A team from PRMI was supposed to be heading to Israel March 9-22 for the Global Alignment conference sponsored by Tikkun Global. Laura and I, with PRMI Board Member Doug McMurry and his wife Carla, were going first for some pre-work. They were to be followed by the PRMI Prayer Team headed up by Martin Boardman. They were to be providing prayer cover for the conference itself.
Unfortunately, Tikkun was forced the cancel the conference after the state of Israel placed a ban on international conferences. All of this is a result of the coronavirus. So instead of travelling to Israel and participating in a fantastic ministry opportunity, the team will be remaining at home.
This change of plans, of course, raises several questions about what is happening in our world. The coronavirus is having a global impact, not just on health, but upon travel and the global economy as well as an effect on Kingdom advancement.
What is happening? And what is God doing amid this pandemic? What is the enemy doing, and how is he using this virus? Then the big question is, how is the Lord calling us as intercessors to pray during this time?
The coronavirus or Covid-19, as the scientific community has named it, is making headlines on every media outlet around the world. It has triggered border closures, enforced quarantine procedures, lockdowns and triggered panic buying in multiple countries.
Amid the news reports and statistics, doing the hard work of discernment is vital for the work of intercession.
What are we Observing?
In some ways, Satan is using this threat of a pandemic to stir up fear. This fear causes people to act in irrational ways or make bad fear-based decisions. We need to pray for the gift of wisdom in all this.
John Chang and others, I know in the Chinese Churches in the NY area, have told me that there is tremendous fear about the virus and that people are afraid to go to church services.
Russ, an intercessor from Canada, shared this discernment
The biggest issue I see to pray about is the massive fear this viral situation has stimulated. The spirit of fear is destructive in so many ways and has great potential for increasing control and manipulation by governments and others. We need to pray against fear and for the faith and love that casts out fear.
Discerning what is the Lord doing in the midst of this epidemic?
How is God using this virus to accomplish His Kingdom purposes and advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ?
The threat of an epidemic can be used by the Lord to bring to a place of desperately seeking him. We need to pray that this would take place. We need to pray for people to turn to the Lord and not away from him during this time.
Here are what some intercessors have shared that they are discerning:
“I think the Lord may be using this coronavirus outbreak in China and now in Iran even among the leaders close to Supreme Leader Khomeini, to expose the people in China and Iran to the reality of how incompetent and evil their leadership really is.”Doug McMurry
All totalitarian governments seek to limit the free flow of information, and in the case of an epidemic or pandemic, this can have deadly consequences.
We need to pray that the Lord will use this epidemic to bring open doors for the Gospel in China and Iran. They both have long histories of oppressing the Church of Jesus Christ. Right now, in China, the oppression of the Church is getting worse.
Discerning what is the enemy doing?
It can be hard to determine what exactly the enemy is doing because he hides what he is doing through demonic cloaking. One of the first, and continuing, prayer tactics we undertake is to pray for a piercing of this cloaking. (Read more about the spiritual warfare prayer tactic of Piercing the cloaking here.) We must pray for this Piercing so that we can see what is happening on a spiritual and human level.
That the outbreak is a hindrance to the Gospel in China and elsewhere is a specific topic for intercessory prayer. In China the outbreak provides cover for clearing the streets of protestors and other undesirables, and it hinders Christians everywhere from ministry and meeting together.Steve Aceto
Applying the Discernment
I cannot but think that there is more going on than meets the eye. There seems to be a sort of orchestrated conspiracy going on. This conspiracy does not just stir up fear but seeks to use the virus to set in motion forces that could significantly disrupt or even destroy the world economy and the American economy.
I believe there is behind this situation; whether causing it or just seizing the opportunity we may never know, are malignant people in league with the “powers and principalities” seeking to further their evil designs.
Fear, uncertainty and chaos are the fertile soil for the seeds of radical Marxist and Fascist ideologies to take root in a society. These seeds, when grown, would crash the present order and impose a new evil totalitarian order.
It was the economic catastrophe in Russia, caused by World War I, that provided the perfect context to sow the seeds of communism embodied in Vladimir Lenin, who ignited the Bolshevik Revolution. Or recall that the Weimar Republic was growing and starting to stabilize in Germany until the Great Depression hit collapsing the economy and allowing an until then marginalized Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party. History is replete with such examples and provides a call for us as intercessors take these awful possibilities with utmost seriousness.
As I have looked for any evidence for this, I found the following article reporting on a briefing given to the Senate. in the Washington Examiner:
Russia mobilizing ‘legions’ of liars to sow coronavirus chaos: State Department by Joel Gehrke & Jerry Dunleavy
Russia has mobilized “an entire ecosystem” of disinformation to prey on global fears that have accompanied the outbreak of the coronavirus, according to President Trump’s top counterpropaganda official.
“We’ve seen adversaries take advantage of a health crisis where people are terrified worldwide to try to advance their priorities,” Lea Gabrielle, who leads the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee. “So we’ve been watching the narratives that are being pushed out — false narratives — around coronavirus. Unfortunately, we have been able to assess that accounts tied to Russia — the entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation — has been engaged in the midst of this world health crisis.” Gabrielle, a former human intelligence officer and Navy fighter pilot, told lawmakers that the coronavirus deceptions have been driven by a vast array of human-operated and automated social media campaigns, as well as state-run media outlets. Her testimony placed the coronavirus falsehoods among a “tsunami of lies” promulgated by the Russian government at any given time… The State Department official urged the senators to be clear-eyed about Putin’s intentions.
“The Kremlin’s goal is to separate and divide us,” Gabrielle said. “It’s classic subversion. So the more we can all work together — bipartisan, nonpartisan — working together on countering propaganda and disinformation, the better we’ll be as a country.”The Washington Examiner
I found this a powerful confirmation of what could be taking place within both the human as well as spiritual spheres to aggravate for sinister purposes this genuine threat posed by a new virus. I remember some of the widespread fear during previous health crises like the SARS epidemic of 2003 or the Swine flu epidemic of 2010 or even the Ebola outbreak that took place in Africa in 2014.
But this situation has had an entirely different feel to it. With the other epidemics, there was not the mobilization of the media, politicians and other nations like Russia to use the crisis against the then President Obama as there is now against President Trump.
What guidance are you getting?
Please confirm this discernment. And send on any intelligence that you may have to us.
One more Perspective. The chaos could work to advance the Kingdom of God by sowing the seeds of the breakdown of the Communist Party in China. This is suggested in the following article, which was quoted in an Intercessors for America article.
Given the way Totalitarian regimes hold on to power at all costs, this could have globally catastrophic consequences that could provide Satan with the opportunity to bring even greater evil. I believe we need to pray in the continuing of and vast expansion of the move of the Holy Spirit in China, that changes hearts and minds especially of the high ranking Communist officials including
Si Jing Ping himself that changes hearts and minds first to enable changes from within, resulting in a change of government systems. I think we should be bold to pray that God will use this virus to break the arrogance of the Communist party leadership and bring them to faith in Jesus Christ. Which through the prayers and witnesses of Chinese Christians could take place.
- First! And as always! Pray for “Piercing the Cloaking” to reveal what is going on. This Piercing needs to take place for both the human and spiritual spheres.
- Give thanks to God for the Israeli scientists, who by some amazing “coincidences” were already working with a virus similar to the coronavirus and are developing a vaccine. Jerusalem Post report
- Pray that the forces of evil that would stir up fear, chaos and even mass hysteria to be bound in the name of Jesus. Like Jesus commanded the wind and waves to be still (Luke 8:22-25)
- Pray for those who would conspire to use this crisis for their evil advantage to be exposed and then have their plots confused or backfire on them.
- Lastly, Steve Aceto, in referring to China, Iran and other places where there are severe outbreaks gives us the following excellent guidance for prayer:
In ancient Rome, the response of Christians to the plague, putting themselves at risk to serve the afflicted rather than running to their villas, was a turning point that caused thoughtful Romans to consider the bankruptcy of their culture and ideas. Prayer Point: Consider that our intercession ought to concern not only protection from illness but that God would remove every hindrance to ministry and the gathering of believers, also that believers would see opportunities and find favor in serving the afflicted.
We are now praying daily at 12:00 noon Eastern Time. For God’s pace in the midst of the pandemic.
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