5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis – Rachel Jones

5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis (5 Things) by Rachel Jones
Also by this author: A Brief Theology of Periods (Yes, Really): An Adventure for the Curious Into Bodies, Womanhood, Time, Pain and Purpose - And How to Have a Better Time of the Month, A Brief Theology of Periods (Yes, Really)
Series: 5 Things #7
on May 5, 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Devotional, Christian Life
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The coronavirus pandemic has left most of us feeling unsettled, concerned and very aware of human frailty. It has driven many of us to our knees, but it is such an overwhelming problem that many of us are unsure how to pray, or what for.

This little book has been written specifically to help Christians in this season. Each spread takes a passage of Scripture and suggests 5 things to pray from it so that we can pray in line with God’s will. When we pray in line with God’s priorities, we know that our prayers will be powerful—they really will change things.

These prayer prompts will help you to pray for such things as comfort in loneliness, peace in anxiousness, patience in frustration, wisdom in uncertainty and hope in grief. They will also help you to pray for family who you cannot visit, those who are sick and those looking after them, the vulnerable members of your community, your church, your government and the opportunities that this crisis presents for God’s kingdom to grow.

“They’re like those Christian Y2K books that came out in 1999, but this time it’s actually based on a real thing.” – That’s becoming my go-to tagline for anyone asking me why I’m reading so many of what I’m calling “coronabooks.” John Piper has one. Walter Brueggemann has one. N.T. Wright is releasing one. I might even release one before this is all over.

Adding to the pile is 5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis, written by Rachel Jones as part of the 5 Things to Pray booklet series. These books are pocket-sized, about ninety pages, and meant to be read before daily prayer. Other volumes include ones focused on your kids, your church, your city, etc. You get the idea.

As such, 5 Things to Pray in a Global Crisis is timely to COVID19 and written as a response to COVID19, but it actually transcends the discussion—and all of the political, medical, economic, and sociological rhetoric that comes with it—to talk about our response to it on a spiritual level. This isn’t about social distancing or whether we should open up or if Democrats are tanking the economy. It doesn’t try to answer impossible theological questions about God’s sovereignty in all this or precisely what beauty will be made from these ashes. It simply says “Hey. Things are rough. Here’s how you direct your prayers.”

The five things listed in the book to pray for are:

  1. My Heart
  2. My Family
  3. The Response
  4. My Church
  5. Kingdom Growth

The bulk of the book is on “My Heart” where there are prayers for times of anxiety, loneliness, frustration, uncertainty, confusion, and grief. In all, the five sections are divided into 21 different prayer suggestions. The suggestions are simple and navigate the minefield of various political and medical beliefs in a nonbiased and nonpartisan way.

Some have cast a critical eye on the whole endeavor of coronabooks, seeing it as a cash grab. Others have been more benevolent, seeing these books as attempts of Christian thinkers to address the public in their usual fashion. But it is difficult to address such a fluid topic in such a static form. Five Things to Pray in a Global Crisis avoids the issues of these previous books by not focusing on the pandemic but what to pray through it—offering neither questions nor answers nor commentary, but simply giving us a template to pray through when we ‘re faced with things unprecedented in our lives.