Call to pray this Sunday about the coronavirus crisis

Please light a candle in your window at 7pm on Sunday as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ.

When so many people in our nations are living in fear of the pandemic we must come together as the people of faith across the UK and seek the help of God. That God may have mercy on us, grant us strength and wisdom, and help us to be a people of hope,” says Fred Drummond, director of prayer.

We at the Evangelical Alliance are joining in the call for all churches across the UK to make this Sunday a day of prayer and action. Let us pray together for the Government and those working to contain the virus, such as healthcare personnel, as well as those who are most vulnerable. Let us pray together against fear and worry. Let us pray together to be people of hope.

Alongside our prayers, let us take this opportunity to telephone or email someone who is isolated, maybe buy some additional food for our local foodbanks, or offer to deliver shopping for an elderly neighbour.

The call has been issued by the presidents of the ecumenical grouping Churches Together in England: the Archbishop of Canterbury, the RC Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, the Moderator of the Free Churches, the CTE president for the Orthodox Churches, and the CTE Pentecostal president, and is supported by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Cytûn, the Church of Scotland, and the Evangelical Alliance.

Invitation to pray

We know prayer changes things, so let's pray against coronavirus

The statement in full:

Light a candle of hope: A national call to prayer in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic

This Mothering Sunday, 22 March, we are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action. At such a time as this, when so many are fearful and there is great uncertainty, we are reminded of our dependence on our loving heavenly Father and the future that He holds.

At 7pm this Sunday, light a candle in the windows of your homes as a visible symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer. Whether you are continuing to worship as congregations or not, we have the great privilege and freedom to be able to call upon God, wherever we are, individually and corporately, for healing in our country. We would pray for all in leadership at this time, making decisions about the containment of the Covid-19 virus, for those working in health and social care, and especially for the most vulnerable, whether elderly or those with underlying health conditions.

There are already stories being told of wonderful acts of kindness across neighbourhoods. Alongside your prayers, take the opportunity to telephone or email someone who is isolated, buy some additional food for your local foodbank, or offer to deliver shopping for an elderly neighbour. We may not be able to touch physically but we can make connections in so many other ways.

In the meantime, do please attend to all the government health advice that will be issued, and look out for resources from your specific church governing bodies. At least for those of us in the Global North, we do seem to be in unusual times, and wisdom and flexibility about worship gatherings are a key part of our Christian discipleship during this period.

We note that this call to prayer and action comes on Mothering Sunday, a time of thankfulness, remembering especially mothers who have served us, often in very costly ways. It is also a very mixed day for many. For some the remembrance is painful and for others Mothering Sunday is a reminder of disappointment or loss.

In many ways, this period under the shadow of the coronavirus will be prompting similarly diverse reactions and so it seems especially appropriate that the call to prayer is made this Sunday. At this time of uncertainty join in with the National Day of Prayer and Action, lighting a candle of hope.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him, because he cares for you.”

1 Peter 5.7