“But his servants caught up with him and said, ‘… if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?”
2 Kings 5:13, The Message
We have prayed for COVID to go away – but it continues to spread.
We have prayed for a return to some degree of normalcy – but it continues to elude us.
We’ve prayed for the scientists who are working feverishly to develop a vaccine – and there have been encouraging reports in recent days.
And now our governor, at the request of a Louisiana pastor, is asking us to pray again.
During this pandemic, if a renowned scientist asked us to do something difficult to help expedite COVID’s exit, we would probably volunteer for the task. I’m asking Louisiana Baptists to respond positively to the governor’s request.
The verse above is from a familiar story in the Old Testament. Naaman was a powerful military figure, but Naaman was a leper. He learned of a person, a prophet who could cure him of this dreaded, incurable disease.
He was expecting the prophet to say something that would cure his leprosy or tell him to do something that would reverse its effects.
Instead, the prophet sent his servant to tell the military leader to go and dip himself in the Jordan rivers seven times and he would be cured. It was a reasonable request.
Today we would say he was “outraged.” He stormed off in the same condition in which he arrived. His servants caught up with him and began to reason with their master. “… if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?”
If you’re familiar with the story, you know Naaman reluctantly followed the prophet’s direction and was healed.
Our governor has requested all the people of faith in Louisiana to join in a season of focused prayer and fasting on July 20-22.
I believe this is a reasonable request and I encourage you to participate as you are able.
I’ve heard people say something along the lines of “I’m so over this,” meaning they are weary of dealing with COVID, the fear it has caused and the interruption it has brought our lives.
We all want COVID to go away. We want our kids to safely go back to school. We want a return to some degree of normalcy, which includes returning to our buildings for worship and Bible study. So Louisiana Baptists, let’s respond positively to this request and join our hearts and our prayers with those around the state on July 20-22.
Let me close with Paul’s charge to the early believers living in Ephesus, which I believe is applicable to our current circumstances, “Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers” – Ephesians 6:18, NLT.