As we are facing the Coronavirus contagion in countries around the globe, including our own nation, we would love to invite you to pray Psalm 91 every day for 91 days and invite others to do the same. A lot has changed. But the mission of the ekklesia remains the same: to be ambassadors of the good news of the Kingdom of God, while growing in our love of God, love of neighbor and love of ourselves. In your (virtual) family group, “House of Peace” or cell group, you can build a culture of Shalom, marked by care for your brothers and sisters in Christ. This time of crisis is also an opportune time to love and practically serve our neighbors, showing them God’s love in a very tangible way. At the same time, let us also seek God and intercede for our families, our co-workers, our communities, our cities, and our spiritual, civic, medical, and government leaders.
Praying Psalm 91 every day for 91 days is something a group of Christians in West Africa did during the Ebola outbreak in 2014.[i] Health officials were predicting over 1 million people would die in three months, but, once the crisis was contained, only 11,325 people had died. Many factors contributed to this positive outcome, but fervent prayer was certainly among them.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we would love to invite you to join us in praying Psalm 91 every day for 91 days. While we don’t believe that the words of this psalm function like a magical incantation, we believe that when we seek God on behalf of our families, communities and cities, God will hear us.
So, during the next 91 days, let’s not just pray for the end of the virus and for healing of those sick, but let’s pray for people to get to know and grow in their relationship to our God of Shalom and feel His power and love when they least expect it. Let’s pray that our community and church leaders would have vision and hope to courageously serve their communities with generosity, and kindness in midst of this crisis, practically loving their neighbors, equipping their own leaders to serve others, and making disciples that make disciples. Let us pray that we ourselves will grow in love for God, for our neighbors and for ourselves. Let us pray that this hurting world turn back to our good God.
So, would you:
· Join us and pray Psalm 91 for 91 days. If you can, do so at 7 pm at night, so we can all cry out to God in one voice. If you miss a day just pick up where you left off.
· Invite your church, your “House of Peace” or small group, your Bible study —anyone you know who prays — to join us.
· Ask them to ask their churches, home groups and their friends to join us in this prayer movement.
· Post this on your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter— wherever people might be invited to join.
Come join us. The following is a brief outline for a liturgy that you can use to pray Psalm 91 every day for 91 days. If possible, invite your family and/or friends to join you in this short 10-minute liturgy – every night at 7 pm (or whenever you can).
1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
3 For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease.
4 He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
5 Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day.
6 Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday.
7 Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
8 Just open your eyes, and see how the wicked are punished.
9 If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter,
10 no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go.
12 They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.
13 You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!
14 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name.
15 When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them.
16 I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
1. Pray for the end of the virus; that the epidemic will subside and that a cure will be found soon.
2. Pray for healing of those sick; that the number of infected and sick people will decrease.
3. Pray that God be near the suffering, those in need of care, and especially the dying.
4. Pray for all those who are in panic, feel lonely, have no one at their side or are overwhelmed by fear; that they may experience God’s calming presence
5. Pray for all those who are suffering economically and don’t know how to make ends meet; that God would provide.
6. Pray for the families, women and children who suffer violence in their homes; that God would protect them and intervene.
7. Pray that the epidemic of violence in our fragile cities will not get worse and that God would protect the vulnerable.
8. Pray for the doctors, nurses and health personnel, who are trying to care for the sick and stop the virus; that God would strengthen their resolve, honor their hard work and safeguard them.
9. Pray that God may use you to bless your neighbors with words of encouragement and practical help, so they may get to know and grow in their relationship to our God of Shalom and feel His power and love when they least expect it.
10. Pray for the civic, community and church leaders in your community and city, that they would have vision and hope to courageously serve their communities with generosity and kindness in midst of this crisis
11. Pray for the churches, home groups and “Houses of Peace” in your community and city, that they may be salt and light and practically love their neighbors, particularly those who are sick, vulnerable and in economic distress.
12. Pray for the government leaders in your city, state and nation; for them to show wisdom, discernment and political will to make the correct decisions.
13. Pray that God would redeem this crisis, that His name would be glorified through this pandemic, and that more people would turn to Him; also that you yourself would learn to love Him more, love your neighbor more, and love yourself more.
Finally, ask yourself: How can I be part of God’s answer to these prayers?
“Our God and Father. Thank you for inviting us to form part of your mission to spread Shalom to those around us. Whether Your healing comes today, next week, or next month, we believe that You will heal our world. Make us grateful for every day we are in good health. Let us never forget that our life is a fragile gift. Yes, we are mortal beings and cannot control everything. You alone are the source and goal of everything, You alone are eternal, always loving.
Sustained by Your deep peace we know that we will overcome the crisis and that death does not have the last word. Jesus, Lord and brother of all people, Your presence dispels all fears, it gives confidence and makes our hearts ready to be open and attentive to one another. We thank You for Your presence, Your love and Your goodness. We will continue to praise You, even as we wait for answers and join you in your mission to restore your Shalom to this world. We know that, in the future, when we look back, we will be filled with joy as we remember the revival, hope and peace that came out of this season.”