Today’s input comes from a national believer based in Prague who has also served in mission in multiple different countries, including among one of Europe’s least evangelized groups. This nation has a great legacy in John Hus and the Moravians, but in recent decades has felt very spiritually dry, with atheism prominent. Are times changing?
It has been tremendous to see many prayer initiatives come up as if the CoVid-19 pandemic is a call to prayer. There is, as I can feel, a growing sense in the Czech church that God is preparing us for something ahead that we do not see yet – something we would not believe even when we were told (Habakkuk 1:5). I imagine it as a great table where all the nations are invited to a feast! Please pray into the following:
1) Our greatest weapon is the presence of Jesus and the joy and peace He carries.
2) It is an opportunity to see and show who we really are without our normal activities – we will see the real character of the church in the presence of Jesus we carry.
3) It is an opportunity not to just give tasks to God through prayer but seek the heart of God for ourselves and our nation.
4) It is an opportunity to see those who are having to work especially hard in this period and to share their burden.
5) It is an opportunity to see that material things do not have much value and to be confronted with the worthlessness of things that really do not belong in our lives.
6) It is an opportunity to spend time with those close to us, so that we can learn to appreciate the value of relationships and community again.
7) There is a lot of space for non-institutional spirituality in our culture. In the Czech Republic, there seems to be a crisis of trust in institutions in general, so people do not consider it necessary to belong to the institution of the church. This attitude has a deeper root – especially against mainstream Catholicism that historically has seemed to oppress religious minorities and demanded conformity to preserve the current social order and its own religious hegemony. However, in my opinion, people also need institutions like the church – so many people here do not know how to pray, how to read their Bibles, and how to live the Christian life. The coronavirus crisis is an opportunity for institutions be reformed.
8) There are a lot of addicted people who cannot get what they strive for – let this crisis be an opportunity for them to encounter the total sufficiency of Jesus.