19 Scripture-based prayers for COVID-19
‘If you are wondering how to pray regarding the coronavirus crisis, then how about praying through helpful verses from the Bible like these? We encourage you to use these 19 prayers with your church or as part of your prayer time with your family.
1. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Amid the fear and chaos of a hurting world, pray that as the Body of Christ we will be strengthened in our faith and reminded that God is with us to provide peace and comfort. Pray too that we will be emboldened to share the good news of God’s love with others who are struggling.
2. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Praise God for the good things he is doing through acts of kindness as communities show love and compassion to one another. Pray that churches and individuals will be mobilised to care for the vulnerable people in society and share the love of Jesus with them, albeit with appropriate social distancing.
3. I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 (NIV)
Pray for wisdom and endurance for our Prime Minister, parliament, government and leading officials as they make decisions that effect the safety and wellbeing of our nation.
4. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-4 (NIV)
Pray for those affected by the coronavirus or who are caring for someone currently suffering from it. Pray for anyone grieving for the loss of a loved one who has passed away from the virus in Australia or overseas. Ask that they will be comforted in their suffering. Pray too for the doctors and nurses who have been on the front line in delivering medical care for those affected by the virus. Ask that they will be able to rest and be encouraged in their work.
5. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ Romans 10:14-15 (NIV)
Many mission workers throughout the world have had to return to their home countries during the current crisis. Pray that God will continue to use the work already established through their ministries to bring the good news of his Word to those who have never heard it before. Pray particularly that Bible translation projects will be sustained and that the local translators who have been trained will be able to continue the work so that communities can have access to Scripture in a language that speaks to their hearts.
6. Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12 (ESV)
This is an unprecedented time in history when the world has never been so connected, yet the social distancing imposed by authorities to slow the spread of the coronavirus has caused many people to feel lonely and isolated. Pray that the Holy Spirit will use this opportunity to reawaken hearts to turn back to God and give him glory. Pray also that remote indigenous communities will be protected from the virus and have enough supplies to see them through the lockdown.
7. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:17-18 (NIV)
Pray for those who suffer from anxiety and mental health disorders who may be experiencing immense distress during this time. Ask that they will receive peace and a word of comfort to know that they are not alone and that God cares for them in their struggle.
8. ‘In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ – Jesus John 16:33 (NIV)
Praise God that he has already conquered the powers of darkness in this world. Pray against the control of the coronavirus over the world and ask that our great Advocate will intercede to bring healing and restoration to a world that is hurting.
9. I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. Psalm 140:12 (NIV)
Many people in Australia and throughout the world have lost jobs and livelihoods as businesses classified as non-essential have had to close down. Pray for individuals and families as they process this difficult news and apply for financial assistance. Pray also for Centrelink workers and social workers who are struggling to keep up with demands.
10. In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39 (NIV)
Praise God that nothing can separate us from his love! Pray that Christians throughout the world will hold on to this truth and share it joyfully with others.
11. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4 (NIV)
Pray that we would use this extra time at home as an opportunity to develop spiritual disciplines that help us to grow in the fruits of the Spirit, spending more time reading and meditating on God’s Word, praying and caring for others.
12. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 (NIV)
If you are feeling burdened by the troubles of the world, surrender your worries to Jesus. Ask the Prince of Peace to renew your mind and restore your peace.
13. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 (NIV)
Pray that God’s people will continue to be bearers of his light throughout the COVID-19 crisis in a world that is in desperate need of good news in the darkness. Pray that we will be loving, kind and compassionate as we seek to share the hope that only Jesus can bring.
14. Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ Luke 18:16 (NIV)
Many schools remain open at the moment but children are surrounded by panic and fear on the news every day. Pray that they will be able to maintain a level of normality during this time and that it would also be an opportunity for children to understand how much God loves and cares for them.
15. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 28-30 (NIV)
Jesus calls to us to come to him and find rest. Pray for medical teams feeling weary in the fight against the coronavirus. Pray that they will be strengthened and protected in their important work. Pray also for leaders, pastors, supermarket staff, truck drivers, teachers and others who are also facing extra pressures during this time.
16. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matthew 6: 25-27 (NIV)
In times of uncertainty, it can be so tempting to see the panic buying going on around us and allow the same fears to grip us. What if we run out of food? What if there is no more toilet paper available? Pray for peace of mind and faith to know that God will provide for our needs. Praise the Lord for groups who are looking after one another during this time to provide for those who are in need. Ask the Lord to show you how you can be a blessing to others.
17. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 (ESV)
Between the recent bush fires and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus, Australians have had to come to terms with many sudden changes. The world is facing a time of great uncertainty but praise God that his great love never changes! Pray for opportunities to share the hope of Jesus with others this week.
18. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6-7 (NIV)
Present all the fears and worries you have been holding onto to God and ask him to fill your heart with his supernatural peace.
19. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV)
Pray that the joy of the Lord would be evident as believers in Christ encourage one another and share the peace that only comes from God with a world that needs to know Jesus.