- “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:23-24).
- “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5: 14-15).
- Jesus: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven” (Luke 21: 10-11).
- “And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth” (Revelation 6:8).
We might as well pray for world peace when scriptures say nation will rise up against nations (Mark 13:7, Luke 21:10, Rev. 6:4, Rev. 6:8.).
Before Christ returns and ushers in God’s judgment and a new kingdom, there are end-time “birth pangs” which will increase in severity and frequency as the Day of The Lord draws nearer. These birth pangs (wars, earthquakes, famines, pestilences and lawlessness) are akin to severe labour pains of a mother about to give birth to a baby where the frequency and severity of uterine contractions progressively increases until the baby is pushed out from the birth canal.
- “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ This phrase, ‘Yet once more,’ indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain” (Hebrews 12:26-27).
But does that mean we do not pray in times like this viral pandemic? No. We can pray for God’s protection for ourselves and others, pray for God's comfort to be upon those who have lost loved ones to the virus, pray for the welfare of the front line and relief workers, pray for our leaders and healthcare workers—for wisdom to contain and mitigate the outbreak.
We can also humbly plead and pray that God in His mercy will shorten the course of the pandemic and ameliorate its effects. But we cannot override His sovereignty by commanding or decreeing that He stop the pandemic. God is not our butler or errand boy. Didn’t He say that pestilences such as this contagion will happen in the end times?
What is clear is that we cannot pray against something (read pestilence) which is explicitly stated in scriptures (an unavoidable end-time event) and order it to cease.