During the plague that ravaged third-century Alexandria, Bishop Cyprian tirelessly served the suffering with calm assurance that Christians find hope in Jesus Christ whether they live or die. Today, in a time of pandemic, Christian communions around the world are calling their members to take action through prayer.
“Let us join our brothers and sisters in Christ across communions by joining our prayers with theirs in solidarity and faith in Jesus,” says Mennonite World Conference general secretary César García.
Pope Francis calls all Christians “to invoke the Almighty, Omnipotent God, by praying the Lord’s Prayer simultaneously” on Wednesday 25 March 2020 at noon GMT+1 or local time. “May the Lord listen to the united prayer of all his disciples who are preparing themselves to celebrate the victory of the risen Christ,” says Kurt Cardinal Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) writes: “We can rest assured that God will be attentive to our cries for help when we come with the attitude of Christ, in humility and dependence, committed to obedient service, even unto death,” citing 2 Chronicles 7:12-16. The WEA calls its members to participate in a day of prayer and fasting Sunday 29 March 2020 with prayer guide including Scripture and prayer modules for an eight-hour fasting period.
General secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit and moderator Dr. Agnes Abuom of the World Council of Churches (WCC) also invite churches to make Sunday a day for prayers for the most vulnerable people, especially refugees, and for the human family worldwide. They ask Christians to pray at home, temporarily suspending the physical contacts that characterize group worship, and “commend to all of you the advice and practical recommendations offered by intergovernmental and governmental health authorities to help protect the vulnerable in our communities and others.”
“We should pray and expect that today’s global health crisis soon will fade,” says MWC president J. Nelson Kraybill. “Let us all observe guidelines health authorities provide. Some of us must take risks, some will take ill, and most will weather this crisis well. But should the storm end our journey, we have a safe harbour ahead.”
—Mennonite World Conference release