The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) is calling on churches around Australia to dedicate a weekend to prayer focused on the COVID-19 pandemic.
The special time of prayer will take place on 26 and 27 September.
In a letter promoting the initiative from the NCCA president to churches, Anglican Bishop Philip Huggins said, ‘We make our prayers together for an end to this pandemic (with all this involves), trusting Jesus’ word to us – God wills to “give good things to those who ask” (Matthew 7:11)’.
‘We are all aware of the suffering it is causing; the extent of the social and economic dislocation, the difficulty getting the virus under control and the level of many people’s anxiety’, Bishop Huggins said. ‘As you know, we all share a strong belief in the efficacy of our prayers.’
The letter also included a prayer designed to be helpful in the lead-up to the event:
Gracious God, trusting in your providence and presence, we bring our prayer for an end to this pandemic. We pray for your strengthening of those offering costly leadership during this crisis. We pray for all who are ill. We pray for those anxious about getting ill. We pray for those full of grief. We remember those who have died. We pray for your grace to sustain us as we do what we can in our context. We ask these things, as you encourage us so to do. ‘Ask and it will be given you’ (Matthew 7:7). In resurrection faith, we offer our heartfelt prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.