At the time of writing it is hard to say what the total effects of the Coronavirus will be around the world.  Across the world, people young and old are fighting for their lives, some in nations that have limited healthcare.  Doctors, nurses and frontline staff are doing such amazing work with many being pushed to the limit and sadly some giving their lives.

Everything has changed in our world and continues to change.  Once thriving businesses are now struggling to survive, nations are amassing great debts affecting the lives of billions of people.  National borders that until recently were open are now being strictly controlled. Governments around the world are wrestling with issues unheard of five months ago as they seek to protect their citizens whilst at the same time endeavour to restore some form of ‘normality’ to everyday life.  For the foreseeable future there will be major restrictions on international travel. 

In nation after nation the question is being asked, has the virus with all its tragedy, pain and sorrow, presented us with a different way to be family, be good neighbours, be community, employ staff, run a business, be and do church, educate our children and young people, do life, love our neighbours in the global village?  Who knows? Time will tell, but this is a moment of opportunity to ask such questions. Surely this is the moment for that conversation.

Due to the blessings of modern technology, not only can we keep in contact with family and friends locally and around our nation, but also with family and friends around the world.  The truth for the Christian Family, the followers of Jesus, is that through faith in Him and His redemptive work, we are sons and daughters of the living God, brothers and sisters, members of God’s global family. Wherever we are around the world, even if we cannot meet physically, we are still able to talk, share listen and pray together through social media.    

Over recent days and weeks it has been a privilege and joy to be in contact with members of our own families, but also to be sharing with our brothers and sisters on every Continent. Week by week we are involved in, and hearing about, many thousands of Christians praying together, including thousands of girls and boys, wonderful worship songs like ‘The Blessing’ are being sung in nation after nation. Reports are being received from many nations of people, young and old becoming followers of Jesus.  Many churches are reporting a huge increase in numbers of people listening to their online services.

Across the Continents in the family of God, people just like you and me are discovering that however dark and painful their experience, the light and life of Jesus dispels that darkness, be it caused by a virus, oppression or persecution.  Today, we can say to each other the words in the Bible from the ancient prophet Isaiah, “Arise and shine; for your light has come and the Glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the people; But the Lord will arise over you and His Glory will be seen upon you”. (Isaiah 60:I-2 NKJV)

We believe that we are seeing green shoots of a spiritual awakening both in our nation and the nations. Will those shoots produce the desired harvest?  We do not know yet, however we are rejoicing in seeing the green shoots. For many people, be they followers of Jesus or not, for those who struggle with their faith because of past experiences, indeed for everyone, this continues to be a time of deep reflection not only on their quality and purpose of life but also their eternal destiny.

So, what on earth is going on?   Over recent months literally millions of people have prayed to God in the name of Jesus – many for the first time. Hundreds of thousands have indicated they want to follow Jesus. In some cases, Jesus has appeared to people experiencing the most distressing circumstances caused by man’s inhumanity to man, and although their circumstances have not changed, their hearts and minds have been transformed by His love and His presence.

We pray with you, and millions around the world, asking that the warmth of God’s love and the rain of His mercy and grace will enable the green shoots to grow to produce salvation, healing, hope, assurance of forgiveness of sin and the fulfilment of the promise Jesus made that those who believe in Him will have eternal life.  

You too can talk to Jesus – He is waiting and ready to hear from you!

 

Ian Cole is the Founder of the World Prayer Centre.  He networks globally with prayer movements around the world.