National Day of Prayer calls for unity

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Believers gathered together for a time of fellowship and focused prayer at Alpharetta First Baptist for their Pray Big service. ALPHARETTA FBC/Facebook

On Thursday, May 2 Georgia Baptists joined with believers across the nation to celebrate National Day of Prayer via local community events and special services hosted by churches.

“Through everything that we go through, we need to make sure to keep prayer in our lives. It is prevalent and it is purposeful,” Jéan Ward, the senior church planting pastor for East Atlanta Church, shared in an Instagram post on his way to lead in prayer at multiple National Day of Prayer events.

First Baptist Woodstock took their event downtown and gathered in groups to pray in the open on the sunny Thursday. FBC WOODSTOCK/Facebook

Ward continued, “I’m loving the fact that what we’re focusing on this year is John 13:34. When you love Christ, you will pray for your brother. The greatest thing we can do is love like Christ loved. That means love in spite of our differences … and love in spite of ourselves.”

Across Georgia, churches gathered for special services dedicated to prayer in sanctuaries and throughout communities. Some even opened the doors to their sanctuaries so members of the community could come pray during the day.

Sherwood Baptist kept their worship center open for prayer all day and had a “concert of prayer” Thursday evening. “Historically #prayer leads to #revival and revival leads to #awakening which changes the spiritual landscape of a nation. May it be so today,” Pastor Michael Catt tweeted.

People gathered to pray during Sherwood Baptist’s “concert of prayer.” SHERWOOD BAPTIST CHURCH/Facebook

In another tweet, Catt added, “In a nation filled with angst, anger, hatred, prejudice, racism, trafficking, abortion, polarization & division, the theme of the #NationalDayOfPrayer couldn’t have come at a better time. #LoveOneAnother”

Additionally, Georgia Baptists joined Floyd and other leaders in prayer during the official livestreamed national observance of National Prayer Day at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Among those invited to pray publicly at the event was Liliana Lewis, wife of Michael Lewis, pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta.

“We sensed God’s presence as we stood in Saturday Hall with other believers and over a million viewers seeking God’s face,” she told The Index after the event. “I was honored to lead in prayer that we love one another as Christ has loved us. God is faithful!”

Marty Youngblood, Georgia Baptist Mission Board Prayer and Spiritual Awakening catalyst, reminded others that what was practiced yesterday should continue.

“Last night we participated in #nationaldayofprayer2019 in our nation’s capital for an extraordinary season of United prayer for our nation. I’m grateful my beloved led in prayer with national leaders. #love1another is our celebrated theme,” Michael Lewis tweeted after his wife,Liliana Lewis, prayed at the Capitol. MICHAEL LEWIS/Facebook

“Prayer is not a one-and-done event, it exists to bring glory to God daily and draw lost people to the Savior. We should always be seeking God’s heart, surrendering to God’s will and sharing the Gospel with a lost world through prayer,” he said. 

“In all kinds of settings and in all types of places today, millions of Americans have been praying for America… Tonight we cry out to God together, from this unique place, that God would give America a ‘love one another’ movement that would change the course of this nation,” Ronnie Floyd, president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee and current president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, said at the Capitol.

Floyd continued, echoing his plea from an earlier column, “Unquestionably we are being called to ‘love one another.’ And while this is important, America’s greatest need tonight is that the next great awakening would occur in our generation.”

The National Day of Prayer began in 1952 and took on a more formal role in 1988. It is recognized on the first Thursday of each May. This year, it trended on social media with #nationaldayofprayer and #love1another at number one on Twitter, garnering more than 86 million impressions approaching 3 p.m. on May 2, Floyd told Baptist Press.

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