Thus far, 2020 has proven to be unexpected in every way. From the Coronavirus pandemic to other issues, none of us really expected the year to go as it has gone.

The forced slower pace that quarantines and “social distancing” has created, though, has afforded Christians a better opportunity to reflect and pray than we might otherwise take. To that end, as we near Easter Sunday, I offer this acrostic E-A-S-T-E-R to help you pray for a few groups in particular.

Elderly—There has been an upsetting sentiment that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was that the disease “affects mainly elderly people.” That mindset is not only anti-life, it is anti-Christian. In God’s economy, all people—born and unborn, young and old—matter. Take time today to pray for those among us who are advanced in years (Prov. 23:22).

Alone—U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse tells a powerful story out of Chicago, when a devastating heatwave in 1995 cost more lives than the Chicago fire of 1871. “Coroners initially counted 465 dead, but many of the dead weren’t discovered until weeks later, when the stench of decomposition oozed from homes and apartments.” Among those most likely to have perished from the heat were people living alone. Don’t let your neighbors be all alone this Easter. Call someone. Check on people. Pray for the alone (Psalm 139:7-10).

Sick—During the Triumphal Entry, in the days leading up to Easter, the blind and the lame came to Jesus for healing (Matt. 21:14). Bible commentaries say that not all these could come on their own; other people had to help bring these people to Him. As Christians, we bring the sick to Jesus with an attitude of expectation. Today, bring the sick to Him in prayer.

Troubled—Ronald Reagan said, “Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours.” There is an increasing number of people facing job loss and economic hardship. This affects not just individuals but whole families and communities. Pray that the Lord would provide for those under affliction (Psalm 145:18-19).

Essential workers (& others)—Nurses, doctors, law enforcement officers and others. There are some folks whose workload has increased in recent weeks. Whether deemed “essential” or “non-essential,” pray for folks on the front lines, ones just going about their jobs with little fanfare (Eph. 6:6).

Rulers—When God told him He would answer his prayer, King Solomon asked for wisdom. Whether it’s local, state or national, pray for our government leaders. Pray they would have a fear of God and a wisdom that comes only from Him. In these divided times, let’s unite in prayer, regardless of partisan feelings (1 Tim. 2:2).

These are just a few of the many people we can bring to Jesus in prayer this Easter and beyond.

May you and your family have a blessed Easter/Resurrection Sunday.

He is risen! Hallelujah, He is risen indeed!