A Manitoba farmer is hoping to reap a harvest of prayers in the province as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

As tensions rise in the province and Manitoba enters into "Code Red," Barry Barkman says he felt led to start something.

"This time of year I spend a fair bit of time on the truck hauling grain to market," Barkman says, who operates a family farm in the Interlake. "Last week I found myself listening to Phil Wickham's song, 'Battle Belongs' over and over again." The song reminded Barkman that the "battle" we all are facing right now really does belong to God.

"Between that song and 'pots for docs' the idea of a focused prayer time for our province was born."

Barkman is hoping to inspire Christians in Manitoba to join in prayer each morning at 7 a.m. "As the province of Manitoba goes into tighter lockdown and as illness, anxiety, confusion, and anger grow, and as division threatens to alienate us from our neighbour, and as churches are asked to close, it’s time for Christ’s followers to come together and fight this battle corporately on our knees."

Barkman, who is often already hauling grain before 7 a.m. says he'll be using the cab of his semi as a prayer closet for as long as the lockdown lasts. He's given the following list of prayer items that he hopes others will join in praying for:

  • That we would have humble hearts and open minds to allow God to work His will in our lives this day as we see Him continue to write His story on planet earth, and that we would this day be willing to be His hands and feet in helping fellow Manitobans.
  • That God would fill our hearts with love for our neighbour, even if we see things differently.
  • That God would guide our leaders and help them to lead with integrity, courage and wisdom and be able to see the big picture.
  • That our health workers would be strong and courageous. That God would protect them and give them wisdom. That they could serve with a heart of compassion and yet be able to function through the heartache.
  • For our school teachers and staff as they seek to provide a safe learning environment for our children. Pray that they would be protected and be able to teach with courage and wisdom.
  • For other frontline workers as they provide needed services to our communities.
  • For those who have lost their jobs/businesses and struggle with anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.
  • Pray that God would heal our land and that we would see a greater purpose in our days!