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Pray for Our Economy Amidst the Rising Oil Prices

Pray for Our Economy Amidst the Rising Oil Prices

Since January this year, we’ve seen uninterrupted increases in the price of fuel that prove problematic for consumers and motorists. But recently, oil companies have announced a rollback in the prices of petroleum products. 

As the tension between Russia and Ukraine continues, we expect the downtrend to be reversed. Though the decline in the global oil prices resulted in the latest reduction, it might be temporary. The International Energy Agency warned of a supply shortage as Western countries consider cutting off Russian oil from the rest of the world as part of its sanctions.

The trend in our oil prices shows that nothing in this world is permanent. Sometimes, looking at trends brings fear of the future. Mainly when another crisis follows one breakthrough, this affirms God’s people’s role in chaos, wars, high prices of oil, and worries about the future. Yet, we believe that there will always be a reason to hope.

As God’s people, we know that He will continue to use His Church as salt and light and be a blessing to others. We might feel that what is happening is out of control, but God is in control. Nothing can dethrone God. He is sovereign, and His purposes cannot be thwarted.

We know that God shakes the things that can be shaken, so that only those that cannot be shaken shall remain. This is not the first time we have seen rebuilding after shaking. In Haggai 2:6–8, we can see how God has shaken all nations so that the treasures of all nations shall come in to His house.

“For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.”

While we may not know the time and the season when all of the crises will end, we have the power of the Holy Spirit that enables us to be God’s witnesses in our city, province, nation, and to the ends of the earth. We can be the house of prayer for the nations as a church. We can stand in the gap and continue to declare and proclaim the word of God in our church. 

May we be the people who will bring help and profess hope to our nation. May we be the ones who will rise as an extension of God’s hands and feet to the community. All these things we can do because we understand that God is with us and His peace reigns over us. God is in control, and He knows how everything will end. 

Today, we will pray, not because it is the last resort, but because it is our only resort.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray for the peace of God to rest in our hearts as we go through crises.
  2. Pray for economic recovery despite the rising cost of fuel and goods. 
  3. Pray for boldness to preach the gospel wherever we are and whatever situation we are in.

To learn more about the current situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for Filipinos to Anchor Our Hope in God in Light of the Campaign and Election Season

Pray for Filipinos to Anchor Our Hope in God in Light of the Campaign and Election Season

As the nation officially welcomed the election campaign season, political aspirants braved the pandemic restrictions to seek support across the country. In the news, we see how the pandemic has been shaping opinions and choices that will be made by us, the Filipino people. Social media and public opinion has also been gaining ground as the days go by. The ten candidates who are vying for the highest executive position will be faced with the pressure of economic and post-pandemic recovery. Platforms that will position the country into progressive and inclusive growth are under watch. 

With the outpouring support from people, resentment has also been amplified as colors and parties campaign. Choices have caused rifts in relationships and together with heavy political agendas infiltrating social media, and debates among fellow Filipinos can lead to dissociation among families, friends, colleagues, and church community.

As believers, we must stand against any division and seek unity and reconciliation above anything else the way Jesus prayed to the Father (John 17:21). Despite our political leanings, we have to remember that our identity remains to be the people of God. Our protection and future does not solely depend on the outcome of the elections, but on God alone. Jesus prayed this for His disciples, and this extends to us today: 

“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.”
John 17:15–16 (NIV) 

Our history has witnessed how political powers shift over time. Ratings of different political aspirants go up and down. Even with this temporary and ever-changing news, God remains the same. Whoever wins the election, His sovereignty stands. Let us pray that God’s truth will enable all Filipinos to see beyond campaigns and platforms across media, and for God’s church to remember His mission and mandate despite the political pressures surrounding our nation.  

In a divisive time, let’s pray and declare the fruit of the Spirit to be more evident in us: the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22–23)

We stand our ground in prayer that the election will be truthful, peaceful, and insightful. As the apostle Paul instructed the early church:

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:1–3

On the basis of this, let us pray!

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that we will see our identity as people of God before any political preferences and colors, as we participate in the coming elections. (John 17:16)
  2. Let us declare a spirit of love instead of hate, openness instead of indifference, and humility instead of self-righteousness.
  3. Let us claim God’s unity be upon the body of Christ and our nation. (John 17:21)
  4. Pray that the current election season will build and restore our nation, and allow all Filipinos to find hope in God.

To learn more about the current situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for the Rebuilding of Our Nation

Pray for the Rebuilding of Our Nation

Before 2021 closed, our nation was filled with hope, seeing COVID cases drop and restrictions starting to ease. However, when things seemed to get better, Typhoon Odette hit hard. Internationally named Rai, it was a category 5 super typhoon that severely damaged the islands of Northern Mindanao and major parts of the Visayas, sadly dampening the warmth of the fast-approaching holiday season.

Odette caused massive destruction to infrastructures, properties, crops, and human lives. It brought rains and violent winds that left more than half a million people distraught and displaced. Hospitals and health facilities in these areas were not spared from COVID-19 and the aftermath of the typhoon. 

We were able to extend God’s love and hope to the affected families and communities by providing clean water, generators, and food supplies in different provinces. These, alongside the healthcare services to accommodate the rising COVID cases, are critical to restoring both well-being and productivity in these areas. 

As a nation, we are trying to navigate these challenges and persevere toward the road to recovery once again. These trying times have taken a toll on almost all of us, which have led to various opposing opinions and arguments to circulate across social media.

As a church, we can respond in wisdom, vigilance, and faith, believing that God will ultimately lead us through this season. Let us stand in the gap and pray for our nation.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that all Filipinos will not lose hope and faith in God despite the chaos and confusion around us. 2 Chronicles 7:14 reminds us to humbly call on God for healing and restoration. He alone ultimately holds the welfare of our country and people.
  2. Pray that God will be a source of strength and hope to those around us. May He multiply our resources, so that we can be a blessing to others in this difficult time.
  3. Pray for the economic recovery and rebuilding work in the regions of Visayas and Mindanao, which were heavily affected by typhoon Odette.
  4. Pray for our government leaders, that they may put the needs of our nation first and pursue the welfare of our nation. May they operate in wisdom and rely on God’s strength to serve the Filipino people.

To learn more about the current situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Typhoon Relief Updates

Typhoon Relief Updates

Please keep visiting this page for updates about Victory’s ongoing relief efforts for #OdettePH

 

As of January 28, 2022

As we look forward to 2022 with hope, let’s continue to pray and stand with our fellow countrymen who are still recovering from the onslaught of Typhoon Odette. Because of your generosity, we have continued efforts to bless the communities through our different churches, so they fully recover and rebuild their lives.

Here are the latest updates:

Cebu. Together, we served communities that were severely displaced. On January 8, we blessed 200 families from Barangay Tejero. Through this initiative, we were able to build a partnership with the local barangay, opening up doors to continually minister to young people through our campus ministry and Real LIFE foundation. 

We also partnered with several organizations and agencies in the province to serve different families. In partnership with YGG and the Philippine Army, we sent relief to over 2000 households seeking refuge in the Cebu International Convention Center, Mandaue.

In Lapu-Lapu, we partnered with the Department for the Urban Poor to bless 4200 families in Barangay Mactan alone. We also reached 80 families who haven’t received relief for more than 14 days since the typhoon hit in Barang Umpad and blessed its neighboring community with a generator to help with their power and water supply.

Kabankalan. Despite being severely affected, the call to help brought many individuals and communities together. In less than a week since the relief operations, we were able to serve more than 4,000 families across several barangays. Last December 29, we gave 746 packs of relief to nearby cities and municipalities South of Negros Occidental. We are now providing materials and assistance to rebuild homes for several families in the coming weeks.

Palawan. On January 12, we reached the communities in Roxas, providing relief packs to 200 families. These families are still short on supply, as COVID-19 cases increase across the entire region. 

Surigao. Because it takes months to fully restore power, many people travel just to charge their phones and reach out for help outside Surigao. We gave 95 solar lights and chargers as communities slowly rebuild. We provided assistance to families so they can purchase materials as well.

To help, you can give to Victory PH Relief through the following:

  • GCash

    Simply scan or download the QR code below.



    To receive an acknowledgment receipt, please send a screenshot of your transaction to partners@victory.org.ph.
  • Credit card, online banking, or PayPal

Thank you for generously giving and serving with us, extending God’s love even to places beyond our physical reach.

 


As of December 28, 2021

With nearly 4 million individuals affected across Visayas and Mindanao, we were able to extend help through our different Victory churches in the regions. Through your generosity, we distributed water, relief packs, hygiene kits, solar lamps, and noche buena packages and are currently coordinating to help rebuild homes in the coming weeks.

Here are the latest updates:

Bohol and Cebu. Bohol and Cebu are under a state of calamity, facing a shortage of water and food supplies. We responded by sending drinking water to affected families and providing food packs after the typhoon hit. To date, we provided over 100 food packs in Bohol through our church in the city. In Cebu, more than 500 boxes of bottled water, 120 liters of gasoline, and 120 solar lamps were supplied to affected communities. We also provided 4 generator sets across Cebu.

Negros Occidental. Kabankalan was one of the severely hit cities in Negros. Our churches in  Bacolod, Kabankalan, and Silay mobilized teams that visited homes and served 5,000 families in different barangays. We gave 100 units of solar lamps and 3 generators while waiting for power to be restored in the area.

Negros Oriental. Bais, Bindoy, and Manjuyod are about 1 to 2 hours away from Dumaguete. Through Victory Dumaguete, we provided access to water and electricity by setting up charging and water stations and distributing relief packs to affected communities.

Palawan. The typhoon damaged almost 70 to 80% of infrastructure in Northern Palawan alone. Barangay Irawan in Puerto Princesa was one of the hard-hit areas, where several families lost homes and it will take a long time to rebuild. On Christmas eve, we had the opportunity to provide 79 Noche Buena packages and give a message of hope to several households. Six families from our church community were also given financial assistance to help them rebuild their homes. 

Southern Leyte. Victory Tacloban, along with our church planting team in Ormoc, extended help by preparing 500 relief packs with food, drinking water, and clothing. Together, we served over 380 families in Barangay Banahao, Hitawos, Pamigsian, and Pintuyan. We partnered with the local government to send the remaining 111 relief packs to Barangay Olisihan and Dao, which are currently hard to reach.

Our relief efforts in these provinces will continue as communities rebuild and recover what they have lost. 

Let’s continually pray for the affected families and our churches in the regions who are serving as God’s hands and feet in a time of great need. Let us pray for our nation as we rebuild in faith together.

 


As of December 21, 2021

Since super typhoon Odette entered the Philippines, at least 375 people were killed and 56 are missing, and 500 more were injured because of the recent calamity. Kabankalan, Surigao, and Bohol lost access to electricity and water supply. Majority lost homes and are seeking temporary shelter in evacuation centers. It will take approximately 3-4 months for these provinces to fully recover.

As of December 19, our Victory churches in these areas and nearby provinces immediately organized relief efforts. Victory Bacolod, Silay, and Kabankalan are giving away relief packs and speaking comfort and hope throughout the affected cities. Another team is visiting houses of church members needing help to rebuild homes. 

In Dumaguete City, our church provided 5,000L drinking water immediately after the storm and is currently coordinating for goods to be distributed to more families. In Surigao, our Victory Butuan church, together with our church planting team in the area, is coordinating with the local officials to give relief packs and hygiene kits to be given to hard-hit areas. 

Knowing that families in several provinces will be spending Christmas rebuilding lives, our desire is to bring a message of hope and light in a dark hour.

Together, let’s continually pray for the affected families, our churches in the provinces and our nation.

  • Pray for affected families that they would experience God’s comfort and hope through the gospel as they rebuild and recover what is lost. 
  • Pray for our local churches in the provinces as they organize relief efforts towards affected members, families and communities.
  • Pray that the revelation of Jesus’ birth in a lowly manger assure us that God is near and He is faithful in our nation. 

More than providing for their physical needs, we want to give our countrymen the hope that can only be found in Christ and can never be snatched away by any calamity. Thank you for your generosity and for your heart to bless our countrymen. 


As of December 18, 2021

Typhoon Odette entered the Philippine area of responsibility on December 16, 2021 and has intensified into a super typhoon right before its landfall in the southeastern part of the country. The provinces that were severely affected are Agusan del Norte, Bohol, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Lanao del Sur, Negros Oriental and Occidental, Palawan, and Southern Leyte. 

Thousands were asked to evacuate for safety because of the strong winds and flooding in many areas, and several families lost their homes. Several parts of Leyte and the Visayas region have no access to electricity and roads access is difficult. Communication is also challenging in several areas across the regions.

We have teams reaching out to the affected areas and our countrymen and extending help to families who will be rebuilding homes at Christmastime. We will post more updates in the coming weeks. 

Together, let’s pray for the affected families, rescue workers, and our nation.

  • Pray for the families who are rebuilding their homes at Christmastime.
  • Pray that they would experience God’s comfort and hope through the gospel. May the revelation of Jesus’ birth in a lowly manger assure them that God is near and He is faithful in their midst.

More than providing for their physical needs, we want to give our countrymen the hope that can only be found in Christ and can never be snatched away by any calamity. Thank you for your generosity and for your heart to bless our countrymen. God bless you and keep you safe!

Pray for Faith to Believe God for Greater Things as Our Nation Opens Up

Pray for Faith to Believe God for Greater Things as Our Nation Opens Up

The recent ease of restrictions, vaccination of minors, and resumption of face-to-face classes and activities have given a sense of hope and normalcy in our nation. Yet, the possibility of another surge still exists. As many Filipinos struggle with ambivalence, hope and fear intertwine amidst the changes and improvements of our nation. 

With restrictions on the movement of young people lifted in the capital, primary schools look to reopen soon. And before the year ends, our government will open a nationwide vaccination program with the hopes to continually mitigate the risk and start anew. 

Let us pray for the grace to perceive what God is doing. Scripture reveals how God’s heart will always beat for the lost people (John 3:16; Luke 19:10). His heart is for all people to know and experience His love. 

With all the pain, loss, and trauma we have experienced during this pandemic, people’s hearts are tender and they are longing to receive the love that God is offering. We believe that this loosening of restrictions is an avenue to share and demonstrate His love. The love we have received as a church community is the same love we are to bring to the world.

One thing is certain: our God who is faithful since the beginning will continue to rally the hearts of His people to believe. His purposes and mission will continue to be unthwartable. God has not only been at work from the very beginning; He is also doing something new today! While we may still feel fear, anger, and anxiety, we can be confident that He will continue the good work that He started. 

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?”
Isaiah 43:19

As believers, our response is to step out in faith at all times. We are the salt and light of the world as we respond to God’s call and mission. Difficulties may continue to shake and distract the world, but as we hope in God and desire to honor Him, we will overcome. 

Let’s continue to pray with godly confidence for our nation!

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that as a nation, we will respond in faith over fear (Psalm 34:4), love over anger (1 John 4:8), and hope over despair (Romans 15:13). 
  2. Pray for provision and continued economic recovery upon our nation.
  3. Pray for wisdom for government leaders as they mitigate the spread of COVID-19 amidst the easing of restrictions. 
  4. Pray that the church will see the harvest that God has opened to us in this season, especially as we gather onsite for our worship services. Pray for more workers in the harvest field (Matthew 9:37–38).

To learn more about the current situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for Hope in the Midst of Calamities and Political Divide

Pray for Hope in the Midst of Calamities and Political Divide

Earlier this month, aspirants for the upcoming Philippine Elections in May 2021 filed certificates of candidacy (COC). This has been one of the most talked about issues in news and social media platforms, and has caused a growing discourse over political opinions and preferences between Filipinos. 

We are drawn to misunderstanding because of our differences in principles and choices. While differences and opinions are good, sometimes they can cause disunity and disrespect to arise among us. However, the strong emotions that fueled these conflicts may be the telltale sign of the hearts of the Filipinos—a heart that yearns for hope that change for our nation is possible. 

As we prepare for what is up ahead, let us take this opportunity to declare our hope in the Lord. Let us pray for God’s redemptive work to prevail in our nation.

We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.
Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.
Psalm 33:20–22 (NLT)

This is true even as we face another calamity during this prolonged pandemic season. Tropical Storm Maring has affected a lot of families and livelihoods since it entered the Northern Luzon region. According to NDRRMC, a total of 50,040 families or 194,677 people were displaced by the storm. Maring left a trail of destruction and an estimated PHP 1 billion damage to agriculture. 

This is not the final episode of our nation’s story. As a nation, let us remember that God is King over the floods and calamities (Psalm 29:10–11). He is a God who redeems and restores, giving relief, hope, and strength in every season. 

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that as a nation, we will look only to Jesus as our source of hope.
  2. Pray that we will do our part in nation building through prayer and discipleship. (Acts 1:6–8; 1 Timothy 2:1–2)
  3. Pray for everyone affected by Typhoon Maring in Northern Luzon. Pray for hope and relief in their present situation, and for God to restore everything they have lost.

To learn more about the current situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

God Has Not Forgotten Our Nation, and We Pray for His Restoration

God Has Not Forgotten Our Nation, and We Pray for His Restoration

God has not forgotten our nation. This truth should give us confidence to continue to pray for deliverance from this global crisis and believe for better things ahead. 

One common Filipino song we sing is “Hindi Kita Malilimutan.” Interestingly, this came from a passage in Isaiah that reads:

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me;
my Lord has forgotten me.”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.”
Isaiah 49:14–16

This passage initially referred to the nation of Israel. But God extended His salvation when He sent His Son, the Messiah, to be a “light for the nations” (Isaiah 49:6), so this ode of love has been extended to the nations as well. God reminds the nations that He will not forsake us and He has engraved us on the palms of His hands. 

God has not forgotten the Philippines. God has not forgotten you. Even when you feel that this crisis has already stretched out for far too long and you have almost nothing left, that your faith is already hanging by a thread; even when your own world has really been shaken, and you haven’t even begun to recover; even when we don’t know for how long this will still be and the prospects of the future seem bleak, God has not forgotten us!

The facts are clear: New COVID cases are at an average of 17,730 the past week bringing us to a total of 2.49 million cases, with more than 37,000 deaths and over 161,000 active cases. Our economy remains battered as the lockdowns cost us P4.3 trillion in foregone output last year alone, with projected long-term scarring as the pandemic could cost the Philippine economy up to P41.4 trillion in output losses up to 2060. Many families have experienced loss of their loved-ones, and the stories are getting nearer. To add to that are the uncertainties brought about by the upcoming elections as major political alliances continue to shift and inquiries into possible corruption continue.

But God’s promise of compassion and restoration is clearer. In the same chapter (Isaiah 49), it says:

Sing for joy, O heavens, and exult, O earth;
break forth, O mountains, into singing!
For the LORD has comforted his people
and will have compassion on his afflicted.
Isaiah 49:13

This is our confidence as we continue to pray for our nation: God is full of compassion for the afflicted, and He shall comfort His people. Prayer is expressing our faith in God, and partnering with Him in what He is already doing to turn things around. Prayer moves the heavenlies and releases God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And in the end, we “shall exult in Him and break forth into singing!”

May God bless and restore our nation.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Let us declare together God’s healing for the afflicted and deliverance from this pandemic (Jeremiah 33:6).
  2. Pray for the continuing efforts of our local government leaders against the spread of COVID-19 and for wisdom as they contextualize and apply strategies to address the needs in their own areas (Romans 13:4).
  3. Pray that the political alliances being forged would be for the welfare of the people (1 Timothy 2:1–2).

To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for Our Youth to Be Spared from COVID-19

Pray for Our Youth to Be Spared from COVID-19

How are the young people in your home? 

In light of the Delta variant, adolescents and children are now increasingly being affected by the COVID-19 infection. Here in the Philippines, there were around 48,000 cases of those affected who are 19 years old and below by February 2021, but this has since increased to more than 176,000 by August 8, with 466 deaths from our younger population. This has spurred on efforts to vaccinate more adults in order to “cocoon” (or protect) our un-vaccinated minors. 

Furthermore, mental health concerns have also risen in this age group as our young people continue to battle their own personal and family issues in the eighteen months of community quarantine, social isolation, and challenges in online learning. Recent studies used the term “languishing” to describe their sense of not thriving and feeling of stagnation and emptiness that could eventually lead to depression and other mental illnesses. In fact, it is reported that the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) hotline has been receiving an increasing number of  calls—around four times more—since last year, and most of them from adolescents.

We believe that God will continue to protect and spare the young people of our nation. As they go through this, we pray that they would put their hope in God and find renewed strength in Him. 

Each generation would have to fight their own battles, and this is theirs. As Psalm 78:4–7 says, our role as parents and guardians is to “tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might, and the wonders that He has done” in order “that the next generation might know them, so that they should set their hope in God.” May they also have a true encounter with the God who saves them! 

And they are not without help, for “even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30–31). May they know early in their youth that their own strength could only go so far, and that true and lasting strength can only come when one fully depends on the Lord.  

Individual struggles have a way of defining our lives for the better when we respond in the right manner, and going through this pandemic as a nation may have a way of maturing a whole generation. This just might be their preparation to make a difference for the future. 

That is our hope, which is why we shall cover the next generation urgently in prayer.

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that God would spare the young people and children from being infected with this disease.
  2. Pray that young people would look to God, and find hope and strength in Him.
  3. Ask for much grace for parents and guardians as they help their children navigate through their physical, emotional, mental, and academic concerns.
  4. Pray for the online Every Nation Campus Leaders Conference on September 10–11, that we may rally our students to be strong in the Lord and raise these young leaders to fulfill their purpose and destiny in Christ.

To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray against the Spread of COVID-19

Pray against the Spread of COVID-19

The COVID-19 Delta variant is now in the Philippines, with confirmed community transmission and a total of 64 cases as of July 24, 2021. It is a mutation that originally surfaced in India and was initially identified in December 2020. This variant is said to be at least 75% more transmissible than the original COVID-19 strain.

In light of this, NCR+ (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) has once again been placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until July 31. Meanwhile, the provinces of Bataan and Davao Occidental, as well as Cagayan de Oro City and Butuan City, are placed under modified enhanced community quarantine.

Let us continue to be vigilant in practicing health safety protocols, such as wearing of face masks and shields, keeping physical distance, and meeting in well-ventilated spaces. Vaccination has also been reported to slow down the spread. At present, the Philippines has had 4.7 million citizens fully vaccinated (4.27% of the population), with another 5.7 million awaiting their second dose.

But God remains to be our ultimate protection, for “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty” and “He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence” (Psalm 91:1, 3).

Our response is one of faith, not of fear, and so, “I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust’” (Psalm 91:2).

As a response, this is God’s promise: “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows My name; when he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him; with long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation” (Psalm 91:14–16).

On the basis of this shall we pray!

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray that the spread of the COVID-19 virus would cease, and may God spare the nation from an outbreak of the Delta variant (Psalm 91:9–10).
  2. Speak God’s protection on those who continue to go outside and serve our nation, especially those in the healthcare system and those who keep the economy moving (Psalm 91:4–6).
  3. Pray for those affected by the Taal volcano’s recent activity, the recent earthquakes, and the flooding caused by the monsoon rains (Psalm 91:11–12).

To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for the Continuing Vaccination Efforts and the Rising COVID Cases in the Provinces

Pray for the Continuing Vaccination Efforts and the Rising COVID Cases in the Provinces

Surge in Cases

Recently, we have seen a rise in COVID cases in cities outside Metro Manila. While NCR+ is already in GCQ, there are twenty-one areas in the provinces that are now under MECQ. These include major urban centers such as Cagayan de Oro City, Davao City, Iloilo City, Lucena City, Naga City, Puerto Princesa City, and Zamboanga City. A few days ago, Davao City already reported critical levels in its hospital and ICU utilization rate. Our nation has around 6,500 new cases per day, with deaths averaging 125 per day within the past seven days. 

Vaccination Efforts

As of June 17, 2021, we have received more than 14 million vaccine doses, almost 7 million of which have been administered. So far, almost 2 million citizens have received their 2nd dose. This means that only less than 5% of the country’s population have received the first dose of the vaccine, and barely 2% have been fully vaccinated. 

The government aims to fully vaccinate 70% of Filipinos by the end of the year. That would mean 350,000 to 500,000 people should receive shots every day. But our average this past week has only been 112,600, less than half of the number of people we aim to vaccinate per day. There are a number of concerns that led to this: the logistics of getting more vaccines into the country, the challenges of vaccine distribution and administration, and the hesitancy of our fellow Filipinos in getting vaccinated. 

Let us continue praying for our vaccination efforts to reach more people and for God’s healing power to be felt across the nation.

A Call to Prayer

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
1 Timothy 2:1–2

The apostle Paul pointed young Timothy towards the urgency of praying for “all people.” Then he uses four different words to describe prayer. Supplications are petitions or requests made to God, entreating Him. Prayers are words spoken to God in earnest. Intercession is standing in the gap and speaking to God on behalf of others. Thanksgiving is gratitude expressed to God as a form of worship. 

Let supplication and intercession be made for all people: for protection against the virus, healing and quick recovery for those with the disease, and provision for the costs of hospitalization.

Let supplication and intercession be made for those in authority: for wisdom in making policies and decisions to resolve the issues brought about by the pandemic, swift nationwide execution of plans, and unity in the government rather than politicking in these dire times.

As we pray, the eventual result is that we would lead peaceful, quiet, godly and dignified lives. There is hope for these things to be so again.

May our prayers be powerful and effective as we storm heaven together!

 

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray against the spread of COVID, especially in the provinces. Pray for healing and the complete recovery of those who are affected, and for provision for their hospital bills. Pray for the healthcare system and the economy to be sustained in these regions.
  2. Pray for more vaccines to be delivered and greater efficiency in its administration to our people. Let us believe together for the miraculous fulfillment of the 70% vaccination coverage by the end of the year.
  3. Pray for God’s mercy upon our nation. Pray for our government leaders and those in authority for great wisdom and compassionate service as they seek the well-being of our nation and people.

To learn more about the vaccination program and the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for Our Nation’s Vaccination Efforts

Pray for Our Nation’s Vaccination Efforts

All historical pandemics end at some point. The flu pandemics of 1918, 1957, and 1968 eventually faded away and simply became the seasonal flu. 

How did the pandemics end? They ceased medically—the population came to a point when most have developed a measure of immunity to the disease (herd immunity), whether through surviving the infection or through preventive vaccination. They also ended socially when people went past the pervasive fear and found new ways to go about their lives again. 

This is also our hope for the COVID-19 pandemic. The advantages in our present time are the advancements in medical science and the capacity of our global village to share resources like never before. With these factors, we may simply need to brave through this period. 

To persevere through this pandemic, we need to find our joy in God and His faithfulness all over again, to pray and not give up praying, and to nurture a grateful heart as we see telltale signs all around that God is working. As 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It is easier said than done, but by God’s grace, we can walk through this with joy and reach the end with victory.

As we move forward, here are some reminders that may be helpful for us.

  1. Remain cautious and considerate. The quarantine has eased a bit to GCQ with heightened restrictions. This is again an effort of our government to keep the economy moving to the degree that our healthcare system can manage the cases that come with more people moving around. But this does not mean that the danger has passed. Let’s stick to essential meetings (such as church and work), while observing minimum safety precautions (consistent use of N95 or surgical mask and face shield, and practicing physical distancing). 
  2. Grow in faith rather than fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Let us not miss out on how God is moving in our lives, families, and nation at this time. Let us not allow the lessons of this crisis to be put to waste, but rather see that God is strengthening our faith, is still faithfully working out His purpose for our families, and will use us to bring the gospel to many people in this season. In the end, the Lord will heal our land!

This pandemic, too, shall end, but we must continue to brave through it!

 

PRAYER POINTS

  1. Pray for wisdom for the leaders in government and in the private sector as they devise strategies and enact solutions to address the pandemic. (Proverbs 21:1; 1 Timothy 2:1–2)
  2. Pray for healing for those battling COVID-19 and for God to uphold our healthcare system and economy. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18; James 5:16)
  3. Pray that our population will achieve herd immunity at the soonest time and that vaccination efforts will reach more people. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

To learn more about the history of pandemics and the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the resources in the links below.

Pray for Our Economy and Healthcare System

Pray for Our Economy and Healthcare System

In the past four weeks, we have seen afresh the realities of this pandemic—overcrowded hospitals, patients waiting in tents in parking lots, over-extended frontline healthcare workers, social media feeds that have become obituaries, and deaths closer to our circles. As a result, Metro Manila and some provinces were placed under stricter quarantine measures yet again. We even reported our highest caseload, 15,310 cases, on April 2, 2021. The nation is grieving.

Added to that are our dire economic realities. Over 9 million Filipinos were laid off temporarily and permanently the past year, and the number of unemployed is still at 4.2 million as of February 2021. Food manufacturing, grocery stores, and telecommunications still thrived, but the rest of our businesses were badly hit. At least 75 percent of the economy has been shut down.

We are in the middle of the “dance” between the need to curb the rising number of cases and the need for the economy to open up. We want to loosen the quarantine so our economy can move, but only up to the point that our healthcare system can cope with the demands of the number of active cases.

This month, we will specifically pray for God to breathe life into our healthcare system and our economy. As we pray, we can find encouragement in the book of Jeremiah. 

In Jeremiah 29:4–7, we find God’s words for the Israelites, people who have experienced war, death of loved ones, loss of livelihood, and eventually exile to the land of their oppressors in Babylon. In the midst of their difficult situation, God’s message to them is not what you would expect. He told them to “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.” It almost sounds as if God was insensitive to the unbelievable pain that they had gone through losing their nation. To top it off, God told them to “seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” 

What was God doing here?

God was telling them to move forward with hope. 

He gives His assurance in verse 11 saying, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Because God knows what He is doing, He was asking the people to trust Him and still find hope in the midst of their dire situation. He told them to move forward by building homes and families and to even bless a foreign nation because, in it, they will find their welfare.

The situation of the Israelites has several parallels to where we are today. God, too, may be asking us to trust that He remains to be in charge and has a plan, even when the situation seems to worsen. And in light of that trust, we may come to acceptance rather than grumbling and resentment. We may expect God’s move rather than languish in hopelessness. We may speak and act in courage rather than cower in fear right within our homes. Many of us are grieving and tired in many ways today, but we can cling on to hope because God’s promise is that this grief will end someday. Trust that God has a plan, bless rather than resent our situation, and build with faith.

An example of blessing others and rebuilding with faith are the many community pantries sprouting around. Even with all the controversy surrounding it, this effort is still a means for people to serve those in need. It’s encouraging to see many people not losing hope and doing something to flourish within the situation. 

Another example is the people who have maximized online opportunities to be able to move goods and services, which resulted in the many delivery options we have today. Instead of being limited by our work-from-home setup, others have utilized it for greater productivity by maximizing relational connections, trainings, and lessons online. 

People of faith can be undaunted because our God is undaunted. He even strongly assures us that He has a plan for our good, and we are right in the middle of it. 

Finally, we can continue to pray in confidence because God hears us. In Jeremiah 29:12, God affirms, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” May our prayers be filled with much faith and hope, and may the blessing we speak on our land heal it!

PRAYER POINTS

Bless our nation’s leaders. Pray that God will guide them with His wisdom and lead them to His plans.

Bless our healthcare workers and our hospitals. Pray that God will give them extended strength and resources to cope with the continuing demands.

Bless our economy. Pray that God would breathe life into the business sector and miraculously restore our production, manufacturing, and service industries.


To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the news in the links below.

Pray for the Rising COVID-19 Cases

Pray for the Rising COVID-19 Cases

The COVID-19 cases have been rising in the nation, especially in the National Capital Region. On March 15, 2021, exactly a year after Metro Manila was placed on community quarantine, 5,404 new cases were logged. On March 22, the highest number of COVID-19 cases per day in our nation was logged at 8,019, bringing our country’s total infections to over 671,792. New cases per day are projected at possibly 11,000 per day by the end of March, in light of the 2.1 reproduction rate of the infection. This rate means one infected person could infect two more, and the two could infect four more, and so on.

This increased rate has been attributed to the new variants as well as the public’s greater mobility. Though generally, 97.5 percent are mild and asymptomatic and the number of people who die from the disease in the Philippines is just 1.93 percent, this is still a serious matter since more cases mean more people experience the severe form of the disease and even death.

Yesterday, March 22, the government has designated NCR and its four neighboring provinces (Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) as the NCR Plus bubble, where additional restrictions to the general community quarantine guidelines are implemented. A year into the pandemic, we seem to find ourselves in the same situation: curfews and community quarantines, limited movement, and no assurance of what our circumstances will be weeks from now. As a nation, we are holding on to the hope that we will emerge victorious in this battle against a seemingly invisible enemy that has continually plagued us.

The Lord is still in control. He is at work among the nations and has a plan and a purpose in all these (Psalm 46:8–11). We can confidently come to Him in prayer and participate in what He is doing, with full assurance that He is at work healing individuals, families, and our nation.

In the apostle Paul’s letter to young Timothy, he encouraged him to have the right spirit in facing difficulties, which is an apt word for us today:

. . . for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7

The Lord is at work in our nation, so we don’t need to fear. Instead, let us proclaim His power to heal, keep reaching out to our neighbors in love, and be mindful of each other’s well-being.

As the government implements measures to curb the rising cases and expand the reach of the vaccination program, as our health workers strive to serve despite approaching full capacity in our hospitals, and as private entities continue to implement safety health protocols, let us stand on behalf of our nation and ask God to heal our land!

PRAYER POINTS

Faith over Fear. Pray against the fear in our nation at this time. Speak the promise of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that as we, the people who are called by God’s name, humble ourselves, pray and seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven and forgive our sin and heal our land. Pray that Filipinos will find hope in God and call on Him today.

Wisdom for Our Leaders. Pray for wisdom for our government and private sector leaders as they make decisions in this season to mitigate the spread of the virus and increase access to proper healthcare.

Healing for the Afflicted. Pray for the individuals and families that contracted the virus, that they would quickly recover and that they would be spared from the severity of the disease.

Protection for Our Front Liners. Pray for the healthcare workers and other front liners as they consistently serve the nation in the midst of a pandemic for over a year now. Speak protection on them and a blessing on their families as they selflessly serve.


Starting today, we will be posting prayer points for the Philippines every month.

To learn more about the COVID-19 situation in our nation, you can read the news in the links below.