NOW MORE THAN EVER!
As we can see and realize this Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, at least not for us here in these United States. Thank God for areas like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut where the curve has been flattened and things genuinely seem to be on the downward trend, especially in the last few weeks. For this we certainly give God the praise, the honor and the glory. We do believe the storm is passing over. Yet we must pray for areas and the States where there has been a serious trend in cases upward. Church, we cannot afford to stop praying or take a break from our prayer closet. We must pray even more now than ever. Satanic mischief may quieten for a while, but the powers of darkness remain intent on wreaking as much destruction as they possibly can especially, in these closing days of times. Instead of drawing back, we resolutely push ahead as we wage war against the evil forces of darkness.
The Scripture that inescapably draws my attention this week is Acts 10: 1-4. The protagonist of this most interesting passage is a man called Cornelius. Some very interesting things about this man is that at this point in time he was not a born-again Christian. He was a military man (disciplined, trained and rugged) but yet he was a devout man, an extremely generous man, a humble man and most strikingly a praying man (Acts 10:2). He was not saved but devout, God-fearing, conscious of the poor and needy, and you can’t escape Luke’s observation here, that he prayed to God always (Acts 10:2). That military people and those in law enforcement can be godly and upright is borne out by this scripture. Maybe we as a church need to pray more for those who are engaged in the military and protective services to be devout, godly and genuinely prayerful. Is it not true that when one fears God that he/she is more inclined to treat their fellow human beings right, with genuine dignity and respect? It resulted in him taking social action. He was so filled with a sense of God’s awesome presence that he always prayed, regularly, without ceasing, persistently and instantly. He desired and yearned for fellowship and communion with the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient One. May God inspire us to really pray and seek after Him again like Cornelius passionately did.
We cannot get away from this simple yet most profound thought – “. . . and prayed to God always” (v2). This passage causes me to be embarrassed by my prayerlessness especially by someone who was not even really a Christian at that point.
May the Almighty help us to see how much more we need to pray. May we not be out-prayed by others who do not fully know him. Let this church pray like it has never prayed before especially in these times of Covid-19 and much political, social and economic unrest. We take up arms in prayer. We become even more engaged in social action for the betterment of all who are oppressed and marginalized. May we be a church known in heaven for its prayers and alms giving (Acts 10:4). Let us use this pandemic to reorient the real focus of this twenty-first century Church of God of Prophecy regionally and right where you are sent to effectively function locally. By His grace we will! The memorials we seek to establish before God are ones based on incessant prayer and active concern for the poor and needy. This Church must do so now more than ever!
Bishop Leroy V. Greenaway
Presiding Bishop – Northeast Region
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional, Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region