IRVINE, Calif. — Greg Laurie, pastor and founder of the Harvest churches in California and Hawaii and of Harvest Crusades, issued a call to prayer to American pastors ahead of Sunday, calling them to pray against not only the spread of the new coronavirus but the spread of fear of the virus.

“There seems to be a lot of fear in America right now, especially in the light of COVID-19,” Laurie wrote Friday in an Instagram post. “Listen, the promises of God are still true! God is bigger than the Coronavirus!”

“Listen to the medical experts and take appropriate measures (wash your hands, etc.) But we need to replace our fear with faith and pray for our nation, that God would protect us. Phil. 4 reminds us, ‘Don’t worry about anything and pray about everything!’”

“In some ways I think the viral fear about it may be worse than the virus itself,” Laurie says in the video. 

Laurie called his congregation to do three things regarding COVID-19: 

1. Be practical about hygiene and safety
2. Be prayerful for God’s protection 
3. Be proclaiming the gospel

Laurie closed his message by praying for protection for America from COVID-19 and for Vice President Mike Pence’s efforts to contain the spread of the virus:

“Lord, you are bigger than this virus, and we are praying that these numbers will start going down. We are praying that anyone that has it will be healed. And we are praying, Lord, that we will not live in fear but we will live in faith

“Give wisdom to Vice President Pence, his team, as they deal with this. Help them to know what to do, when to do it, the steps to take, the practical. But Lord we do not rely only on that. We are prayerful, looking to you, knowing that you are God and you love us.”