How do I pray during a crisis?

Many people come to counseling during some sort of crisis. Of course, typically this is a personal crisis, leading the individual or couple into the counseling process. But we are all impacted by community and world crises as well – including the current coronavirus crisis.

There are many things that can help us during a crisis. It is helpful to focus on facts rather than getting caught up in sensational storytelling. It is helpful to spend time with loved ones, to give and receive comfort. It is helpful to identify concrete action steps and do them.

It is also helpful to pray.

Prayer draws us closer to God Himself and aligns our will with his. A time of crisis tempts us to draw inward, to protect and defend ourselves. Prayer helps to draw us back out into relationship with God and neighbor.

Here are some helpful ideas for prayer during a crisis:

During a personal crisis

  • Pray for wisdom and discernment to make good choices and respond well.
  • Pray for yourself and those who are impacted by the crisis, and for whatever the situation is.
  • Pray for the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit to fill the situation.
  • Pray for God’s glory to grow through the situation.

During the current coronavirus crisis

  • Pray for those most directly impacted: the sick, the elderly, those who have lost jobs or taken pay cuts.
  • Pray for our healthcare workers and everyone on the “essential” front lines.
  • Pray for those stuck at home in dangerous situations – situations of abuse or violence, online sexual exploitation, and those with substance use problems.
  • Pray for those indirectly impacted: those missing elective but necessary surgeries, those worrying about loved ones, those living alone and feeling lonely.
  • Pray for our government and civic leaders as they make decisions that impacts so many people.