Public Affairs Representative Mike Griffin gives Jeff and Ali Pennington (First Baptist Smyrna) and Index Associate Editor Myriah Snyder a tour of the Georgia State Capitol. PHOTO PROVIDED BY MIKE GRIFFIN
ATLANTA – Coinciding with #PrayGeorgia, Georgia Baptist Public Affairs Representative Mike Griffin hosted a Georgia State Capitol Prayer Tour to intercede for state government leaders.
Griffin said he got the idea a couple weeks before the Week of Prayer, while having lunch with a Georgia Baptist layman, Robby Monk (FBC Atlanta), and giving him a capitol tour. After they stopped to pray, he was struck by the rare silence under the Gold Dome, due to the decrease in visitors and in-office staff because of coronavirus.
Beginning the tour on the first floor of the building, Griffin pointed out the framed copy of the 10 Commandments, hung beside the Magna Carta and other historic documents. He explained the hurdles that had to be cleared to get approval to hang that document.
Griffin and participants worked their way up through the various floors of the almost-ghost town Capitol Building (due to COVID-19 precautions), stopping to pray outside specific areas such as Governor Brian Kemp’s office, the press area, and the Senate floor. Griffin provided personal anecdotes as well as useful information about the function of each office in addition to guided prayer points.
“We prayed in areas and offices where decisions are made that affect the lives and livelihoods of Georgians every day. The lives of the preborn, sex trafficking, foster care, adoption, religious liberty, drugs, gambling, education, healthcare, aging, and a multitude of other issues are affected by what happens at the Capitol,” John Yarbrough, director of alumni and public policies at Truett McConnell University, shared.
He continued, “The church should care, pray, and be involved in the process. Our silence and absence from the discussions allows the forces of darkness to prevail. I am glad Georgia Baptists have ears and a voice at the capitol with Mike Griffin.”
Josh Saefkow, pastor of Flat Creek Baptist in Fayetteville, commented, “A compelling transaction occurs when prayer walking through the halls of the Georgia State Capitol. When you place your hands over the names of the legislators who represent you and plead to Almighty God on their behalf, you cultivate the Capitol grounds for a spiritual awakening. I look forward to the day when the Lord will harvest His children’s prayers from our beloved state.”
Week of Prayer participants included Georgia Baptist Mission Board staff, Public Affairs Committee members, and Associational Mission Strategists in the metro Atlanta area and their families in order to keep the number of attendees on each tour low to allow for social distancing and other CDC guidelines. However, Griffin’s plan is to continue to schedule prayer walks.
“The prayer walks serve as a tremendous tool to understand better what goes on in state government and how to pray for those who serve us and the policy decisions that they must make,” Griffin said.
He added, “And, more than anything, I want the glory of God to be represented by the people who serve in the Georgia State Capitol and the decisions they make for all Georgians!
For those interested in participating in a prayer walk, contact Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.