Did you know that according to the Pew survey, more than half of Americans have prayed for an end to the coronavirus? People turn to God when they cannot find answers. Prayers are effectual, and they strengthen our faith.
When you pray it lessens your anxiety and clears your mind of unnecessary worry. Prayer is sacred, and the Devil knows this. If you are not accustomed to regular prayer, the distractions of life will surface the moment you start to pray. Your mind will wander; focusing on the things of God becomes secondary. Don’t worry, because we all at one time or another have experienced this distraction. This is why when you first start to pray, separate yourself from the world.
Prayer is a simple dialogue between you and God. You talk to Him as you would a loving father. I always start by praising the Lord, either verbally or with praise music softly playing in the background. To be in union with God is one of the most inspiring encounters you can experience. We are empty vessels waiting for our Master to fill us with His love. We empty all of our burdens and clear our minds of any clutter so that we can receive what the Lord has in store. We must be still and know that God is ever present. Our Father is patiently waiting for us. He wants to free us of all the worries, pains and the unknowns that we face on a daily basis. We seek Him because without Him we perish.
Interceding For Others
These past two weeks have been a whirlwind of prayer. I have loving friends who are suffering with COVID-19 and one from cancer. My friends are too weak to pray because their bodies are on “high alert,” fighting an internal battle. They are using their strength to combat this virus. This is when the intercessors come in. We become the Aaron’s and Ben Hur’s lifting them up in prayer. We are spiritually fighting the their battle on their behalf. They are physically exhausted, but we are fueled with the Holy Spirit to help bring them out of this battlefield.
Intercessors need to fuel up as well. My strength comes from receiving Holy Communion and attending Mass on a regular basis. I fill my ears with only Christian radio stations and watch Christian programing like EWTN. More than anything, I pray the Rosary with special intentions. At every decade I name the person or persons for whom I am praying. This prayer is done with much reverence because my heart is in each bead. Padre Pio, one of the greatest saints known to mankind, said, “The Rosary is the most powerful weapon against Satan.” Satan has his blueprints written all over COVID-19, but we have the Triune God on our side.
Closing our churches did not stop the prayer of the faithful; in fact, it made those of us who pray on a regular basis much more spiritual. This pandemic has brought us all to our knees. The more the virus spreads, the faster the spirit of God is moving. There is unity in prayer, and I thank God for technology because through calling and texting we can keep an open line to God by reaching out to those who need prayer.
My parish, St. Norbert, has remained faithful in allowing us to attend outdoor daily services. The sacrifices that our church has made are many, but we remain steadfastly faithful, adhering to all the restrictions imposed on churches. Each day faithful volunteers set up the altar, bring out the Crucifix, the candles, tables, and chairs. At the end of the service this must all be put away until the next Mass. This is not an easy task, but at no time do you hear any complaints. The work is done as unto the Lord.
According to Lifeway Christian Resources, Bible sales have skyrocketed; the demand has increased the sales by 62%. Why? People are looking for hope, and looking to God is a good start; however, there are others who believe we are living in the Last Days.
Many novice Bible seekers are mistakenly starting with the Book of Revelation for answers. All this will do is feed into their fears. What does the Bible say about the Last Days?
- Be Ready
- Occupy Until He Comes
- No one knows the day or the hour
- Lawlessness brought on by Satan
Being ready means to have your life in order; more importantly, your spiritual life. Only God knows the day and the hour of your last breath.
We learned long ago from I Thessalonians to occupy until He comes. When St. Paul wrote the first letter to the Thessalonians, his deep concern was that they were recent converts to Christianity. St. Paul encouraged them to remain chaste and charitable in a great time of persecution. St. Paul shared with them about the Second Coming, warning them that believers must be ready and watchful because Christ’s return would come unexpectedly. The Thessalonians were baby Christians who took this message to heart. The misunderstanding of St. Paul’s words caused them to behave irrationally. The Thessalonians were convinced that Jesus could return at any moment, so many stopped working for a living; hence, II Thessalonians was written to clarify the true message.
We are still waiting for the Second Coming but, unlike the Thessalonians, we live our day -to-day normal lives.
We should not get caught up in worrying about the “Last Days.” We do need to remain watchful by keeping our eyes on the things of God.
This verse is speaking of demonic powers which are meant to captivate sinners and lead them astray. This is how people start to believe that the truth is a lie. When you are deceived by Satan, you will be judged by God. We cannot accept lies over truth because with truth comes light, and with light all is exposed.
Dear Heavenly Father, My eyes have grown weak with tears for those for whom I am praying. Lord, it is in Your hands that I place these special souls for their healing. I extend my hands to heaven and continue to intercede on behalf of all that I have been called to pray for. I praise You, and give You all the glory due Your Name. Thank you for the small signs You have given me. Jesus, I trust in You. Amen.