ATLANTA — On Thursday, May 3 people gathered in cities, towns, hamlets, and churches all over America for the National Day of Prayer. The Georgia State Capitol was the site for one of the prayer gatherings in the nation.
There was another event taking place in the State Capitol at the time of the prayer meeting. Ironically, only several yards away from all the singing and praying, the production company of The Walking Dead was getting ready to shoot some scenes for the ninth season of their television series.
The Walking Dead is the most-watched television series in basic cable history and filmed exclusively in Georgia. However, on this special occasion fervent prayers and songs of praise dominated the clatter and chatter of the production crew as they set up tents and banners in the Capitol Rotunda.
The undead and reanimated dead were certain to lose this battle, because the prayer warriors were connecting with Almighty God; and the “walkers” only attempt to connect with their obsessive fans.
Unity was the theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer and the key Biblical passage was Ephesians 4:3: “Making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.”
David Franklin, associational missionary of Bartow Baptist Association, has been for several years the state coordinator for the National Day of Prayer and presided over the Georgia State Capitol Service.
Baptists are always well represented in this national prayer effort. Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, AR and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is the president of the National Day of Prayer.
State Senator Bruce Thompson, representing Georgia’s 14 District and member of First Baptist Church in Cartersville, prayed for unity in the government. He prayed, “God, we know that a house divided cannot stand and a nation divided cannot stand. Bring us together as one. Heal marriages. Heal relationships… We pray that together we might be the United States, not the divided states – a country that is a beacon of light to so many dark places in the world. …Renew our spirits, especially in politics.”
Others prayed for unity in the generations, in the ethnicities, in the Body of Christ, and in covenant with Christ.
Marty Youngblood, prayer consultant for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, prayed for unity in the body of Christ.
Milton Campbell, pastor of The Midtown Bridge Church, read from Colossians 3:11 where the Apostle Paul wrote: “There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
Pastor Campbell then stated, “Some of these folks were polar opposites, but Paul wanted them all at Christ’s table. He wanted them all in the family of God.” He then quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.”
Mike Griffin, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Public Affairs representative at the Gold Dome, reflected on the prayer service at the Capitol and stated, “It was one of the best prayer gatherings I have been to at the Capitol. There was great representation from a number of ethnicities. I also thought that it was made abundantly clear that the key to unity is Jesus Christ. It was also great to hear the worship and praise songs ring out over the Capitol.”
Monica Matthew, WSB Radio personality, sang the National Anthem and other songs included “Our God,” “How Great Thou Art,” “Our God is an Awesome God,” “Mighty to Save,” and “How Great Is Our God.”
One prayer warrior cried out for unity and added, “We thank You that the Gospel makes the unthinkable possible.” It was a rich and rewarding experience and a powerful time of prayer.
The spirit of Christ was evident in the prayers and praise in the Capitol Rotunda and had to leave an eternal impression on the crew creating the set for The Walking Dead – separated from the prayer gathering by only a curtain.