(prepared by Lilian Schmid)
The Earth is the Lord’s
1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty –
he is the King of glory.
COVID-19 vs The Economy
(Note that most of the content below is focused on the issues in Australia – please refer to information on you own country’s issues if you live in another country.)
The Coronavirus outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. It is also having a growing impact on the global economy, and Australian businesses of all sizes are being impacted. Tens of thousands of staff working for listed companies across Australia have already faced significant disruption to their usual employment, including the loss of income, and more thousands are likely to suffer the same dilemmas.
Although the Australian Federal and State Governments have united and moved quickly to put in place health, financial and legal measures to protect Australian community from this complex and rapidly evolving challenge, there will be a continuing battle to balance all measures introduced so as not to permanently damage the whole Australian and local economies. The Governments response is tailored to the nature of the shock and has been designed around seven key principles. These are that:
- Measures to be proportionate to the degree of the economic shock and the impact on the economy.
- Measures need to be timely and scalable, so they can be adjusted appropriately as the health and economic effects unfold.
- The response needs to be targeted to address the specific issues we are confronting, supporting those most affected, and delivered where it will be most effective.
- The response needs to be aligned with the many other arms of policy and activity, in particular monetary policy, and with the responses of other governments, particularly at a state and territory level.
- Existing delivery mechanisms should be used, wherever possible.
- Measures must be temporary and accompanied by a fiscal exit strategy.
- Measures should favour those that will lift productivity to enable the Australian economy to sustain an even stronger growth trajectory than we were on prior to the crisis.
Issues in Business
No part of the Sphere of Trade and Finance is unaffected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Below is a summary of issues that have been highlighted by those in Government and Business sectors:
- Around two-fifths of Manufacturers are already reporting being affected and closely followed by a third of Education & Training businesses, and those in Retail and Wholesale.
- Slowdown in Accommodation & Food services which includes Travel and Tourism businesses, in Community services, in Administrative & Support services, in Transport, Postal and Warehousing, and in Property & Business services.
- The impact of the coronavirus in a few broad categories including:
- The issue of workers and students being quarantined and/or kept away from work/study (‘Stay at home’ policy).
- The impact on supply lines for the import and export of goods and parts to and from China and other countries.
- The decline and now blockage of tourism across Australia, and handling cancellations by local and overseas customers and businesses.
- A weaker/unstable stock-market here and overseas impacts Superannuation and other investment products.
- Recreation, Personal and ‘non’-essential’ stores and services now required to close.
- Lower foot traffic in shopping centres and stores that are permitted to remain open, and customer focus on narrow ranges of goods and services.
- The issues of quarantine have been raised by many businesses:
- Staff not coming to work, either working from home (limited supervision) or taking leave (‘quarantine leave’) to avoid the chance of infection at work.
- Where staff are at work, dealing with the possibility of them being exposed to the the virus from a staff member, service provider or customer.
- Workers that are in isolation to recover from actual or potential exposure to the virus.
- Many overseas students unable to return to their studies in Australia due to travel restrictions.
- No tourists or touring – all places closed.
- No sport or faith gatherings or public entertainment – all places closed.
- Restrictions have been revised a few times already, each time tightening; it is difficult to know what to plan, prepare and enact when the situation is so liquid.
- No end-date for restrictions are estimable at this time, which makes it very difficult to plan a way out of the current situation.
Pray for Business
Continue to pray for:
- The above issues asking God’s wisdom to intervene and empower people in Government to come up with the best decisions.
- The Governments economic response attempts to address the economic impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak, which is intended to support confidence, employment and business continuity. Pray for these initiatives that they will be God-guided to succeed and enable strong recovery when the storm has passed.
- The Government Cash flow assistance for businesses is intended to support businesses to manage cash flow challenges resulting from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus and help businesses retain their employees. Pray for this initiative to be executed fairly and be used by all employers appropriately to keep their staff.
- Pray for wisdom in all levels of Government to support small business to retain their apprentices and trainees.
- Let us thank God that our Federal Government will provide payment support through Centrelink to many who lost their jobs. Pray for Centrelink management and staff to be resilient and wise throughout this difficult time.
- Let us give thanks to our Prime Minister Scott Morrison and all the Ministers in his cabinet. Pray for them to stay healthy and wise, and use practical testimony to encourage all to be close to God.
- Please pray for Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.
- Pray also for Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, Minister for Families and Social Services.
- We give thanks to God for our Government to provide good support for our farmers and enable opportunities for regional job seekers.
He Guards the Lives of His Faithful
1 The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax
before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all peoples see his glory.
7 All who worship images are put to shame,
those who boast in idols –
worship him, all you gods!
8 Zion hears and rejoices
and the villages of Judah are glad
because of your judgments, LORD.
9 For you, LORD, are the Most High over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil,
for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous,
and praise his holy name.
The Mercy Prayer in the Psalms
Let us cry out to God and ask His mercy.
Answer me when I call to You,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
– Psalm 4:1
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint;
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony.
– Psalm 6:2
O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death.
– Psalm 9:13
Hear my cry for mercy
as I call to You for help,
as I lift up my hands toward Your Most Holy Place.
– Psalm 28:2
To You, O Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy.
– Psalm 30:8