In recent times much of the Christian community around the world has been planning that 2020 should be a year of evangelism, sharing the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Prayer ministries have united with mission agencies across the body of Christ, across all denominations and none, to work together to see the good news of the Gospel of Christ Jesus, Son of God, Saviour of the world to be shared in word and deed around the world; the world that God His Father still loves.

Suddenly a new disease, Covid-19 rapidly spreads around the world bringing fear, pain, global isolation and sadly many deaths. For a while, the year of evangelism seems impossible: until the realisation came that the very thing that appeared to stop sharing the gospel was the very thing that massively highlighted the growing need in millions of people for something to replace the fear, hopelessness, loneliness and especially the fear of death.

Whilst we applaud the creative ways people are discovering to cope with isolation. Whilst we literally applaud those who hour by hour are giving of their talents and abilities in their service to the nation.  Whilst we give thanks for those in government, the civil service, the armed forces and many others who are working tirelessly on behalf of us all, there is still in many people’s thinking this nagging thought that we cannot go back to the old normal.  We cannot go through so much pain, sorrow and hardship and there not be a redemptive purpose, a transformation in us, our families, our communities and our nation. There has to be a new normal, a new way of living. A new wineskin in society! 

To many people, the realisation has suddenly hit home that the gods they have worshipped are not gods at all. The materialistic and secular society had nothing to offer when it came to isolation, separation and at times despair. The manmade gods offer no hope, for true life now and certainly no hope for an eternal future.

So we come back to the Christian community’s desire that this year be a year of good news. A year of sharing the story of God’s love for every man, woman, boy and girl in the world, demonstrated to us so vividly in the birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension of His Son Christ Jesus. 

This horrible virus has not only brought us fear and insecurity, it has also revealed how shallow the old normal of fighting to get to the top, of sacrificing marriages and families on the altar of work, of greed by companies and individuals, of making sports stars and sport, and entertainment and the entertainers, our gods. When we are faced with our own mortality we quickly see that the old normal, the latest cruise, the latest car, the latest fashion, the latest partner is indeed an empty shell in shallow water.

In these days, does all that is happening around us stop us from sharing in word and action the fantastic truth that Christ Jesus offers us His life in us today and for eternity?  Not at all.  Covid-19 offers us isolation, loneliness, sorrow, fear, fright, hopelessness, despair and death. The kingdom that Jesus is establishing offers us friendship, inclusion, comfort, faith, freedom, assurance, forgiveness, hope and life eternal.

Around the world today, hundreds of thousands are discovering the amazing truth of God’s amazing grace. Today, we invite you to join them. Today in the midst of all your fears maybe for some in the midst of great sorrow, you can ask God to come to you and show His love for you. You might not feel good enough to talk to God, none of us are. You might have to confess you have messed up in life, or you have worshipped other gods, or that you have never until now, given Him a thought. Every follower of Jesus has had to do that.

In the midst of all that is going on around you, your family and friends, in the midst of all your questions and doubts, we know that God is speaking to you today. How do we know?  You are reading this article. Yes the God who created the heavens and the earth is speaking to you today.

Take a moment, and we all have moments at this incredible time, and in faith speak what is on your heart to Him, He will answer.

If you would like to know more about Jesus, visit our webpage and let us know if you have prayed the prayer.

Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre Birmingham.