Prayers for Wuhan: ‘Stay strong and courageous’

The United Bible Societies China Partnership calls on Christians worldwide to pray.

“Let us stand together in prayer with the Christians in China during this trying period of the growing spread of the Wuhan coronavirus in the country. May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:7). We pray for God to strengthen and sustain them, and to protect them from the virus. We pray for God’s mercy to stop the spread of the virus both in China and around the world.”

Pray for China to ride through the crisis

The 2019-nCoV outbreak, which was first reported in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province at the end of 2019, has infected more than 52,000 people and killed  1,367 people, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Reports from the Hubei Health Commission reveal a four-digit increase of confirmed infections each day and the number of deaths keep climbing.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) a global health emergency on January 30, 2020. As the virus spreads to more countries, many countries have responded by restricting travel to China, limiting international flights to China, and restricting entry for travellers from China.

Impact on churches in China

As part of the policy of the Chinese authorities to restrict gatherings of people to prevent the further spread of the virus, churches across China have suspended all services for two consecutive Sundays and halted other collective activities. Chinese Christians worshipped God and read the Bible at home; pastors turned to the Internet to disseminate recorded sermon audios, Scriptures and hymns to encourage their flock to meditate on God’s word and to pray. How long all church activities will be suspended, no one knows.

“Many who had been previously lukewarm in their faith are now getting on their knees to call out to God.” – Pastor in Wuhan

The authorities have instituted a lockdown on the affected Hubei province, and some other provinces have also restricted travelling for locals. Believers resorted to phone calls or the social media and like platforms to encourage their fellow brothers and sisters.

This encouragement from all modern-day channels has touched the hearts of all Chinese believers, particularly those in the affected Wuhan city. “Many who had been previously lukewarm in their faith are now getting on their knees to call out to God,” shared a pastor from a Wuhan church.

The churches in China have responded quickly to an appeal from Wuhan churches for more medical supplies such as masks and hand sanitisers. Many churches nationwide have donated funds through international aid organisations such as the Red Cross. Donation and funds have also poured in to the Amity Foundation (AF) for purchase of medical supplies and aid to affected areas.

Another pastor from Wuhan, the outbreak epicentre, has appealed to all Christians to pray for all healthcare professionals and others in the front line, as well as for their neighbours and themselves.