SIM Calls for a Week of Prayer for Ebola Crisis (Sept 29 – Oct 5) and launches #PraytoendEbola

[color=red]This post is sticky look for new entries below[/color]

For more info: PraytoendEbola website and #PraytoendEbola and Pray to End Ebola on Facebook. Lent & Beyond is posting daily Ebola Crisis Prayers.

SIM, a Christian mission organization which has been on the frontlines of the fight against Ebola in West Africa has called for a special week of intercessory prayer, urging Christians around the world to join together in prayer against the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging West Africa. Here is an excerpt from their exhortation to prayer:

[blockquote]The fight against Ebola in West Africa has been going on since the beginning of 2014. As the final quarter of the year approaches, the spread of this deadly disease is escalating out of control. The infection rate and death toll continue to rise; hundreds of health workers serving on the front lines to fight the disease have been taken by it; and the resources brought to bear still pale in comparison to the desperate needs. What seems to us to be a desperate situation is not impossible for God. May our prayers be heard and used by God to accomplish the impossible.

Therefore, as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, let us join together around the world for a full week of focused prayer beginning September 29 through October 5. Our desire is for prayers to be raised continually on behalf of those infected and affected by the Ebola virus, for the sick and dying, for the courageous health workers, for grieving families, for pastors trying to serve their churches and communities, for government officials and decision makers who formulate policies and responses, for protection for those working in educating communities, and for all those waking up each day to the devastation of Ebola.

Though we are troubled, we do not despair. Though we grieve, we are not without great hope. For two millennia, the Church has prioritized the sick and marginalized. We are called to do no less today.[/blockquote]
[blockquote]May the God who answers prayer, the God to whom we pray, the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death so that we may fear no evil, may this God turn His face towards us and by His power and wisdom guiding all those involved, bring an end to the spread of Ebola. May He bring many who live without the knowledge of Jesus into relationship with Him. Updated prayer requests and other resources can be found at . [/blockquote]

Please read the full details at the PraytoendEbola website. Please note if you scroll down to the bottom of the home page of the Pray to End Ebola website, there is a place to sign up for regular prayer updates via email. There will also be updates on Twitter: #PraytoendEbola. Lent & Beyond is posting daily Ebola prayers using the Ebola Crisis Prayers tag.


Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spirituality/Prayer

15 comments on “SIM Calls for a Week of Prayer for Ebola Crisis (Sept 29 – Oct 5) and launches #PraytoendEbola

  1. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    Thanks to Lent and Beyond for keeping the Ebola Crisis before us and the urgent need for prayer.

    Prayers for those suffering and for their families, for wisdom and protection for the medical staff caring for them, for those in civil authority tasked with providing measures to contain infection and perhaps most of all for encouragement and direction for those researching cure and innoculation against the disease. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

  2. Katherine says:

    We need to pray for people in the West African countries. May God spare them.

    This afternoon news outlets are reporting an ebola case in north Texas, USA. Any country with international air travel is at risk.

  3. Karen B. says:

    Yes Katherine, the Texas case is now confirmed by CDC. If Kendall doesn’t mind, I’m going to repost a comment I also just posted on the Ebola case in Texas thread below, since this one is currently sticky at the top of the page. It’s about keeping today’s news from TX in perspective:

    I surely hope and pray people in the US don’t panic over this. Take deep breaths, pray, and let’s review some perspective.

    1) There have been 5 Ebola cases treated in the US so far. Three have recovered & released. AFAIK, 2 are still in treatment (Emory and NIH patients). There has been no spread of Ebola when adequate precautions are taken.

    2) Ebola has been SUCCESSFULLY CONTAINED (PTL!) in two African countries: Nigeria (where there were cases in Lagos & Port Harcourt) and Senegal. Both countries are now basically “Ebola Free” (no contacts remaining under surveillance) after travelers brought in the disease. In Nigeria 21 people were infected and 8 died. However at least 600+ people came into contact of the initial patient and those he infected, so only 21 cases is low. In Senegal, even more amazingly, NO ONE was infected by the Guinean student who brought the disease to Dakar and then lived in an extremely crowded apartment building and went to a local clinic while ill (symptomatic) with Ebola. 73 contacts were followed up and released. None of them became ill. No one died. The Guinean student has recovered and been released. If Nigeria and Senegal can contain the spread of Ebola, so can the US.

    3) Ebola is much less contagious than airborne diseases like the flu or TB. As is the common refrain, you have to be exposed to body fluids (blood, vomit, feces, sweat…). You don’t get Ebola from casual contact, and it can only be spread while someone is actively symptomatic (fever, vomiting, etc…) But, some people may mistake the statement that “you need to be exposed to body fluids” to be like how one gets AIDS or other STDs (e.g. blood transfusion, needle stick, sexual intimacy…) Unlike AIDS, Ebola CAN be spread by touch. Touching the sweat, blood or vomit of a patient with Ebola can infect a person. (A huge problem in W. Africa has been people touching dead bodies, which are highly infectious.) That is why Ebola patients are treated in isolation units by people in full protective gear, unlike AIDS patients. So, here’s a little equation. In terms of “how contagious is this disease” (how easy it is to catch): AIDS < EBOLA < Flu Does that make sense? I truly hope and pray the brouhaha over this Ebola case in Dallas does not in anyway detract from continuing to mobilize a massive response to help those so ravaged by the epidemic in W. Africa. In terms of perspective, please think and pray of the thousands of health workers on the frontlines of this disease (MSF has over 3000 staff in W. Africa, I read today). They are the ones most at risk of catching this disease as they serve others. Please don’t be selfish and self-centered America. One case is not a cause for panic. 6000+ cases in W. Africa, ravaged economies, hundreds of Ebola orphans, etc. etc…. is a totally different story. As the news from Nigeria & Senegal shows, Ebola CAN be stopped. By God’s mercy and as His servants pour themselves out to respond, we can hope for the containment of this epidemic. Please join in prayer as Christians around the world this week #PraytoendEbola!!! Don’t let fear rob us of love and compassion.

  4. Karen B. says:

    The CDC statement on the Ebola case in Texas is here:

    Very well done. I think they strike just the right note between real honesty (there is SOME risk of more cases) – acknowledging that fear is NORMAL! – and seeking to calm fears through accurate and careful info. It’s not at all patronizing, which is very refreshing. Here’s the section I found best:

    [blockquote]Ebola can be scary. But there’s all the difference in the world between the U.S. and parts of Africa where Ebola is spreading. The United States has a strong health care system and public health professionals who will make sure this case does not threaten our communities,” said CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “While it is not impossible that there could be additional cases associated with this patient in the coming weeks, I have no doubt that we will contain this.”

    The ill person did not exhibit symptoms of Ebola during the flights from West Africa and CDC does not recommend that people on the same commercial airline flights undergo monitoring, as Ebola is only contagious if the person is experiencing active symptoms. The person reported developing symptoms several days after the return flight. Anyone concerned about possible exposure may call CDC-Info at 800-CDC-INFO for more information.

    CDC recognizes that even a single case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States raises concerns. Knowing the possibility exists, medical and public health professionals across the country have been preparing to respond. CDC and public health officials in Texas are taking precautions to identify people who have had close personal contact with the ill person and health care professionals have been reminded to use meticulous infection control at all times.

    We do know how to stop Ebola’s further spread: thorough case finding, isolation of ill people, contacting people exposed to the ill person, and further isolation of contacts if they develop symptoms. The U.S. public health and medical systems have had prior experience with sporadic cases of diseases such as Ebola. In the past decade, the United States had 5 imported cases of Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) diseases similar to Ebola (1 Marburg, 4 Lassa). None resulted in any transmission in the U.S.[/blockquote]

  5. Karen B. says:

    An EXCELLENT blog entry by Jeremy Writebol (Nancy Writebol’s son – Nancy is one of the SIM missionaries who survived Ebola)
    My favorite section: (emphasis added)

    [blockquote]This afternoon I watched Twitter explode again as news broke of an infected person being cared for in Dallas. Some of the responses were misguided and unfortunate panic. Some were to mock and joke about the terrible disease. Both responses are hard for me to hear, not necessarily because my mom had Ebola, but [b]because of what is still happening in Western Africa to people in communities that are facing this terrible disease. The reality of it and the horror is overwhelming. I write this not to shame anyone, but to ask us to speak carefully about the plight of our fellow human beings who are suffering and to not make comedy the terrible things of this world. I want to call us to prayer and action to fight Ebola and to care for suffering people.[/b] Let the facts below help bring some sober judgement and resolute action as to how to deal with Ebola in the US and the world.[/blockquote]

    I add my Amen. Please read it and please keep praying for God’s mercy on West Africa. #PraytoendEbola

  6. Katherine says:

    When I was in India I met a Norwegian man who said that people born in Western Europe and the USA “won life’s lottery” from the beginning. Medical and sanitary conditions in India and in many parts of Africa are unimaginable to Americans in Dallas, even poor ones. Those of us so blessed should pray without ceasing for the people in the path of this plague in west Africa. Lord, have mercy.

  7. Sarah says:

    RE: “Please don’t be selfish and self-centered America. One case is not a cause for panic. 6000+ cases in W. Africa, ravaged economies, hundreds of Ebola orphans, etc. etc…. is a totally different story.”

    I do not know anybody inclined to panic, Karen. It is not “selfish and self-centered” to desire that we not receive diseases from other countries and to desire to protect our country. That is, after all, the primary job of our leaders.

    Yes, Ebola in West Africa is infinitely worse — the nature and identity of the countries in question and their leadership is one reason why ebola has spread and destroyed as it has. But that is no reason not to desire that we protect and defend our own country as best we are able and I don’t think it a sign of panic or selfishness to desire that our leaders do their jobs.

  8. Sarah says:

    “Five children from four of the district’s schools were possibly exposed to the virus.”

    And they went to *four public schools*.

    This is how an outbreak occurs.
    [blockquote]”Roughly 13,500 people from the Ebola-stricken countries of Sierra Leon, Guinea and Liberia have visas to visit the United States, according to federal data.

    The data doesn’t show how many of those people are already in the United States, but visitors from those countries should be excluded until they can show they’re free of Ebola, said Jennifer Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies, a group that pushes for low-scale immigration.

    “It would be reasonable [for the president] to designate Ebola as a communicable disease of public health significance. That would enable the State Department to impose tighter restrictions on visitors” from countries with Ebola outbreaks, she said.”[/blockquote]
    Yes. It would have been reasonable a month ago.

  9. Karen B. says:

    Sarah #7 I did not criticize our leaders, nor do I think it irresponsible to protect our country, our borders, our citizen’s health. Not at all. I said in another comment that I thought the CDC response in sending a large team to Dallas is good and needed.

    But there IS panic / overreacttion in the media and much hate and selfishness on Twitter, etc. Think of Ann Coulter & Donald Trump’s comments when the evacuation of Kent Brantly & Nancy Writebol was being considered in August. “Keep them out!! They were stupid enough to go to Africa and get this disease, they need to pay the price” (hugely paraphrased, of course, but I don’t think inaccurate in representing the sentiment) And those were American citizens who had been pouring out their lives to help the poorest of the poor… It angered me and made me sad.

    I’ve also seen MUCH venom spewed about the decision to enlist US Military personnel – America’s finest – to serve in the battle against Ebola. “How dare we ask our soldiers to face this risk…”

    But if not us, than whom? Jesus said to whom much has been given, much will be demanded. We are the blessed. We have been given so much. Do we not have a moral obligation to reach out and respond to those who are suffering? So few seem to be willing to even consider that possibility, whereas a generation ago, we seemed to be a people with much more compassion.

    This is not to excuse failures of leadership or mistakes that have been made. This is not even to say that our military are the RIGHT people to send – using our troops in this capacity may overextend us in some areas. I’m willing to debate the specifics of what response would be best. But the “it’s not our problem, we need to protect ourselves first and foremost at all costs, who cares if thousands of Africans die as long as we are safe…” attitude, that is what grieves my heart and makes it hard for me sometimes to recognize the America I love.

  10. Sarah says:

    Well I’m in different circles, I suppose.

    I have not seen any hate and selfishness on social media — nor will I be seeking it out.

    RE: “I’ve also seen MUCH venom spewed about the decision to enlist US Military personnel – America’s finest – to serve in the battle against Ebola. “How dare we ask our soldiers to face this risk…”

    I do believe that it is wrong and unconstitutional to commit the US military to “fighting ebola” — I think it is a ridiculous and wrong and unconstitutional act. That’s not “venom” — that’s my belief. The American military was not made to go fight a disease in Liberia and such a notion is yet another indication of the vast incompetence of our nation’s leaders.

    RE: “But if not us, than whom?”

    What on earth are you talking about, Karen? The US has devoted kajillions of dollars — yet again — in a fruitless “battle” because of the countries in which this disease is held. There is absolutely *no way* that the US can make up for the terrible chasm in competence and honesty and freedom and the rule of law and private property rights and all of the other myriad deficiencies in these three countries. It’s like thinking we’re going to make Iraq a democratic republic. We can’t — we have zero effect on those things. So going and offering aid and comfort to the sick is wonderful and I fully support Christians doing so — even while recognizing that it is trying to bail out an ocean with a teacup.

    RE: “Do we not have a moral obligation to reach out and respond to those who are suffering? So few seem to be willing to even consider that possibility, whereas a generation ago, we seemed to be a people with much more compassion.”

    Again — I cannot grasp what you are speaking of. We *have* responded — even while the sensible of us recognize that it is an utterly hopeless task to try to contain an outbreak in places like Liberia. You know it, Karen, and I know it. Yes, care for the suffering and sick and dying. That is an intrinsic part of the Christian Gospel. But living in reality means that there should be no illusions that we’re going to go over and contain the outbreak of ebola — there are no circumstances that will allow us to do any such thing at all.

    RE: “But the “it’s not our problem, we need to protect ourselves first and foremost at all costs, who cares if thousands of Africans die as long as we are safe…” attitude, that is what grieves my heart and makes it hard for me sometimes to recognize the America I love.”

    I see nobody on T19 responding with that attitude. What I *have* seen in certain circles is disgust and contempt for the inaction and indifference of our leaders towards protecting our country, and a valid recognition of the hopelessness of making Liberia the sort of country that is capable of managing a terrible disease like ebola — or of feeding its citizens, or of not throwing them into jail randomly or of encouraging free enterprise or of not having random famines and other diseases and lack of clean water sweep through the country in waves every six months.

  11. Karen B. says:

    All, I ask your forgiveness for bringing a “political” discussion to this thread. In hindsight, it’s terribly off topic. I should have posted my recent comments on the US Ebola case thread. This thread should be about the situation on the ground in W. Africa, and our response in prayer, building up one another’s faith to ask God to do what seems impossible in man’s eyes: supernaturally intervene to bring an end to this deadly epidemic and its ravages.

    [b]There is a new WHO report out.
    The numbers: 7178 cases and 3338 deaths. Lord have mercy![/b]

    I haven’t crunched all the numbers yet, but that’s an average of 121 new cases per day in the past 4 days (combined total in the 3 countries), down slightly from 150 cases per day last week… but the totals tend to jump up and down a bit from one report to the next. I’ve found it better to compare the reports over the course of a full week (each Friday), or every two weeks to really get an idea of the trend. #praytoendEbola

  12. Karen B. says:

    Sarah, I posted my #11 before I saw your #10. If I respond, I will do so on the thread focused on the US case below.

    But right now I’ve got to sign off the computer for awhile.

  13. Karen B. says:

    Here is the latest prayer update for Day 3 of the Pray to End Ebola prayer campaign:

    Today is DAY THREE of #praytoendebola. Please pray today individually, with a friend, in groups, as families, and as an entire Church:

    Pray that God would intervene to end the Ebola crisis. Also, pray that grieving families who have lost loved ones to Ebola would know God’s comfort.

    Thousands have died and the crisis continues. Infections from the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone could soar to 1.4 million cases by mid-January according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Though the situation seems hopeless, there is power in prayer!

    Join Joshua Bogunjoko, SIM International Director, and thousands across the globe in a livestream prayer on Thursday, October 2nd at 12:00 noon, Eastern Time. Log on to at 12:00 EDT on Thursday to join a livestreaming of Joshua as he leads Christians all over the world in a moment of prayer for God to intervene to end Ebola.

    Go to for livestreaming prayer at 12:00 noon tomorrow. Pass the word along! #praytoendebola

  14. Karen B. says:

    Lent & Beyond has just posted some GOOD NEWS about the Ebola crisis in Liberia. It’s too soon to know if this trend will continue, but the rate of new cases per day has declined sharply. Here are the numbers:

    [blockquote]The [b]12 September report[/b] showed 2081 total cases in Liberia

    The [b]18 September report[/b] showed 2710 total cases in Liberia, an increase of 629 cases, or [b]105 cases per day[/b] (in a 6 day period)

    The [b]26 September report[/b] showed 3458 total cases in Liberia, an increase of 748 cases, or [b]94 cases per day[/b] (in an 8 day period)

    The [b]3 October report[/b] showed 3834 total cases in Liberia, an increase of 376 cases, or [b]54 cases per day[/b] (in a 7 day period)[/blockquote]

    Read the full entry here

  15. Katherine says:

    Karen B., a decrease in the rate of spread is very good news indeed. I hope it may mean that Liberian efforts to educate people about the disease and how it is spread are paying off.