom and guidance that we will make those decisions necessary to limit the spread of this disease. We pray for our medical institutions that are treating those that are ill and those doing research for resolutions to the disease.

And we especially pray to the one true God to give us the wisdom to deal with this plague and thank him for the resolution to our earthly problems, Jesus Christ, who gives us the victory even if that victory results in our earthly death.

Richard H. Snyder it a retired Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, pastor.