Church leaders in England have called Christians to participate in a National Day of Prayer and Action on March 22 in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The call was issued by the presidents of Churches Together in England, a national ecumenical group that supports and encourages churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity. The statement, which was signed by Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, as well as other church leaders from various denominations, urges Christians to unite in prayer.
“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,” the statement reads.
“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 nation. 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.”
Asking people to pray and “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,” Christians are also encouraged to take action in showing love for others.
“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 response to the National Day of Prayer, R.T. Kendall, an author, speaker and theologian who served as pastor at Westminster Chapel in London from 1977 to 2002, said: “‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34). ‘Blessed is that nation whose God is the Lord’ (Psalm 33:12). Apart from these Scriptures, history has shown that when a nation bows its knees to God, He honors it. The last time Britain had a day of prayer was because of D-Day in June 1944. And look at the amazing way God stepped in. I am so proud of Archbishop Justin Welby for doing this. God will honor this. It also maybe be the way Britain begins to take God seriously! I hope so.”
The call is also being supported by the Evangelical Alliance, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, Cytûn (Churches Together in Wales) and the Church of Scotland.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version.