I am reprinting, with permission, an article that originally appeared on Facebook. It is written by Professor Peter Bellini. Dr. Bellini serves as Associate Professor of Evangelization in the Heisel Chair at United Theological Seminary. Some of you are familiar with his powerful book Truth Therapy. (A number of people I respect have strongly recommended Truth Therapy: Renewing Your Mind With the Word of God and I have on my list to read.)
10 Guidelines for Prayer in these COVID-19 Times, by Dr. Peter Bellini1. PEACE - Pray against spirits of division, suspicion, anxiety, panic, and fear that grip our communities.
2. LEADERSHIP- Pray for wisdom, truth, direction, compassion, and strength for all leaders (political, medical, economic, ecclesial, etc) in authority.
3. PROTECTION- Claim the blood of Jesus as a shield and healing over people groups, institutions, systems, policies, processes, and over all areas of life and society against COVID-19 and its effects.
4. IMMUNITY- Daily speak strength and health to immune systems (personal, family, friends, etc.)
5. RESOURCES- Pray for sufficient human and medical resources for our healthcare systems and sufficient and necessary resources for all other sectors (i.e. financial) and institutions (i.e. schools).
6. TESTING - Pray for a prompt, expedient, efficient, and sufficient, production, distribution, administration, and interpretation of tests locally so that leaders may realistically ascertain the scope of the problem and be equipped with strategies and resources to address the problem thoroughly and speedily.
7. STRATEGIES - Pray for the deployment of effective strategies for identifying epicenters and centers of the disease’s proliferation, for social distancing, for judicious and humane regional, local, and home-based quarantining that would level off the rate and intensity of occurrences, for home-based and institutional treatment of the sick, for accurate contact tracing, and for all other epidemiological issues and solutions.
8. RESEARCH - Pray for all types of researchers to develop an expeditious, effective, sufficient, affordable, well-tested, and safe production of a CV-19 vaccine and treatments.
9. INSTITUTIONS RESTORED - Pray for all of the institutions and systems impacted by this crisis (the church, gov’t, healthcare, schools, the economy, businesses, law enforcement and other first responders, and all other workplaces) that they would be protected and restored to normal healthy functioning.
10. SALVATION - Pray that we all come to a place of true repentance and total dependence on God for all things and that God would release to this world, protection, provision, healing, restoration, strength, salvation and all things that pertain to life and godliness. Time for the church to be the church and embody and minister wisdom and love in all we do. Be a Kingdom witness.
– Rev. Dr. P. Bellini
Additionally, I want to recommend a brief article by Patrick Lencioni which appeared in his recent table group email under the title “A Few Thoughts for Leaders and Managers.”
In this unprecedented and uncertain time, many leaders and managers are wondering what they can do to help the people in their charge. To a certain extent, this will depend on the situation.
Some leaders are still working with their people in person, either because they are in a location where businesses are still open, or because they work in one of those industries that are critical and must continue to function during this time. For leaders like me in northern California, I cannot even be in the same room with my people as we are limited to staying in our homes with our families. In the course of the next few days, I would guess that most cities and states will shut down like we’ve done here, leaving people to interact only virtually with their team members.
Regardless of your situation, I offer these three simple recommendations...
First, be exceedingly human. By that, I mean that you should demonstrate your concern for the very real fears and anxieties that your people are experiencing, not only professionally and economically, but socially and personally. Even though you don’t have definitive answers to all of their questions, don’t let that keep you from listening to them and empathizing with their fears. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, you should not be hesitant to share your own concerns with your people. They want to know that they can relate to you and that they are not alone in their concerns.
Second, be persistent. This is not a time to hold back. Send people updates and regular communication, even if there is not a lot of new information and the message is largely personal. No one will look back at this time and say, “my manager was so annoying with all the encouraging e-mails checking in on me.” When people are isolated, over-communication is more important than ever.
Finally, be creative. Try new things. Call semi-regular video-conference meetings that allow employees to not only talk about work, but to share their experiences dealing with this situation. Heck, you can have them share movies and games and other tools that they are finding to be helpful with their families and invite them to tell stories about what is going on in their worlds. Crises provide an opportunity for people to come to know one another and establish bonds that will endure long after the crisis is over.
What you should avoid is seeming cold or impersonal in the name of “business as usual,” or being absent or inconsistent in the name of “giving people space,” or being afraid to try something new. These unprecedented times call for you to stretch beyond your normal comfort zones and be even more vulnerable than usual. Six months from now, you’ll look back and be glad you did.”
(Patrick Lencioni, https://www.tablegroup.com )