By Mike Ruffin
Our world community is dealing with an outbreak of the deadly virus that we call Ebola.
Lead us to repent of our sins that have contributed to the spread of this disease and to the deaths of so many people. We have over the decades allowed pride, hatred, and apathy to lead to wars with their attendant breakdowns in society so that some West African nations lack the health care services to deal adequately with the Ebola outbreak. We have over the centuries followed policies and engaged in practices in Africa that have contributed to the ongoing disruption of societies there and that have led to our failure to understand the societal context within which this disease has broken out and must be dealt with.
While we cannot undo the past, lead our nation and the nations of the world to do all that we can to make restitution for the ways in which we have contributed to Africa’s problems; help us to develop and to follow policies that will respect the people of Africa and that will contribute to an appropriate progress that is found and furthered by the people themselves.
In the meantime, help us to do everything that we can do to deal with the immediate crisis.
Thank you for those courageous medical professionals who are working at the front lines to help those who are sick and to try to stem the spread of the disease. Protect those who are putting their lives on the line to help those who are suffering. Inspire others to hear and to answer the call to go.
Thank you for the researchers who are working to find cures for and vaccines against Ebola and other deadly diseases. Lead them down the right paths and bless their efforts with discovery.
We have one confirmed case of Ebola here in the United States and we cannot help but be concerned because of it. Thank you for the systems and structures we have that make it unlikely that we will experience an epidemic. Help our leaders to take the right steps to increase our protection.
But Lord, please don’t let us succumb to fear; don’t let us be motivated by our fears to be less than you make it possible for us to be in our attitudes and in our actions. Let our faith override our fears; let our compassion override our anxieties; let our concern for all override our concern for us.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
And make us instruments of your peace …
Michael Ruffin is pastor of First Baptist Church, Fitzgerald, Ga. This prayer first appeared on his blog Prayer 365.