Prominent Nigerian Pastor TB Joshua led his congregation in prayer on Monday 16th March 2020 against the deadly coronavirus which has caused worldwide panic, prompted severe economic backlash and locked down entire countries.
The outspoken cleric prayed for healing and restoration for those affected by the virus as well as for the medical professionals treating them.
“Those on the sick-bed – may your doctors, nurses and care-givers sense the presence of God,” he proclaimed, with several people throughout the auditorium falling involuntarily ‘under the anointing’ as he ministered.
Later, on Tuesday 17th March 2020, Joshua answered several questions related to the outbreak of the disease on his official Facebook Page, followed by 3.8 million people.
He described the unprecedented situation as a “test of faith” which Jesus Christ hinted at in his prayer that Simon Peter’s faith would not fail, adding that he didn’t “see anything to panic about” as God’s promise for believers would be for them to overcome.
“Real faith thrives on a test. If there was nothing serious in the past to test our faith, here is something to test our faith in a unique way – a real situation,” he said, quoting Scripture to explain that not even coronavirus could separate true believers from God.
When asked about his viral declaration that “the noise of coronavirus would be silenced before the end of March 2020”, Joshua unequivocally reasserted his position.
“I say again – it is the remnants we are seeing. The real coronavirus is gone… But what the coronavirus has caused – economic backlash, fear – will linger until the end of the year,” he revealed.
The founder of Emmanuel TV then addressed the dangers of fear that has led to virtual paralysis of activities in many nations exposed to the virus.
“Fear exposes the level of our relationship with God… Fear means we are not serving God with all our hearts,” he explained. “The opening of the eyes of our faith will be the silencing of our fears.”
When pestered further about his declaration on March 1st 2020 about the impending end of coronavirus, the cleric retorted, “The name of God has always been used for possible things – but faith is for impossible things.”
He added that “this coronavirus has only exposed us”, positing that “challenges reveal the true condition of man’s heart.”
Joshua lamented that the fear and doubt expressed was because most people relied on what they “see and hear” to make decisions.
“I am telling you what is to come,” he concluded. “Thank God you cannot change it, because people are profiting from the situation at hand.”
The video of Joshua’s prayer, which was posted to his popular YouTube channel with 1.6 million subscribers, quickly ratcheted up views in the hundreds of thousands, as people online are evidently looking for hope and solution in a time of fear and confusion.