Exploring new ways to encourage each other
3 MINUTE READ
The COVID -19 pandemic has brought many challenges and disruptions that have impacted our lives in multiple ways. Nevertheless, these times of lockdown have allowed Christian communities to commence, engage and persist in exploring newer ways to encourage each other, especially through the use of social media, apps and, in particular, Zoom meetings.
An excellent example of this has been the Christian Medical and Dental Fellowship of Australia (CMDFA) NSW weekly Zoom prayer meeting. This Friday night meeting has been held via Zoom weekly since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Email Ern Crocker to learn more about this meeting and engage, support and pray as you are able.
A lesser-known example that has brought much shared encouragement is the nightly Zoom prayer meeting of HealthServe Australia (HSA), a CMDFA partner.
HSA – Flattening the COVID-19 Curve Prayer Group
The HSA prayer initiative is titled the “HSA Flattening the COVID-19 Curve Prayer Group”. This began mid-March 2020 and commences each night at 1900 AEST/ AEDST on https://zoom.us/j/292539001. All are welcome, and no passcode is required. The sessions usually last less than thirty minutes. We have prayed for healthcare workers and those affected by COVID-19; we praise God, and pray for good health for family and friends; we pray for physical, emotional and spiritual health. This daily prayer gathering continues now well into its third year. Some attend nightly, others may join once or twice a week, and others as they are led.
“This daily prayer gathering continues now well into its third year. Some attend nightly, others may join once or twice a week, and others as they are led.”
Over this time, we have learnt much about prayer. Prayer fulfils a need in our hearts to communicate with the God who made, maintains, and gives us life. Prayer with others has been a great resource in strengthening a sense of community and friendship amongst all who participate. Prayer is a time and place of rest and re-creation. Prayer captures and foreshadows experiences of the new Kingdom and a new Sabbath.
We commence each session with a time of welcome, then we share a reading from the Scriptures. We have over these two+ years read several books of scripture in their entirety – Psalms, Acts, the Gospels, letters and the prophets. Then we praise God for his revelation from each passage. We loosely follow the prayerful structure of A.C.T.S. = adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.
Much prayer has been directed to the challenges of COVID-19 at both personal and community global levels. We have prayed for wider Christian ministries such as the Saline Process, CMDFA and Nurses Christian Fellowship Australia (NCFA). More recently we have prayed for the sadness and distress of Ukraine.
“We have also learnt a great deal of the many blessings that come to those who pray.”
We have learnt much about our triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We have learnt much about each other as we serve and pray. We have also learnt a great deal of the many blessings that come to those who pray.
As Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV),
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Dr. Michael Burke Dr. Michael Burke envisions global health transformed by accessible, compassionate and high quality health care for all. Michael is committed to whole person medicine – seeking spiritual, emotional and physical health for everyone. He is an Associate Professor at Western Sydney University and the executive officer of HealthServe Australia. Michael enjoys the Psalms, birdwatching and his family.