man praying wearing flu mask
So far, church communities in the West have been largely unaffected by the disease. But that could change at any moment.

As the coronavirus continues to fan fears of an impending pandemic, some government officials are turning to a familiar ally for combating dangerous threats: prayer.

And while many people around the world believe in the power of prayer, certain countries are taking things a step further, arguing that faith can actually provide immunity from the disease.

Chief among these pious officials is Indonesian health minister Terawan Agus Putranto, who insists the planet's most populous Muslim nation has so far avoided a coronavirus outbreak on the power of prayer alone. The former military doctor scoffed at Harvard researchers who've theorized that the disease almost certainly has reached Indonesia, it just hasn’t been tested for yet. He called these claims “insulting.”

“If there are other countries protesting [our approach], just let them; it is our nation’s right to rely on the Almighty,” Putranto declared. “Why should we be ashamed of relying on the Almighty? We should not be ashamed of praying.”

But the official tally still holds Indonesia’s cases of COVID-19 at zero. If that’s really the case, is Allah responsible, or is it just pure luck?

God(s) Will

It's worth noting that Muslims aren’t alone in claiming that divine assistance is on the way; faith leaders in Jerusalem are also attempting to harness the power of prayer to protect their people.

“As Jews, we believe that God has the power to send healing," declared Rabbi Avi Berman, one of about a thousand Jews who stood before the Western Wall in Jerusalem to pray for a coronavirus cure, reciting prayers in both Hebrew and Mandarin for the many Chinese victims. "We are not doctors, but we can pray.”

Not to be outdone, Christians are jumping on board as well. Nebraska pastor Hank Kunneman of One Voice Ministries has prophesized that the U.S. will ultimately be spared on account of, among other things, the government’s support of Israel and pro-life legislation. An excerpt from the sermon in question:

“Listen to the words that I speak to you at this moment, says the Living God. I have extended and opened a window of mercy to this nation at this time. Therefore the virus that they speak of, the prognostication, the diagnosis — my mercy is the quarantine that shall be greater than what they have spoken to you, United States.

Because of the administration that stands in this land, who honors me, who honors the covenants of your forefathers and of the Constitution, and because they have aligned themselves with Israel, and because they have sided on the right side of life — life in the womb, life given outside of the womb — therefore I give life to this nation, and I give mercy.”

Church Contagion

So far, church communities in the West have been largely unaffected by the disease. But that could change at any moment, as evidenced by the large outbreak of coronavirus which originated in the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a controversial megachurch in South Korea.

Cases have since exploded in the southern city of Daegu, home of the group’s headquarters. More than 9,000 church members are under quarantine. Officials say many of the cases stemmed from one woman, a so-called “super spreader,” who continued to attend events and services despite feeling ill.

“To them, getting sick is a sin because it prevents them from doing God’s work,” explains Christian Portal News founder Chung Yun-seok.

Ironically, as faith leaders are calling for prayer to stop the spread of the virus, health officials are advising people that one of the best things they can do to fight the disease is avoid large gatherings – like church services.

If there is a God (or gods) you plan to pray to during this time, it sounds like those prayers would be safest to perform at home.

49 comments

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    No. If this could cure disease there would be a lot of people walking around right now that are actually out in the graveyards

    1. Paul J. Fumero's Avatar Paul J. Fumero

      For most people 99.999% prayer is just wishful thinking.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      It's like the man who prayed for God to save him, sitting on top of his house in a flood. A boat came along, and the crew offered to help, but he refused, and told them he was waiting for God to rescue him. Faith without works is dead. However, relying on science without doing any praying might not work as well. Spell casting might help too, but I wouldn't count on it. Those who are inclined to pray might ask their deities to bestow scientists with the knowledge and wisdom to find a cure. If they do you can blame it on prayer, and if they don't you can say it wasn't God's will. That way you can kill two birds with one stone.

    3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      It's like the man who prayed for God to save him, sitting on top of his house in a flood. A boat came along, and the crew offered to help, but he refused, and told them he was waiting for God to rescue him. Faith without works is dead. However, relying on science without doing any praying might not work as well. Spell casting might help too, but I wouldn't count on it. Those who are inclined to pray might ask their deities to bestow scientists with the knowledge and wisdom to find a cure. If they do you can blame it on prayer, and if they don't you can say it wasn't God's will. That way you can kill two birds with one stone.

    4. Patricia Ann Wileman's Avatar Patricia Ann Wileman

      I see nothing wrong with praying for this to stop sooner. This is getting near the end of times and yet so many people think there is no God and he can do nothing. There is also another who is the god of the earth and he is Satan. So I kind of laugh at the few of you that think prayer means nothing because that’s exactly what Satan wants you to think. The most important thing is to have faith in God and it sounds like a lot of you don’t have any. However God gave each and everyone of us free choice to trust and believe and have faith in Him. for a supposedly Christian site I really have a problem with everybody that has what they have to say here.

      If you want to be of the world that’s your choice. if you want to be of God and his world we need to change a few things. But I know where I’m going and I don’t know the exact time or why I might die and neither do you. But in the end I know where I’m going to be and it’s going to be OK so y’all have a good day. And it wouldn’t hurt if you take the time to read the Bible little bit every day. Then maybe we have a few more facts not just opinion.

      1. Tom's Avatar Tom

        This isn't a Christian website or church. It's non-denominational and inclusive of all faiths.

        1. Karsten S. A. Johansson's Avatar Karsten S. A. Johansson

          Universal Life Church Monastery. It is a church, but it is more universal than any specific ideology of what it means to be a Christian (provided that is your path to salvation at all).

          Otherwise you are correct that we do understand that God isn't a magic spirit available for your every whim and fancy. That would be more like sorcery. Praying for God to save the entire world is perhaps a little extreme, given that the Bible and most other holy books specify that these things are going to happen. Christians should note how Jesus prayed. He even commanded "When you pray, pray like this..." before presenting a prayer that doesn't mention Mary and doesn't beg for global miracles.

          Instead of praying for this to all go away (which clearly isn't His will, or otherwise it would just go away without your pleading), pray for forgiveness and start helping others survive this as well as you should in His name. Show others the power of God instead of hounding him to fix it all on your behalf.

  1. James Grainger's Avatar James Grainger

    If prayer could cure any disease, if could cure all the problems of the world. Unfortunately, man has been praying for several millennium, and No Answer.

    1. Karsten S. A. Johansson's Avatar Karsten S. A. Johansson

      The book of Job makes it very clear that it is God Himself who ASKS Satan, the persecutor, to test Job's faith, and continually gives Satan permission and power to make Job's life completely awful. That is Satan's God-given power over mankind. You'll note how God and Satan are definitely not enemies in this book - Satan was doing God's work. And in the end, God considered it a huge success.

      Having said that (which surely will ruffle some feathers) Job didn't pray it all away or blame things on Satan, the Chinese, or anyone/anything else. He kept the faith. And that's how Job prevailed. Even when he lost EVERYTHING. God never once pitied Job during all those "challenges", but He was satisfied that Job kept active in his faith throughout.

      Praying for all this to go away makes a mockery of what the Book of Job tells us about how God operates and what He expects from us.

  1. Herbert Moore's Avatar Herbert Moore

    I suppose one should not discount the possible placebo effect.

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      They've got to have a name of a medicine to call a placebo before they can administer it.

  1. Deborah J Crowley's Avatar Deborah J Crowley

    I totally agree with Ronald! Trust God! I have prayed for and received many blessings over the years. I trust God to give me what I need to complete his plan for me and to comfort me when life goes the wrong way. Cannot say it any better - Trust God!!

  1. Tom's Avatar Tom

    Respectfully...the answer is No....God is not to give you things...we can guve cimoassuin and love; it does not work to ask for it...Peace...Tom B

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Spoken like a Christian, but us Wiccans know better than that. There is great power in words, when said the right way, iether through personal power, or through various discarnate entities, iether on their own, or as intercessors,bor directly through our deities. For anyone to just spout off the words of a prayer it's not likely to work, but for someone with proper training in prayer, or magick, or the healing arts, then prayer will most likely be of some benefit. Even then, don't expect it to heal the whole world, simply because it hasn't yet.

      1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

        Even so, they know it isn't prayer alone. They tend to include a more natural medicine wherever possible. Most of those I know understand there are limits and that more modern, conventional treatments are sometimes necessary.

        1. Karsten S. A. Johansson's Avatar Karsten S. A. Johansson

          Jesus healed a blind fellow by putting spit and mud in his eye. Not just words. Some practical medicine, a prayer for guidance and a miracle, and then God's will is manifest.

          He also said several times that you won't always understand what God's will even is. But you can be certain these global issues don't happen without God at the helm.

          Are we being tested like Job? If so, we need to respond more like Job did.

  1. Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls's Avatar Minister Carlos Ricardo Walls

    I'm a firm believer in prayer.However we may require some assistance from modern medicine and science.I read that a Harvard scientist said this corona virus could possibly affect 70% of humanity,

    1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      That's pure speculation, Carlos. It's irrational to project negative outcomes based solely on conjecture. That will only lead to a lot of uncalled for stress. And being stressed - out can weaken a person's immune system. And that could cause a person to be more susceptible to illness.

  1. CB's Avatar CB

    Prayer has been known to cure. As for this being an actual virus, there is evidence that there has been a huge con going on so the pharmaceutical companies can make boatloads of money. If anyone is really interested, let me know.

    1. Mark Hannon's Avatar Mark Hannon

      Did you hear that the Flat Earth guy got blown up with his rocket?

      1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

        Mark - Out of curiosity, how is that relevant to the topic of the Novel Corona Virus? Was it not the steam missile crashing which killed him, anyway?

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          I suspect it is because there tends to be a fair bit of overlap between zealots,evangelicals, flat earthers, creationists, and conspiracy theory nut jobs.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      I wouldn't be at all surprised, CB. It's all about money and freed, and they do it every chance they get. Just like Y2K,band those computer generated pictures of melting polar ice caps, etc., the list goes on. Those people might all have the regular flu, and we'll paid off experts could be calling it something else. If they paid me enough I'd fool the world, too. And in my case, it wouldn't have to be much. I could always tell God (and the jury) that the devil made me do it. Just food for thought.

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    Hmmm, it would have to be a Chinese prayer...sorry, I had to say it. Let me shed a little light on this. First, CB you are not far off from your reasoning, but it is a little darker than that. The virus in question was ENGINEERED in a lab which surprise, surprise is located in the very town in China where the first reports of it began. The creators actually put a damn patent on it. The how it got lose is a little sketchy. Some reports say it was stolen, others say that one of the lab gurus got unknowingly infected and exposed the town. I put belief in that last one. It did NOT come from the open air markets as those have existed in China for over a thousand years. Their entire culture is based on those town markets. So, the only question is, why the hell are scientists still creating deadly viruses? What ever the reason, the Chinese government is responsible for this one. As far as prayer is concerned, it will not cure it but it will not hurt either. Peace.

    1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Brien - Pardon my skepticism, but do you have any legitimate/substantiated sources with citation to show that it was something engineered in a lab and not a virus out of nature? Remember when they said the same thing about the HIV/AIDS issue, too?

      Placing a patent on a virus is solely for research organizations can use it in its current state.

      1. Brien's Avatar Brien

        All initial reports were scrubbed by homeland security. The who and how of its' creation is widely known but a lock down was placed on that info, supposedly to head off panic. Pages on the web that contained this info, from several different sources have been taken down. I have no doubt that they were researching this, hence the patent, but in order to place a patent, or research hold, you must fully identify the organism in question. In short, you have to create the damn thing to patent it. It is alot easier for people in the USA to believe that it was caused by open air meat markets than to be told that this was created just because they could. If you feel that you need to defend China, I will not stop you. I have followed this from the very beginning when this info was leaked out. Unfortunately I did not take any screen shots or record any of the initial reports. You may believe what you wish.

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          You are very wrong, for example the myriad strains of HIV and the so called modern super AIDs virus are all patented by a wide variety of companies relating to which ones are doing the research and creating the cocktails used to fight said numerous strains.

          One does not have to create a virus or bacteria to patent it, just be the first one to file for it with a given specific strain.

    2. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

      Great story, Brien. Try selling it to the National Enquirer. I think I saw something similar on the X - Files.

    3. Thunder's Avatar Thunder

      Interesting to note those who ridicules out of ignorance, versus those who bother to do some research on the subject beforehand. Seems to be a consistent trend across blog posts.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuhan_Institute_of_Virology#2019%E2%80%9320_coronavirus_outbreak

      Covid-19 also seems to have some extremely unlikely segments of HIV proteins smack in the middle of it's genome.

      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.30.927871v1

      Hence

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/07/china-trials-anti-hiv-drug-coronavirus-patients

      Otherwise, the denials of the Chinese government and their reps aren't very credible considering the priority China places on "saving face" versus being up front and honest about their failures. That doesn't prove anything, but it does make claims by Chinese officials highly suspect at best.

      Not to mention their active censorship of the topic.

      https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/08/803766743/critics-say-china-has-suppressed-and-censored-information-in-coronavirus-outbrea

      Similarly Western officials would be very hesitant to make any claims they can't substantiate and which might insight conflict with the Chinese.

      Bottom line is, the first evidence of outbreak occurred in a live animal & fish market 300 yards from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where Dr. Peng Zhou works who specializes in coronavirus infections in bats (the very animal covid-19 is said to originate from). That's a mighty big coincidence if you ask me.

      Anyway, apart from coronavirus itself, this post and comments are a great example of the difference between a skeptic and someone who's simply opinionated.

  1. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

    This is exactly why so many theocracies are dangerous. Sadly, prayer for self is of a placebic effect at best. Intercessory prayer has proven quite the opposite, not working far more than working.

    I would be interested in learning what governments would say that prayer does work. I doubt even the Vatican, representing Catholic Christianity would say that.

  1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

    Funny how we have some saying this is clearly a new plague by god to punish the sinners. And some are saying its clearly the devils work and we must pray to stop it.

    Talk an internal schism in a so called single faith like Christianity.

  1. The Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti's Avatar The Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti

    What is the harm in praying? God helps those who help themselves. We are given intellect and we are expected to use it for good, which includes solving complex and challenging problems that affect many people. We live in God's creation and He is calling the shots. We do the best we can to do our duty. If one becomes ill, prayer can help during the tough times. Prayer cannot change God's will, which always prevails. However, maybe it is God's will to pray and recover. As we know from the statistics so far, most people who had the virus have recovered. The article ends with "prayers would be safest to perform at home." Actually, some of the most effective prayers are performed at home by individuals praying in private. It can be a great source of inner strength to face the evils of life.

    1. CB's Avatar CB

      Thank you - very well said!

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    I wonder what Sir Lionheart thinks about all this.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    Here I am Carl. Don’t you just love this Monastery Blog? I know I do! The moderators must have a wail of a time finding these articles for us to delve into. I’m hoping they get as much out of our comments as we all do submitting them.

    I loved reading Marion Ceruti’s fallacious comments though suggesting this is his gods will. If that somehow was to be true I would suggest staying away from his god. His god seems to have a very weird sick mean streak. He stated prayer cannot change his gods will, so there is absolutely no point in praying to his god, whichever that one is. If staying away from large gatherings will help, such as churches, the odds of my not getting this virus has just gone up exponentially 😜. I am still not sure how talking to a wall, floor, or ceiling, would help eradicate this virus anyway, but anything is worth a shot I guess in the religious world. Is it time for me to get skyclad and get my old athame out Carl, and cast myself a protective circle from this virus? Just kidding!

    🦁❤️

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    It could possibly help , Lionheart, and certainly wouldn't hurt, as long as you' re not skyclad in a public place. I can't swear to the reason for it, but I haven't had the flu in twenty years, and sixteen years before that, despite the fact that I've never had a flu shot. So, I guess I'm doing something right. As a kid, nobody in our family ever missed a year without once getting the flu. And the worst part about it was whenever I stayed home from school for whatever reason, during school hours I was required to watch PBS. And that meant a lot of Sesame Street, Electric Company, and Mr. Rogers' fabulous neighborhood.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    P.S. Did I mention that I've never had a flu shot...but I do take my vitamins, and other nutritional supplements, but only the right amounts of the right kinds. However, if someone who's known to have the Corona virus ever comes to my door and coughs on me, I'll not only put a curse on him, but will probably shoot him. Us Texans are good about things like that.

  1. Ronald George Appel's Avatar Ronald George Appel

    trust GOD

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I don’t think you finished your sentence. Trust god to do what, and which man made god are you referring to Sir Ronald? Just asking!

      🦁❤️

  1. James Thomas Daughton's Avatar James Thomas Daughton

    As some have said, praying cant hurt; however, a government cannot rely on prayer and action by the meducal and science community is required. To me, government prayer is no more than a duversion from action that is needed.

  1. Frederick Richard Sneathern's Avatar Frederick Richard Sneathern

    Prayer is fine, Yes it is helpful. But, remember to follow all safety and hygiene precautions. Wash your hands many times a day, ware a mask when you go out, stay away from those that maybe sick. Remember GOD help those that help themselves !

    " A man prayed for years to win the lotto, but never won, When he got to heaven, the man said lord, I was good, worked very hard to feed my family. Life was most difficult, Why didn't you help me win the Lotto? I prayed every week. The Lord said; I heard your prayers. But, you could have help me out a little and at least bought a lotto ticket ."

  1. Chaz Aliosha Harriott's Avatar Chaz Aliosha Harriott

    "Provide immunity from the disease" The placebo

  1. Albert A Hernandez's Avatar Albert A Hernandez

    Despite all the rhetoric going on, a "virus" cannot be stopped no matter what you do. And despite all the unbelief in God, only divine intervention will save us.

    As the saying goes: "Science goes only so far; then comes GOD."

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      I’m not sure what divine intervention really means, so perhaps you can educate me as to what you are referring to, and how whatever it is will save us. If it’s the same intervention that never happened for those involved in the holocaust, or those thousands that died during the tsunami of 2004, I think we can forget any possibility of any intervention apart from science and common sense.

      🦁❤️

      1. Albert A Hernandez's Avatar Albert A Hernandez

        The believer in GOD believes that GOD is in control and can save us from any storm in life. The unbeliever is already dead. Divine intervention means when GOD gets involved. In the Holocaust and the Tsunami, obviously GOD was not involved; HE let it happen.

        As for the virus that is going around and causing panic, I repeat, it CANNOT be stopped no matter what they do. Like any virus, it must take its course until it fades and goes away. If your immune system is strong enough, you can survive it. If you're sick, you are a high risk for death. There is no vaccine to cure a virus. You can only treat it symptomatically. The measures being taken to avert the Coronavirus are extreme; they will NOT work. People will just suffer more and many more will simply die. That's why our only real hope is, yes, GOD. See 2 CHRONICLES 7:14.

        Dr. Albert A. Hernandez, D. Div., Ph. D.

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Well, of course your comment is fallacious with no evidence whatsoever that any god exists. The unbeliever could, and more than likely is, not dead at all but in fact is in real control of the truth. Until you can prove your claim that your god is real we have to assume he isn’t. But they are interesting stories in that old book aren’t they?

          🦁❤️

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    An update to my opinions here: I wish to thank the CDC and the news media for creating unwarranted fear and panic. People are now out of work, businesses have closed and for some reason the rest of the lemmings are stocking up for the end of the world. And what is causing this? A damn virus, just like all the other damn viruses. I do not remember the country shutting down for the swine flu, it killed people too. Elderly, young infants, and people with compromised immune systems need attention, JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER DAMN VIRUS. The rest of us just freaking deal with it like any other virus. Masks WILL NOT prevent you from getting it, in fact, the only reason to wear a mask is if YOU HAVE IT. Just what the hell is wrong with you people? This just proves something I have always believed...the general public is fearful, panicky, and willing to be lead by the nose. Because of your stupidity, I and many others are now out of work. I have never been ashamed of this country until now. Get up, pull your brains out of your ass and stop with the media driven false panic.

  1. Chela Murillo's Avatar Chela Murillo

    I deemed it important to let the world know about a man who cured me of HIV/AIDS, he is Dr. Iyabiye, and I never take it seriously when I first saw his recommendation online. I reached out to him not because I believed it but because my finances was running dry for buying HIV/aids Antiretroviral drugs to slow down the viral load all the time. But behold I got cured after the treatment. I went for checkup just as the doctor instructed and I was tested negative. Here are his contacts if anyone wish to reach him for help: +234-815-857-7300, iyabiyehealinghome@gmail.com

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    It works as long as no brings in COVID-19 into the country. For me. I'm on a computer, on top of a mountain, in a cave at the far end of its seal large iron doors. Any where else on this remote island in the middle of the Pacfic ocean so one could land, climb the mountain find the cave open the large iron doors by picking the lock and breath upon me. Then if he has the COVID-19 I will mostly contract it. Did I mention the snakes? Maybe?

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