Coronavirus Prayer Experiment

The Great Coronavirus Experiment in Prayer

This idea came to a church minister trying to come to terms with how to conduct his ministry and keep in contact with people during the current crisis, when church buildings are closed and gatherings banned.

His initial reaction, when suddenly finding himself with an empty diary and time on his hands, was to immediately fill all his time keeping in touch by phone, email, social media, video conferencing, and online services, but then he had another thought. Inspired by the story of the pioneering missionary James Fraser he decided to spend a significant amount of time praying for people instead.

James Fraser was a missionary in the first half of the twentieth century to the Chinese Lisu People living in the foothills of the Himalayas several hundred miles west of Wuhan, who was himself prevented for several months from visiting many newly planted churches in the foothills of the Himalayas due to the adverse winter weather conditions.

After calculating how much time he would have spent travelling up into the mountains, gathering the new converts together and then travelling back down again (around 3 to 5 days ), he decided to find out: What would happen if I decided to spend the time that I would have spent gathering with these Lisu people praying for them instead?

So he committed himself to praying at great length for these churches, and when travel once again became possible to these remote regions, Fraser found that the highland churches, which he couldn’t visit, but over which he had agonised in prayer had prospered spiritually far more than those he had been able to visit over the same period in the lowlands.

Most of us normally spend lots of time ‘doing’ stuff, and only a little time praying. Now that we can’t ‘do’ as much as we used to, why don’t we try ‘praying’ more? - Who knows what God might do.

All of us are normally involved in some way with a variety of church groups, services and activities which currently cannot happen. What might God do if we used some of the time usually spent preparing for, organising and/or attending those gatherings, to instead pray for the spiritual growth of all the people involved, and those we hope might get involved?

So whether it’s Sunday services, Lunch Club, Tuesday Hope, Friday under 5s, Cornerstone Café, Sunday School, Girls Brigade, Little Stars, The Hanger, Fellowship group, Boys Brigade, Open the Book, Family Craft & Coffee, Brownies, or whatever - why not give it a try and spend some of the time that is now free on those days, praying for the spiritual growth of everyone involved by name.

If for example like me you are a member of the Open the Book team, next Monday morning when we would normally be rehearsing you could pray for the other members of the team, and on Tuesday (assemblies day) pray for the pupils and staff of the two schools, and all who come to Tuesday Hope.

We may be prevented from spending time face to face with people, but we have more time than usual to pray for them… and who knows what God might do in answer to those prayers? – Let’s experiment together.