Urgent Call to Prayer for Arizona
Raging wildfires. Record COVID-19 cases. Political and racial unrest. President Trump is visiting Phoenix on Tuesday, which could ignite more protests. Arizona needs our urgent prayers!
Fires Blaze Across Arizona
Arizona is besieged by large wildfires burning near three of its largest cities. The most expansive fire, the Bush Fire northeast of Phoenix in Tonto National Forest, has grown to nearly 187,000 acres, a space more than twice the size of Washington, D.C. As of Monday afternoon it was 45% contained. This is the largest active fire in the United States and the fifth largest fire in Arizona history.
The Mangum Fire in Kaibab National Forest has grown to 69,277 acres and is only 28% contained. The Big Horn Fire, north of Tucson, has consumed 58,553 acres and is now 16% contained. It’s been reported this fire has the largest firefighting crew currently in the U.S. The Bringham Fire, in eastern Arizona, is 20% contained as it has grown to over 19,901 acres as of last night.
According to Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management statistics, Arizona has already seen three times as much land burned by fire this year compared to the same timeframe in 2019.
Extreme drought, persistent winds, and hot and dry weather conditions are forecast to continue this week. Thankfully, as of this writing no people or structures have been damaged, according to wildfire updates, but we need to pray.
Lord, we thank You for the areas in which the firefighting operations have been successful. We ask You to continue to give the fire managers wisdom in directing their crews and providing all the resources they need. We pray for the protection and safety of the hundreds of firefighters, whether they be on the ground or flying the planes and helicopters. Help them gain control quickly of the numerous fires burning throughout the state. Father, we call out to You for much-needed rain to come to the parched land. At Your command, cause the winds to blow in opposition to the fires and aid the firefighters in their work. We ask You to remove all fear from the residents and business owners who have been evacuated. Calm them with the presence of Your Holy Spirit. Please continue to keep Your hand of protection over every life and all property. We pray that there will be no more desecration of the beautiful mountain areas of Arizona. AMEN.
AZ Coronavirus Upswing
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona surpassed 50,000 for the first time today. COVID-19 cases in the state rose by 2,196 since yesterday, adding to the string of 2,000-plus single-day increases, according to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services. As of Monday, June 22, health officials reported 54,586 cases of COVID-19 and 1,342 deaths in the state. While this is less than one percent of the 7.2 million people living in Arizona, the increase is still concerning.
Arizona is among 14 states seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. Arizona has hit its highest seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Let’s join together and ask God to calm the fears and stop the spread of the virus.
Father, we bring before You all who are suffering from COVID-19, asking that You would restore their health with no lasting long-term effects. For those who have lost their jobs or businesses as a result of the shutdown, we ask You to provide for their every need. Refresh their spirits, provide creative ideas for generating income, and open up new opportunities to them. Surround our government officials with voices of reason as they make the difficult decisions of how to best prevent the continued virus spread. Give our leaders the wisdom needed to guide our nation out of this economic crisis. Keep us mindful that You have promised to provide for all our needs. According to the conditions You have laid out in Your word in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, we ask You to forgive us of our sins and heal our land of this terrible virus. AMEN.
President Trump to Visit Arizona Tuesday, June 23
President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit Phoenix Tuesday, June 23, for a “Students for Trump” rally to be held at the facilities of Dream City Church on Cave Creek Road in north Phoenix.
According to the website of the organizing group, “Students for Trump,” President Trump has been invited to the rally to give “An Address to Young Americans.” The convention starts at 1:30 p.m. and concludes after Trump’s appearance, expected to begin at 3:40 p.m. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., is also expected to speak.
Before heading to Phoenix, President Trump will stop in Yuma to survey the border wall and participate in a border security roundtable with local community and elected leaders. After the roundtable, the President will tour the wall and thank border patrol and law enforcement for their tireless efforts, according to a White House statement.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey will participate in both visits, traveling to Yuma to talk about border security, and attending the event Tuesday afternoon in Phoenix.
After 18 days of consecutive protests in Phoenix, the city finally has calmed down. It’s important to pray that the President’s visit will not spark new unrest but will be safe and peaceful.
Heavenly Father, we pray for the protection of President Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Governor Ducey, and all those traveling with the President to Arizona on Tuesday. Protect also every participant in the planned activities in both Yuma and Phoenix. We pray that any demonstrations would be peaceful and respectful of life and property. We ask You to give the President wisdom, favor, and grace, as he addresses young Americans in our state and nation. We speak peace and unity and health over Arizona in this unprecedented season, in Jesus name. AMEN.
- Matthew Cappucci and Andrew Freeman, “Arizona wildfires grow as flames flicker throughout Desert Southwest and California,” The Washington Post, June 22, 2020.
- Helen Wieffering, “AZ Wildfires: Bush Fire containment at 45%, Big Horn drops to 16 %,” AZ Central, June 22, 2020.
- ABC15.com staff, “HOW TO WATCH: President Trump to Visit Arizona Tuesday,” June 22, 2020.
- Jennifer Martinez, “We Rising” March Marks Phoenix’s 18th Consecutive Day of Protests,” Fox10, June 14, 2020