This is part of a series on how to be a blessing in the midst of social distancing. Read the first blog here: http://www.lifeasan.asker.net/2020/03/18/we-can-still-be-a-blessing/
These are crazy times, aren’t they? No traffic. No kids off to school. No hugs. No meetings. No toilet paper… (Plenty of baby carrots and peapods at Sam’s though!)
What can we do? How often do we ask this question when we read about the latest tragedy, our relative who is diagnosed with cancer or a home burns down? And we just want to DO something.
Now, I am an “8” on the enneagram and at times like this, my personality is to DO SOMETHING! Wake up early make a list prep dinner write up a homeschooling plan and then get breakfast…Call someone, set up a video chat, write a blog post, write another homeschooling plan and check the number of positive cases on line.
But as the story of COVID-19 has unfolded, I think of one of the things God is clear about: prayer.
In BLESS, the “B” is “Begin with prayer.” Let’s think about 3 specific things regarding prayer that we could do.
1. Think through your circles of involvement: work, where you live, where you work out, where your kids are involved, where you shop… or in light of what is happening, where you used to do those things.
Think of the people in those circles who do not know God loves them. Think of those who maybe do not have sure footing in Christ in all of this uncertainty.
And write those names down. On a bookmark (See below). On a post-it. Somewhere.
I have had a “BLESS” small group meeting for a few weeks before the virus and each week we prayed and talked about how to care for our friends on our lists. We were amazed at how our friends were starting spiritual conversations with us. Asking us questions. Asking us to eat a meal together. God was definitely answering our prayers.
2. Now, pray.
Pray the Psalms for your friends. Pray that they won’t be afraid. That God will supply all of their needs according to His riches in glory found in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 4:19)
If you need help with how to pray, the BLESS bookmark has ideas. You can find them here:
3. Simply ask your friends: how can I pray for you today? Many might be open to that in these days.
I did just that after writing this. I have a neighbor who struggles with health issues and I have no idea where she is at with Jesus right now and I haven’t been in touch since Thanksgiving – but I texted her and asked her how I could pray. And she told me.
I have another friend who works at our local university and I asked her too, how can I pray? She works at our local large university and has many hard decisions to make these days. I do not know where she is at with God, but is hoping to join a live stream of our church soon!
Now true confessions: If you know me, I am not a contemplative, quiet, reflective type (everyone laugh, it’s ok and remember, I am an 8). But praying for those who need to know Jesus, who need Jesus to move in their lives is something I love. And I pray while I run. As I walk the neighborhood. Pass by my kids’ school. And sometimes in the wee hours before those neighborhood runs. Lately, also on Zoom.
A yay God story:
A friend of mine in Duluth needed prayers a while back as she started a business (I have her permission to share this). She would give Brian and me updates as we worked out at the Y and we would rejoice and pray. As time went on, I texted her and asked how things were going. And I texted, “I am praying God gives you a map as you navigate these days.” I got a text back “Do you know the name of our business?” “nope” “We are naming it after the 3 of us starting it: MAP.”
It is a mental health clinic and Angel, I am so glad God helped you start that place to help so many that will need extra help these days. (wouldn’t you know, while I was editing this blog, Angel texted me! CRAZY.)
Ask God to BLESS your friends. Ask your friends how to pray. If there were ever a time to take a risk, pray harder and reach out to those in need, these days might just be it.
(you can learn more about the BLESS resources on https://covchurch.org/evangelism/bless/ )