DES MOINES, Iowa — The governor of Iowa has declared Thursday a Day of Prayer in the state, as she called upon residents to take time to pray for those affected by the novel coronavirus and that God would use the people to serve others in a time of need.
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the proclamation on Wednesday, as well the 59th annual Iowa Prayer Breakfast, which aired entirely online this year and featured various remoted speakers, including a message from Jim Garlow of Skyline Church of La Mesa, California.
“The power of prayer and faith in God is something that has guided so many of us in good times and bad,” she said in a statement.
“We have all been impacted by COVID-19. Some of us have lost a loved one and others know those who are sick,” Reynolds noted. “Whether you are a nurse on the front lines of fighting the pandemic, a grocery store worker at the register, or the truck driver delivering a shipment, or someone laid off at home, this has been a challenging and stressful time. Let us join together and pray for our neighbors, communities and state.”
The governor spoke to the public this morning and thanked the prayer breakfast committee for finding a way to continue the event this year, outlining that for more than 50 years, the breakfast has been “glorifying Jesus Christ through the public affirmation of His sovereignty over our state and our nation.”
She also pointed to Isaiah 41:10 as her source of comfort in the midst of hardship: “Fear thou not, for I am with thee. Be not dismayed, for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee. Yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Reynold’s proclamation likewise cites Scripture in encouraging residents in the midst of the pandemic.
“God’s word teaches us to ‘Rejoice in our confident hope, be patient in trouble and keep on praying,'” it states.
“Throughout our history, Iowans have found peace, strength, and unity through prayer to God in humbly asking for His strength during times of difficulty,” the proclamation reads. “Prayer provides peace that surpasses all understanding and wisdom in times of crisis and conflict, turning us to God for His comfort and blessed assurance.”
Reynolds said that as this is a time when the Passover is remembered, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, she wanted to “encourage all Iowans to unite in prayer and ask God to comfort and bless all severely impacted” by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Specifically, she urged residents pray that God would “protect medical care workers, first responders and all who are serving during this crisis; to grant wisdom, courage and strength to our local, state and national leaders; and give us all the hands and hearts to be generous with our time, skills, and resources to serve our neighbors within and alongside the many churches, non-profits, businesses, and other organizations providing relief.”
One group has already taken issue with the proclamation, as television station KCRG reports that the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa remarked in a statement, “The governor should focus on the best practices in public health to ensure the safety and well-being of all Iowans, not the practices of any religion. Promoting religious practices is the role of faith leaders, not elected officials.”
Isaiah 55:7 reads, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
Hosea 6:1 also states, “Come and let us return unto the Lord, for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.”