- Baptist Beacon
National Day of Prayer: Pray simultaneously & extraordinarily
Ronnie Floyd, president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, is the current president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. This year's National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 2.
NASHVILLE, TN (BP) – Many Christians are so disappointed and fed up with matters about America that they struggle even to pray for our nation. Is this right? Is this justified?
And many Christians struggle to truly love one another, while many are uncertain about our future as a nation and even the future of our churches.
On the National Day of Prayer this Thursday, May 2, let's be sure to join together in fervent prayer because:
#1: Christians need to pray for America
Where America is today is the reason we need to pray. If all was perfect and unity abounded across our nation, we may enjoy praying for America more regularly, but whether we enjoy it or not, it is needed.
Praying for America should be our first choice, not our last choice.
God is our hope -- our last, great and only hope. Therefore, we need to pray like we believe this with all we are.
The alarm clock is going off in our nation and this is not the time to push the snooze button. America needs to experience the next great move of God.
That is why we pray. That is why we will prioritize praying for America on our upcoming National Day of Prayer. Will you join us?
Prayer precedes every great movement of God biblically and historically. Therefore, we need to pray and ask God for a mighty, great spiritual awakening across America. That is why the National Day of Prayer is a nationwide movement of prayer for America.
#2: Christians need to love one another
Christians need to follow Jesus' teaching of loving one another, in obedience to Christ's command: "Love one another, just as I have loved you" (John 13:34). This what we are calling our nation to do on Thursday, May 2.
We need a Love One Another movement that begins in the church of Jesus Christ. Christians should never take pride in being filled with skepticism or criticism of other people. We should love all people just like Jesus did and does: willfully, sacrificially and unconditionally.
Love One Another needs to become a movement that also infiltrates every part of American life when the church is experiencing this movement within their own fellowship.
Followers of Christ need each other more than ever before. While certain secondary doctrinal differences will exist, we need to unite around our belief that:
-- The Bible is God's infallible Word; it is truth without any mixture of error.
-- Jesus is the Son of God and the hope of the world; therefore, salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone.
-- We must focus our lives, churches and futures on taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ to every person in America and across the world.
In our confessional statement, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, we as Southern Baptists believe, "Christian unity in the New Testament sense is spiritual harmony and voluntary cooperation for common ends by various groups of Christ's people. Cooperation is desirable between the various Christian denominations, when the end to be attained is itself justified, and when such cooperation involves no violation of conscience or compromise of loyalty to Christ and His Word as revealed in the New Testament" (Article 14).
We need to stop fighting over secondary issues and rise up together to become the spiritual light in this darkening America and world. The church needs to model loving one another or we forfeit our right to speak into the future of our nation. It is time to come together in unity.
#3: Prepare for the future
What will the church become in the future of America? Will we lose our freedom or have it affirmed?
We need to prepare for the future realistically, but also with great hope. Regardless of the present cultural tide that is rising in direct opposition to the ways of God, we are a Gospel people committed to Christ alone.
Our future is not in the hands of the United States government; our future is in the hands of our sovereign God. Yes, our times are in His hands!
We need to prepare future generations spiritually and vocationally for what God wants them to be and how He wants them to live for Him.
That is why I believe our greatest hope lies only in Jesus Christ, His Gospel and the advancement of this Good News message reaching every corner of America and across this world.
While we call out to God for His church to be revived by the Spirit and to love one another, resulting in coming together in unity, we need to simultaneously pray extraordinarily for the next great spiritual awakening in America, which is our greatest hope.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was elected as president-elect of the SBC Executive Committee during a special called meeting April 2 in Dallas. Seven videos for use in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer can be accessed at https://nationaldayofprayer.org/articles/seven-new-videos-you-can-use-in-your-2019-national-day-of-prayer-observance-on-may-2/481