How can we pray about Ebola?
By JoAnne Lyon | Sep 26, 2014
Dear pastors, church leaders, and Wesleyans everywhere:
“Good morning.” This easy-to-say phrase, sadly, is not true for our 300 Wesleyan churches and 50,000 attenders across Sierra Leone and Liberia today in West Africa.
The Ebola virus is spreading rapidly across these countries, doubling the number of cases every 20 days. A worst-case projection by the Center of Disease Control (CDC) would take the number of cases from the current several thousand to over a million cases by the end of January. The majority of the people who contract the disease have been dying. These numbers represent real people.
All schools are closed. Most businesses and markets are closed as people are hunkering down in their homes. Travel is only done now by permit. Many areas are under quarantine. The economy is at a standstill and obtaining food will become an increasing issue.
Wesleyan churches are still meeting in these countries, with monitored chlorine baths for hands before entry. There is no handshaking or other body contact. But people are hearing God’s word and praying. So must we.
I am calling on all churches, small groups, Sunday schools, and other ministries to prayer this weekend.
The best medical professionals indicate that the epidemic will remain out of control until over 70% of the cases can be hospitalized and all corpses interred safely. In these countries, that is not close to happening yet and is becoming more difficult as the number of cases doubles every three weeks. A massive intervention on a totally different scale would have an effect, and that must be done. But I have become convinced that only God’s merciful intervention will contain and bring an end to the devastation in West Africa and the massive global threat posed by this horrific virus.
Please join me in prayer in these specific ways:
That God will have mercy and extend his hand to slow and stop the spread of Ebola.
That God would protect his people all across West Africa, providing safety, shelter, and food for those who call on his holy name.
That God would grant wisdom, safety, and courage to the 56 staff members of the Wesleyan hospital in Kamakwie, Sierra Leone, as they face this crisis and serve all patients who come to them in this time of need.
That the Holy Spirit will use this moment to encourage unbelievers to begin a trusting personal relationship with Jesus.
That God will continue to supply the needs of widows and orphans
Friends, I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm where it states “though I walk through the valley of death I will fear no evil for you are with me.”
Thank you for lifting up our brothers and sisters in Christ in Liberia and Sierra Leone and asking God to be with them in an extraordinary way. And thanks to all who have already prayed and donated to the Wesleyan Emergency Relief Fund to respond to the Ebola crisis.