Photo by Christian Chen on Unsplash.
Singapore had been warned: Fatalities are inevitable, health authorities had reiterated.
Yet when news broke yesterday morning (March 21) of the first two COVID-19 deaths in the nation after almost two months of prodigious efforts by all quarters of Singapore – from healthcare workers to HDB cleaners, churches to charities, scientists to schools, and every citizen in between – the nation mourned.
As sober Singaporeans reflect on the most important things – God, family, community, home – we wonder: How do we pray?
The first patient to succumb to the coronavirus was a 75-year-old Singaporean, Case 90, who had fought for her life in ICU for 26 days, said a Health Ministry statement. She was linked to the cluster at The Life Church and Missions Singapore.
The second patient to succumb within two-and-a-half hours of the first, was a 64-year-old Indonesian national, Case 212, who was admitted in critical condition to NCID after arriving in Singapore from Indonesia the same day.
Both had underlying heart conditions.
In a Facebook post after the two deaths were announced, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sent his deepest condolences to the patients’ loved ones and added: “As we get more COVID-19 cases, more patients will need ICU care, and we must brace ourselves for more losses.”
Even as sober Singaporeans reflect right now on the most important things – God, family, community, home – we wonder: How do we pray?
Salt&Light gathered the prayers of seven church leaders for each day of this week, in anticipation of a God of hope who will yet fill us with “all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Day One: A prayer over Singapore
Our heavenly Father, our hearts bow before You. You look upon Singapore with such great compassion and love as we grieve the loss of two precious people.
We know that You have neither left us nor forsaken us. Nothing has separated us from your love. Deep down in our hearts, we know You are a good Father. You care for the weak, the struggling, the church and the nation of Singapore.
Thank You for the spiritual and political leadership that has given us direction and courage to cooperate in this battle for our minds, for our wills, for our health, for the economy and for the future of the next generation.
Thank You for drawing us into deeper worship and training us to war with Your Word.
As the Body of Christ, we confess that we have a vision for Singapore, yet we lack love for one another.
“You look upon Singapore with such great compassion and love as we grieve the loss of two precious people.”
We confess that we have compromised in many areas and lost the authority to stand against the enemies of God.
We have lost ground through complacency and casualness, busyness with trivialities and presumption.
Because of the love of the world in our lives, we have not made room in our hearts to love You wholly. We have defiled the land with bloodshed through abortion and abuse. We repent of unbelief, idle words and selfish thinking.
We humble ourselves again, recognising that no good thing dwells in us. Work in us to do and to will according to your good purpose. Increase our love for You and for one another. Unite our hearts to pray, to worship, and do whatever it takes to see Your will be done in Singapore and the nations. With one mind and one voice, enable us to glorify You.
We desire to see Singapore turn God-ward so that in righteousness, we may become a greater blessing to other nations. Lord, hear our prayer, cleanse our hearts, heal our land.
– Jean Wong, Prayer Coordinator, Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer