World COVID-19 Marriage and Family Day of Prayer
COVID-19 has been at the top of online searches daily for the past months, and the information-sharing regarding the infectious virus is mounting everywhere. All these are commonly driven by people's fear, anxiety, and their effort for self and community protection. There is no doubt the deadly coronavirus has greatly impacted the world population in various ways. The inconvenience, limited travels, financial loss, loss of employment, and some basic freedoms being chipped away under community quarantine are all products of this global crisis. We see the uncertainties of the future unraveling before our very eyes. The virus has indiscriminately infected people around the world and caused close to 400,000 deaths so far. It is reported that a third of the global population has been affected by COVID-19 through community quarantine, curfews, and the practice of social distancing. The COVID-19 crisis expanded rapidly on a global scale. The whole world is no doubt bracing for a situation far worse if vaccination against COVID-19 is delayed.
While COVID-19 is felt strongly by the entire world population, there are groups of who are more severely affected by it. Besides having to adjust their pattern of life to the 'new normal,' they also have to consider the widening gaps in the socioeconomic status among people exacerbated by this global crisis (Sandoiu, 2020). Due to the social distancing and community lockdowns, a high number of cases of domestic abuse on women and children were reported. World Health Organization (WHO) reports that "movement restrictions, loss of income, isolation, overcrowding and high levels of stress and anxiety are increasing the likelihood that children experience and observe physical, psychological and sexual abuse at home – particularly those children already living in violent or dysfunctional family situations. While the internet has become central in providing for children’s learning, support, and play, it is also increasing their exposure to cyberbullying, risky online behavior, and sexual exploitation" (WHO, 8 April 2020). These are the rippling effects that every society must tackle and plan intentionally to overcome.
COVID-19 is undoubtedly affecting relationships, marriages, and family life. Many marriages are at the brink of separation, and some are struggling to keep it going. When the COVID-19 crisis comes along, the financial strains, the loss of employment, the dwindling resources, and the difficulty in providing for the family’s basic needs all add up to the strain on marriage relationships. Thus, the World Church and the GC Family Ministries have set June 6, 2020, as World COVID-19 Marriage and Family Day of Prayer. As God's children, we will unite our effort and participate in prayer for God’s intervention in this global crisis. We will pray for peace against agitation, calmness to replace commotion, and spiritually thrive instead of spiritual decline. We will together ask God to wipe out anxiety, depression, and fear, and instead, to fill us with joy and gratitude.
Let us be reminded by King David's Prayer found in Psalm 86:1-17. King David cried out to God because he realized that he was facing a storm that was beyond his strength to overcome. He knew that only God's intervention could save him and sustain his life. When we cry out to God together on June 6, 2020, World COVID-19 Marriage and Family Day of Prayer let us keep in mind that God will answer our prayer, not because we are faithful to Him, but because He is faithful to His children.
WHO Joint Leaders' Statement – Violence against children: A hidden crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic (8 April 2020). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-joint-leader-s-statement---violence-against-children-a-hidden-crisis-of-the-covid-19-pandemic
Sandoiu A. (April 28, 2020). "Lessons never learned" How COVID-19 affects the domestic violence rates. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mnt-149363?utm_medium=social&fbclid=IwAR3vno9s7qrvkv9ROL5_slqfKetmUYuDIqLRoQQ0ljMUeGLOjuehZhLn7W8
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