How To Pray In These Times of Trouble

(Editor’s Note: Bob yields his space to the Sunday Sermon of Dr. Herman Moldez, Senior Pastor of Faith Baptist Church, West Triangle Homes, Quezon City last Sunday, 22 March 2020, regarding this pandemonic Corona Virus. It is a short read, but weighty).

Corona Virus has changed our lives especially now that many cities and countries are placed on lockdown.

The change is overwhelming. It calls for innovation to care and connect, to work, and worship. Everyone must adjust to respond meaningfully in a messy world. It is always through the hard way we change especially in life with God.

Romantic spirituality never works in the reality of corona virus. Authentic faith must correspond to the rampage of the virus leaving so many sick and dead. Honest relating with God must be relevant to the trouble and tragedy we are in.

How do we pray then?
We pray to protest against the forces of evil. God has assured us that we are more than conquerors. But the evil of corona virus perplex us.

If God is with us, where is He? If God is good, why do we suffer despite obeying and serving Him?

The contrast and contradiction of what we believe about the goodness of God compared to the groaning of suffering baffle us to the core. We resist the corona virus for it intrudes our lives in the Kingdom of God.

Forget praying comfortably. We pray in war against the corona virus. Let’s slew it in anger before the presence of God. Send it to hell where it belongs. Our prayers must shout in hot rage against every evil the disease brings.

We raise our prophetic voices against those who take advantage of the crisis for self-interest, the marginalization of the poor and powerless and against those hardheaded fools defying order to stay in their houses.

We pray in penitence for our sin. Human greed, destruction of creation and environment, idolatry, sexual immorality, lack of government priorities, personal disobedience and rebellion against God need to be settled.

God uses calamity to call our attention to repentance. It’s not enough to point a finger.
We must own our sin, mourn and cry for mercy. Perhaps God will listen if we humble to turn from our wicked ways. So instead of singing and dancing before God we need to sit on ashes to wail over our sins. God is humbling us to face the horrors of hell so that we will turn to Him where our true help comes from.

Lastly, pray to pour out our pain. Those who have much enjoy fun and food, resting and relaxing in the comfort of their homes. The poor just stare with blank eyes. There is no time to pretend. Ultimately all of us will be badly hit by the economic downturn and pressure for health care.

God is shouting at us in our pain. Spiritual life includes embracing the human pain and express it painfully in prayer. We pray in tears running like a river to bring our suffering in the presence of God. Suffering calls us to listen attentively to God to discover the mysterious unfolding of grace as we groan prayerfully in pain, protest against evil and cry in penitence for God’s forgiveness and mercy.