Apologist and speaker Ravi Zacharias has given his first interview since announcing that he has a rare form of cancer. Zacharias addressed his health and also the current situation with the coronavirus on the Ben Shapiro Show on Thursday, March 19, 2020. The apologist gave some advice for people of faith who are faced with the question (sometimes mockingly) “what good is prayer doing in our current situation?”
Those who mock prayer in times of crisis like these “do not understand what communion with God is really about,” Zacharias said.
Ravi Addresses Role of Prayer on Ben Shapiro Show
Host Ben Shapiro asked Zacharias what response he has to the question of the efficacy of prayer in times of global crises. Zacharias explained that prayer is sometimes seen as a slot machine, where people feel if they put the right words in a desired result will come out. But this is a mistaken view, he said. “Prayer to start with is communion with God.” It is not “bringing God to our beck and call, to align with what we want, as much as it is the process with which our hearts get conditioned to receive his will and come into alignment with what it is he has for us,” Zacharias explained. Instead of being a “control of God”, it is rather “a surrender to the will of God and the peace that comes in the process.”
Additionally, Zacharias said that prayer serves to shape the one praying and implied that it is therefore quite useful in times of crisis: “Prayer…helps us become better citizens and better people in community to understand and help those who are going through a tough time.”
How Believers Should Behave in Pandemics
Speaking more generally of the virus and the measures people have taken around the world to mitigate its impact, Zacharias urged believers to “combine our faith and trust in God with wisdom and common sense.” He went on, “trusting God doesn’t mean you’re careless in what you do; you have to protect your children and you have to protect your family and the elderly and the most vulnerable.”
Zacharias also warned that what often happens in times of crisis is people fall into one of two extremes: “Panic and fear on the one side and a complete indifference on the other side.”
“In America we get so used to comfort, so used to quick answers so used to quick analyses and all of this stuff, that when we’ve found something that’s out of our control it’s very daunting,” Zacharias said, commenting on the rising levels of anxiety people are experiencing.
As far as what believers should be working on at the moment, “I would just say to people be sober-minded about it, don’t be cavalier about it, and make sure at all times your life and your relationship with God and your family is strong. That’s what’s going to matter at the end of it all.”