According to a study by a Danish professor, it seems that people are turning to prayer during these difficult times.
This was not any more evident than during final moments of a live interview MSNBC host Craig Melvin’s had with T.J. Jakes, the pastor of The Potter’s House, a mega-church based in Dallas at the beginning of April.
With seconds left, Melvin turned to Bishop Jakes and said: “For folks who aren’t able to get to church yesterday, I’ve never actually done this on air. Can you lead us in prayer for 30 seconds.”
As Melvin bowed his head, Pastor Jakes prayed for God to strengthen people during this time of crisis and particularly those who are first responders:
According to Jeanet Sinding Bentzen, an assistant professor of Economics at Denmark’s University of Copenhagen, this should not surprise us because Google searches for “prayer” are surging during this pandemic.
Using Google Trends, Bentzen studied the records in 75 countries of the number of searches for prayer in the month of March. Based on her research, Bentzen concluded for every 80,000 new reported cases of COVID-19, the “search intensity for prayer doubles.”
She also noticed that the increase in prayer searches was not associated with the reported deaths from the virus, but rather the increase in new cases.
The increases were noticed across the board including her own country, Denmark, that has become highly secularized in recent years.
And a survey conducted by Pew Research came to a similar conclusion when it found that more than 55% of Americans say they have prayed for an end of the Coronavirus.
One passage that seems to specifically address the issues countries are facing today is found in 2 Chronicles:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14 NIV)
In this passage, God tells us two thing. First he uses droughts, locusts and plagues to catch people’s attention.
The second thing that has always caught my attention about this passage is that it says “if my people” humble themselves, pray and turn from their wicked ways, then God will respond.
In other words, this passage is directed to believers. We are the ones who need to turn to God through prayer and if we do, then God will heal our land.