I keep hearing stories about the number of people who are attending online church services. In Sydney, there are hundreds to choose from.
But in the UK – a new survey shows a quarter of adults have watched or listened to a religious service since the coronavirus lockdown began, and one in 20 have started praying during the crisis.
I’ve already mentioned that a number of people say their faith has been strengthened in these difficult times, but there has also been an increase in the numbers of people turning to faith in Jesus.
The most frequent subjects of prayers since the lockdown has been: for family (accounting for more than half), more than a quarter are for frontline workers, those suffering Covid, and a quarter thanking God.
Our common human reaction is to remember God in the bad times and forget him in the good.
Pray that you don’t make that mistake.
I’m Russell Powell for the NSW Council of Churches.
Our heavenly Father, creator of all things and especially the creator of this land and its original peoples, we call out to you in these desperate times as we see the first catastrophic fire warnings for New South Wales, as fires have already swept across several parts of our land.
Our hearts cry out to you in desperation for those whose properties are affected by ravaging fires and whose very lives are in danger.
Father we pray, in your mercy, restrain the forces of nature from creating catastrophic damage; in your mercy protect human life.
Guard those who selflessly step into the breech to fight these fires. Guide police and authorities who help evacuate and shelter those who are displaced. Bring comfort and healing to all who suffer loss.
Remembering that long ago you extended your hand through your servant Moses to stop the waters and then to return the waters to their normal course, so we pray for rain.
In your mercy, we pray for drenching rain.
We pray that despite the forecasts, in your miraculous power you would bring forth rain to quench these fires and to bring life back into the earth, so that crops may grow and farmers may bring forth the harvest of the land again.
We bring these requests before your throne, in the name of your Son, who died and rose again for our deliverance,
This prayer comes from the President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies.
Originally published on SydneyAnglicans.net.