Covid-19 prayer guide for Christmas and New Year

23 December 2020

Christians have the great privilege and responsibility of prayer. We are not helpless in the face of catastrophes but have access to the God who reigns over all, through Jesus Christ our Mediator.

So as God’s people we must call out to him, interceding as the coronavirus pandemic continues and as governments and individuals hope to recover from the disruption.

Please join us at Christian Concern as we demonstrate our faith in God by calling on him for help during this difficult time. Below, we have provided many prayer points to help guide your prayers, along with Bible passages on which to meditate.

We would love you to join us – individually, with family members or with your church – as we dwell on God’s word and pray for his help.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.”

(Isaiah 9:6-7 ESV, emphasis ours)

Praising God

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
(Psalm 62:5-7)

  • Praise God as the maker and sovereign Lord over all things – none can question his ways (Job 38-42)
  • Praise Jesus as the one to whom all authority in Heaven and Earth has been given (Matt 28:19-20)
  • Praise God for his loving protection of his covenant people (Isaiah 43:1-7, Psalm 91)
  • Give thanks that nothing on earth can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39)
  • Give thanks that every good and perfect gift is from our Father and that we have much to thank God for, even during suffering (James 1:17)
  • Praise God for a hope beyond death – that death will finally be defeated and we shall be raised (1 Cor 15:50-58)
  • Praise God for the hope of the gospel this Christmas! That there is always light in the darkness (John 1:9-12)

Praying for those in authority

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

  • For Boris Johnson to be wise in leading the government and that he would follow the King of Kings.
  • For the government as it continues to make decisions about vaccine roll-out and lockdown measures. Pray that they will continue to honour the independence of the church by leaving decisions over worship services in the hands of church leaders.
  • That vaccines would be ethically made, effective in giving long-lasting protection and safe.
  • For the scientists advising the UK government – that they would understand the virus and its mutations better and make correct recommendations on how best to protect the population.
  • For the cabinet and other politicians as they analyse and debate legislation. Pray that they would scrutinise the government effectively and put country ahead of party.
  • That decisions to allow home abortions because of the pandemic would not become permanent.
  • For the World Health Organisation and other international bodies to help governments worldwide fight the virus effectively by issuing wise advice and accurate analysis
  • For NHS management to find the most effective policies to provide high levels of care to those at threat from coronavirus and those with other illnesses
  • For the government and local authorities making decisions on lockdowns and tiered systems. Pray that they would be wise and make the best decisions for their communitie
  • For business leaders to put in place policies that help the country respond – by slowing the virus’ spread, by planning appropriately for the future and by being productive even in difficult economic times

Praying for society

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

  • For those doctors, nurses and other health professionals as they continue to be under pressure and strain as well as facing higher potential exposure to the virus – pray that they would be kept free from illness
  • For scientists and doctors to be successful in knowing how to treat people suffering from Covid-19 and for the continuing work on vaccines
  • For researchers investigating new strains – pray for insight
  • Pray that doctors dealing with end-of-life situations would be given grace and wisdom to deal with difficult situations ethically
  • That people would understand that science and government have their limits – no one but God is mighty to save
  • That people would be mindful of the effects of their actions on others: following medical advice carefully and being responsible when buying supplies
  • That time in isolation from others would drive non-Christians to pray, to listen to Christians and to come to know the living God
  • For all those whose work has been hit by the crisis – that they and their families would be given the financial, emotional and practical support they need
  • For all those facing abuse or violence at home, particularly with family members who drink heavily over Christmas and the New Year – that they would be kept safe and find the help they need
  • Those stuck in lockdown or isolating this Christmas, those who can’t be with family – that they would know the love of the Father this Christmas
  • Those who have lost jobs or are facing the prospect of losing a job in the New Year – that they would know the Lord’s provision, and use the time to listen to his guidance.

Praying for the church

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:18-19)

  • That the Church would act out of faith, not fear, in its response to the virus
  • That Christians would be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us
  • That Christians would be wise and discerning in how they can best help and serve during the crisis, being salt and light to a world in darkness
  • That we would be willing to be examples of Christ’s love for us by sacrificially serving our brothers, sisters and neighbours according to their needs
  • For churches that run foodbanks, homeless shelters, schools and other social action projects – that they would be effective in caring for others despite the challenges
  • Giving thanks that churches have found ways to continue fellowship through technology
  • For church leaders to find effective ways to minister to those in their congregations, particularly those who aren’t able to use internet technology
  • For pastors and chaplains to have appropriate levels of access to hospitals and care homes in order to minister to the sick and dying
  • That churches would find effective ways to reach non-Christians with the gospel of peace during the pandemic

Praying for forgiveness

“There were some present at that very time who told [Jesus] about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And he answered them, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans, because they suffered in this way? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.'” (Luke 13:1-5)

  • That God would forgive our sins – recognising that every disaster reminds us of our need to repent
  • That God would show mercy on us for our complacency – for believing in our own self-sufficiency and the ability to protect ourselves
  • That God would forgive our carelessness – for when we have mistreated the bodies and gifts he has given us and left ourselves vulnerable to illnesses
  • That God would forgive us for when we have loved money or comfort more than loving God or our neighbours
  • That God would forgive us for when we fear sickness or death more than him
  • That God would show mercy on us when we lose perspective by failing to help all those who die on a daily basis worldwide through abortion, euthanasia, persecution and other threats to human life
  • That God would forgive our failure to speak clearly and faithfully for Christ on everything from everyday issues to matters of national importance

Praying for protection

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-15)

  • That new strains of the coronavirus would be contained and prove to be less dangerous than earlier strains
  • That God would heal the elderly and vulnerable who have contracted the virus
  • That there would be quality medical and personal care for all who are affected
  • For all the carers, frontline medical staff and other key workers who are more exposed to the virus – that God would protect them, that they would know his presence and that they would have adequate personal protective equipment
  • For the friends and family of those who are ill, that they would be comforted and enabled to care for those who are sick
  • For those morning the loss of someone dear this Christmas – that the light of the Christmas message would provide comfort, hope and joy.
  • That God’s mighty hand would be shown through the slowing down and eradication of the virus

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.”

(Psalm 91:1-3)


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