Prayer guide for coronavirus

17 March 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 spreads around the world and as governments and individuals respond.

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.

In Christ,

Andrea Williams and Ade Omooba MBE

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)

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 as he continues to recover from the virus – that he would be wise in leading the government and that he would follow the King of Kings.
  • For the scientists advising the UK government – that they would understand the virus better and make excellent recommendations on how best to protect the population
  • For the cabinet and other politicians as they analyse emergency measures and when they might be relaxed – that they would have wisdom about the long term effects of the lockdown on people’s well-being
  • That decisions to allow home abortions because of the pandemic would be reversed
  • For the World Health Organisation – that it would 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 business leaders to put in place policies that help the country respond – by slowing the virus’ spread, by helping provide the medical resources that are needed and by being productive even in difficult economic times
  • That church leaders would be bold in proclaiming Christ with wisdom and compassion and in leading the church to respond to those around us with love

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 come under pressure and strain – that they would be kept free from illness
  • That the threat of illness would help many in society recognise their own mortality and their need for hope in the face of death
  • For scientists to be successful in finding a vaccine and other effective ways to protect people from the virus
  • 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 provide an opportunity for non-Christians to reflect, repent and turn to Christ
  • For all those whose work or study is hit by the crisis – that we would be fair to all who are affected and look after those whose livelihoods are threatened
  • For children now being educated at home – that this period would helpfully supplement their school education and that a fair solution to exams and qualifications would be found and followed.
  • For all those facing abuse or violence at home – that they would be kept safe and find the help they need

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
  • Thanksgiving 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
  • That Christians would make the most of the time home-educating their children to give them a clear Christian perspective on their learning

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 God would heal the elderly and vulnerable who have contracted the virus
  • That there would be adequate 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
  • 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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