In coronavirus crisis, prayer is also a good investment

Disaster relief often costs billions – but prayer doesn’t cost a dime

A bipartisan relief bill intended to help combat the escalating toll of the coronavirus is expected to be debated in the United States Senate this week, just days after the House of Representatives passed the legislation early Saturday morning.

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Pledging to marshal the full power and resources of the United States government, President Trump and members of both political parties are promising to spend whatever it takes to protect the American people from this highly infectious virus.

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I'm grateful for their cooperative commitment. As Republicans and Democrats vow to invest billions in the effort, though, I would like to encourage them to remember that dollars aren't the only resources to invest in this all-out race to battle the coronavirus.

Prayer is also a powerful investment – and a resource that promises to pay dividends long after the petitions are offered.

That's why I'm grateful to President Trump for calling for Sunday as a National Day of Prayer. In times of trial, our nation has a wonderful history of bringing its many needs to the Creator of the world, humbly and expectantly asking him to intercede on our behalf.

Disaster relief often costs billions – but prayer doesn’t cost a dime. Yes, it may cost us some time – but the return on our investment is extraordinary.

As fear and uncertainty continue to rattle nerves and roil the global financial markets, this declaration of prayer is the right call – at the right time.

"To get nations back on their feet, we must first get down on our knees," the late Dr. Billy Graham once said.

The famed evangelist, who served as a spiritual adviser to every president starting with Harry Truman, spoke passionately about the power and practicality of prayer.

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Whenever a president calls the nation to pray, political party labels should fade away. Our current crisis shouldn't be politicized – it should be prayed over and not just on Sunday, but every day.

Disaster relief often costs billions – but prayer doesn’t cost a dime. Yes, it may cost us some time – but the return on our investment is extraordinary.

The Bible exhorts us to "seek the peace and prosperity of the city."

Who could possibly oppose such a thing?

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Personally, I've seen prayer completely change impossible circumstances. The current crisis we’re in certainly fits such a description.

In fact, in looking at our current lot, I'm reminded of Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Storm on the Sea of Galilee." It was the legendary painter's only seascape, and it dramatically captures the moment right before Jesus calms the turbulent waters.

I’ve seen prayer completely change impossible circumstances. The current crisis we’re in certainly fits such a description.

If you were to examine the painting, you would notice there are fourteen people in the boat. This is a curious thing, especially since the biblical account reveals that Jesus and his twelve disciples are in the vessel. Who is the fourteenth person?

Rembrandt painted himself in the boat – intended, I believe, to emphasize that we're all in the boat together. We’re all being tossed about by the waves. Yet, by appealing to a higher power, we have nothing to fear, as long as we put our faith in Him.

Prayer is the best response to turmoil and trouble and the best investment we could ever make. It calms us. It centers us. And it connects us to our Creator.

Jim Daly is president of Focus on the Family and author of  “The Good Dad: Becoming the Father You Were Meant to Be.” 

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