Wuhan Pastor for Prayer Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Wuhan Pastor for Prayer Amid Coronavirus Crisis

By: Clare Bruce

A pastor in Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in China, has written a letter to the church at large asking for prayer, and urging his fellow believers in Wuhan to have courage in the face of their trial.

The letter speaks of the church’s opportunity to be a light in the dark, as they face a health crisis that has brought the city of 11 million people almost to a standstill.

More than just a physical upheaval, the crisis is a “spiritual struggle”, too, and a test of faith, the pastor writes. He remind his brothers and sisters in faith that as Christians, they aren’t exempt from times of struggle and sickness – but that they are ‘more than conquerors’ in Christ, reminding them to “turn their eyes upon Jesus”.

“His peace is not to remove us from disaster and death, but rather to have peace in the midst of disaster and death, because Christ has already overcome these things… Wuhan’s [disease] cannot separate us from the love of Christ.”

“His peace is not to remove us from disaster and death, but rather to have peace in the midst of disaster and death, because Christ has already overcome these things.”

For the Christians in Wuhan, the writer encourages them to “comfort friends and loved ones with the good news of the gospel, reminding them that our lives are not in our own hands, and to entrust their lives to God who is faithful and true”.

And for believers around the world, the pastor has asked for prayer. He wants people of faith to pray for the city of Wuhan and its people, for those individuals who are infected with the coronavirus, and for the medical personnel and government officials who are working to manage the crisis:

“Good-hearted people are through their actions serving this city, especially the medical personnel who are risking their own lives. If they can take on such worldly responsibilities, how can we not more readily take on spiritual responsibilities!”

He concludes his letter with a message to Christians who are feeling compassion-fatigue, encouraging them to “ask the Lord for a loving soul, an earnestly prayerful heart”, because “only through the hope of the Lord’s mercy will this city be saved”.

An excerpt of the letter is below.

Brothers and sisters, peace be upon you:

During these past days the Wuhan pneumonia [virus] has been at the centre of my thoughts and life. [I am] always watching the latest news, and always thinking about how our family and the church should face this.

As for family, I have gathered masks and foodstuffs and have ventured out of doors as little as possible. When venturing out in public I have worn a mask, but as for the rest, I have placed it in the Lord’s hands.

As for the church, the safety of the congregation, a faithful witness, the possibility that members could contract the illness, have all become a great area of struggle. It is readily apparent that we are facing a test of our faith.

The situation is so critical, yet [we are] trusting in the Lord’s promises, that his thoughts toward us are of peace, and not evil (Jeremiah. 29:11), and that he allows for a time of testing, not to destroy us, but to establish us.

Therefore, Christians are not only to suffer with the people of this city, but we have a responsibility to pray for those in this city who are fearful, and to bring to them the peace of Christ.

First, we are to seek the peace of Christ to reign in their hearts (Hebrews 3:15). Christ has already given us his peace, but his peace is not to remove us from disaster and death, but rather to have peace in the midst of disaster and death, because Christ has already overcome these things (John 14:27, 16:33). Otherwise we have not believed in the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:15), and, with the world, would be terrified of pestilence, and lose hope in the face of death.

We are to seek peace for this city, seek peace for those who are afflicted with this illness, seek peace for the medical personnel struggling on the front lines, seek peace for every government official at every level, seek peace for all the people of Wuhan! And we can through online networks guide and comfort our friends and loved ones with the gospel, reminding them that our lives are not in our own hands, and to entrust their lives to God who is faithful and true.

The past few days I have received many inquiries from foreign pastors. They and the whole church are concerned for this city, even more for us; and confronting this epidemic, seek to serve the city with us.

Thus, I especially ask them to turn their eyes upon Jesus. And do not be concerned with my welfare, nor be agitated or fearful, but pray in the name of Jesus.

Good hearted people are through their actions serving this city, especially the medical personnel who are risking their own lives. If they can take on such worldly responsibilities, how can we not more readily take on spiritual responsibilities!

To read the full text of the letter, head to ChinaSource.org.

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

About the Author: Clare is a digital journalist for the Broadcast Industry.