As we are watching the coronavirus sweep across the world, I have been praying, and many people are calling me, asking what I hear God saying. I want to share what He has put in my heart, and I pray that many of you will be comforted and blessed.
Call to Worship
The first thing is to begin with worship. Worship changes the atmosphere, and in this time, we want to control the atmosphere. We want to be a light in dark places, so we need to worship intentionally. I've been getting on my piano, playing and worshiping, and this is so important for all of us to prioritize right now.
We want to control the atmospheres over our city. We want to make sure that these things don't escalate. Many people are talking about the story in Numbers 16 when Aaron takes a censer with coals from the altar to pass through the people and stop the plague breaking out among them. We can - and should - do this symbolically in prayer, but worship is the key. As I've been praying and worshiping in our home, the atmosphere has been filled with peace. And we want you to fill your house with peace too. If you're a singer, sing. If not play the radio, play a CD or Spotify or whatever you use. Fill your home with worship to the Lord.
One of our fifty state prayer network leaders wrote me with an initiative he calls “Strike Up the Band,” calling musicians to get together in small groups and just worship the Lord. You may not be able to do that where you are, but there are other creative ways. In Italy and Brazil, people are going to the balconies and worshiping. In some way, find how you can fill the atmosphere with worship; do your part. Go into your back garden or yard, as we call it here in the US, and sing. Call on the phone and worship together. Have Zoom prayer calls where you worship the Lord together. Be creative. Churches can lead the way in this, and many already are - get a small worship team together and stream worship. Some physical places are more on lockdown than others, but worship cannot be locked down. So let's extend praises to God.
2 Chronicles 20:9 says, “If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save” (NKJV). We know that in this passage, when they went to war, they sent Judah worshiping first. Let's get ahead of what is happening with worship.
John 15:7 says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (NKJV). This is the way to work in the presence of the Lord. You know, when I'm praying sometimes, I don't actually talk to God; I just spend time with God, being in His presence. I remember a particular time I was praying and praying about all these things, and all of a sudden, I heard the Lord say, "Stop. Just be with Me."
This also makes me think about time with my husband. Sometimes we just sit together on the couch, and he might be doing something different than what I’m doing. But we feel that connectedness; we feel together.
So I want to say: abide in the Lord. Spend time in silence. Sometimes that's a wonderful part of worship when, all of a sudden, you feel such a sweet presence and stillness. Take that time to simply sit with Him and be with Him.
Shelter in the Right Place
Here, in many of the states, we are being told to shelter in our homes. I don't know what word you're using in other nations, but this reminds me of sheltering prayer. Psalm 91:1 says, "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty." In your abiding, take shelter in the Lord. Maybe we haven't taken enough time to do this as we should. So, for some reason, God is going to work such good out of this.
This is a word the Lord has said: “In your prayer time, stand and declare, ‘Lord, this is working for my good. In the middle of all of this, I'm going to increase in blessing. I'm not going to go down. I'm not going to starve. I'm not going to run out of materials’.”
You know, God can multiply anything, so pray that God will increase Your faith for multiplication, that your needs will be met. Don't let Satan make you afraid. Remember that God multiplied oil in the Bible, and He multiplied food. He is a God who can handle this.
His Sheep Know His Voice
Another thing the Lord told me is, "Fear not." We know people are afraid they're going to get sick or maybe afraid they're going to die. But it is interesting because for God’s people, I felt that they are facing different fears. I felt like the Lord said to me, “People are afraid that they will not hear My voice. And because they're afraid of not hearing My voice correctly, they’re afraid they’re going to miss something and then they're going to get sick.”
John 10:4 gives us a special promise that says, "And when He brings out His own sheep, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him for they know His voice." Don't be afraid you're not going to hear the voice of God. God is going to help you, and there are some tools you're being given even today.
Shelter in prayer, abide in prayer, worship, and be aware of your thought life. The minute a thought of lack creeps in, cast it down. Say “No! I refuse to entertain that thought.” Watch the words of your mouth; don't be negative. Every time a feeling of fear for what might happen to you comes, remind yourself of what is actually going to happen - God is going to take care of you. That's what's going to happen to you. Fear and faith don't mix. Kill that fear with faith, and do it out loud.
Another thing God spoke to me is that He wants us to enter into His rest. Hebrews 4 talks about how we labor to enter into His rest. Well, you know, rest can be hard. We're not used to resting in God; we're used to causing things to happen with our own hand. But look, the Sabbath rest is a commandment. Many of us have not taken a Sabbath; I have to raise my own hand and say I have worked hard and traveled hard, but maybe not taken enough Sabbath for my own body, my own health. We are being forced into a Sabbath rest, and we need to not fight it.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don't lean to your own understanding." You know, sometimes we lean on our own understanding too much; maybe we need to pray trusting prayers. I want to say to you, as a mama, just like I would to people I'm mentoring: Trust God. He loves you. You are His child; He created you. He is a good and loving Father. He's not angry at you. So many people have the opinion that God is an angry, mean God. He's not an angry, mean God. He is a God who gave His own son because He loves you so much. He gave His Son to bring redemption to you. You are not alone. You are sheltered with the Lord.
Father, I pray for all those reading. I thank You for comfort and love to surround them. Help them to walk in Your truth even as the world seems to be in chaos around them. Amen.
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