How to Pray During a Pandemic

Prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue though many times we treat it as such. Many times we spend our whole prayer time saying a bunch of stuff and don’t take time to listen. After many years of praying this way we wonder if God is even hearing our prayers because we haven’t heard back from Him.

By definition a monologue has only one person doing all the talking. If we are to dialogue with God we need to stop and listen to Him and we primarily do that by looking to his Word. Allowing the Word of God to lead us in our prayer dialogue is also known as “pray-reading the Bible.”

Below is a list of 10 scriptures for you to pray read in this time of national emergency that has been declared by the president because of the coronavirus/Covid 19. Below the list of scriptures are some helpful instructions on how to pray-read these texts.

  • “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.” Psalms‬ ‭91:4-6‬ ‭ESV
  • ‬‬
    • “So Aaron took it as Moses said and ran into the midst of the assembly. And behold, the plague had already begun among the people. And he put on the incense and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living, and the plague was stopped.” Numbers‬ ‭16:47-48‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    • “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    • “”Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah‬ ‭58:6-8‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    • “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter‬ ‭2:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms‬ ‭46:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬
    • “The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalms‬ ‭145:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    • “Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases,” Psalms‬ ‭103:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    • “that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge, even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you,” I Corinthians‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    • “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    Pray-Read Model 1: Believe or Behave

    There are two categories of Scripture; 1) scriptures that inform BELIEF , 2) scriptures that inform BEHAVIOR. Most scriptures fall under one of these categories (some fall under both).

    So the first thing to do after you’ve picked your scripture is you must identify if it is a BELIEF scripture or a BEHAVIOR scripture.

    If it is a “BELIEF ” scripture, then pray:

    1) Thank you for this truth

    2) Reveal more about it

    Example:

    “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms‬ ‭46:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    If it is a “BEHAVIOR”

    1) Commitment to obey and behave as instructed

    2) Help me to obey

    Example:

    “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

    Pray-Read Model 2: Meditation

    There’s a model that our friend Kirk Bennett has developed in which he goes in depth. I highly recommend getting this resource and it could be found at this link.

  • The overall just of the model is that you grab a journal and you follow the these five steps with the scripture you are pray reading:
    1. Read it
      Write it
      Say it
      Sing it
      Pray it

    The resource in the link above gives you more insight on how to journal, sing, and pray the scripture using this meditation model.

    Pray-Read Model 3: Isolate the Phrase 

    For this model it would be good to have a cross-referencing tools such as the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge, but it’s not necessary. This model feels more like a Bible study, but remember that prayer is dialogue so as you’re studying His word speak to Him about what you’re studying.

    So, after you’ve picked a scripture to pray – read, write it down on a piece of paper. Next, isolate small phrases with in that text either by underlining them, circling them, or using a highlighter. You’re going to focus on each isolated phrase throughout this prayer time.

    Next, write down one of the isolated phrases either further down the page or even on a separate sheet of paper. Create the following outline:

    1. Biblical phrase Word for Word
    2. Your paraphrase of the biblical phrase
    3.  A biblical cross reference of the biblical phrase (not of the full scripture verse).
    4. Isolate a phrase from #3 that relates to #1
    5. Repeat steps two through four as many times as you’d like.
    6. Move on to the next isolated phrase of the original text on another sheet of paper.
  • This method is great because you can go really deep into small portions of Scripture!
  • Example:
  • The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.” Psalms‬ ‭145:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    1. The Lord is near
    2. God is close; He is not far.
    3. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    1. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
    1. When I turn to God, He turns to me
    1. “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Return to Me,” says the LORD of hosts, “and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts.” Zechariah‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    2. Etc.

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