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COMMENTARY: Extraordinary challenges in the world call for extraordinary prayer

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By Ronnie Floyd

Together, We Need Extraordinary Prayer and Cooperation The current challenges across America and the world are extraordinary. Together, we need to respond with a commitment to extraordinary prayer and cooperation.
 
We need each other now more than ever before and we need God’s power like never before in life and in ministry.
 
Tragedies in Afghanistan
 
How can any of us dismiss the ongoing tragedies in Afghanistan? Yesterday, August 31, was set as the final day for all American personnel and Afghan allies to be out of the country. Reports are that this has not been fully accomplished.
 
Additionally, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries for Christians to live and now many are left behind. Some may have chosen to stay in order to present the Good News of Jesus to their nation. Yet, we know under the rule of the Taliban, not only are Christians under a greater threat, but threats towards women become even stronger. Additionally, an increase of refugees who are now displaced will need love, care, and a new place to call home.
 
This past Sunday, a sobering and somber scene occurred at Dover Air Force Base that personified the depths of our nation’s grief, as the remains of thirteen young American service members were brought home for burial after being killed at the Kabul airport. Grief continues to abound in our country.
 
This is why we need to pray in an extraordinary way. Only God can change the hearts of people and only God can intervene in this situation.
 
Hurricane Ida, the damage and loss of life
 
On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, 150-mph winds from Hurricane Ida hit the Louisiana coastline this past Sunday afternoon. For six hours, Ida remained a Category 4 hurricane before it was downgraded.
 
Baptists are already on the ground operating with a great commitment to providing disaster relief. If you are not aware, please understand that the Disaster Relief Ministry of our SBC churches is the third largest in the nation, only to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. We are very thankful for our state conventions who champion disaster relief efforts.
 
We need to pray for all persons in Louisiana and the surrounding states impacted, including our Southern Baptist churches and all relief personnel. These situations are dangerous and real.
 
While this is occurring, disaster relief efforts are continuing in the state of Tennessee due to the devastation of flooding occurring in Waverly, Tenn., that began August 21. In a town with just over 4,000 people, 20 people died due to this tragedy and 270 homes destroyed. Grief and devastation are real in Waverly.
 
How can we not pray in an extraordinary way? Personally, we need to pray in a manner greater than the normal. Collectively, in our churches, we need to pray in a manner greater than the normal.
 
Through our churches, we need to give more in an extraordinary way so monies can be forwarded through our Cooperative Program to our Disaster Relief Ministries through our states, and also to Send Relief which ministers nationally and globally.
 
Extraordinary prayer beyond the ordinary
 
What is your ordinary pattern of prayer? How much time a day? How many days a week do you pray? Whatever is normal for you needs to become extraordinary.
 
If you pray five minutes a day, then pray for ten minutes a day. If you pray an hour a day, then pray a few minutes more. If your church prays two minutes in a worship service, then take it to five minutes in a worship service.
 
Extraordinary prayer is praying beyond what is your ordinary practice. This could be in minutes, hours, or days.
 
Extraordinary prayer is the greatest need as we live in and navigate through these extraordinary times. While an avalanche of trouble is occurring, we operate through this trouble by committing to and practicing extraordinary prayer.
 
I believe God can do more in a moment than you can do in a lifetime. Do you believe this?
 
I believe God can do great things anywhere at any time with anyone. This includes you. Do you believe this?
 
I believe there is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with extraordinary prayer of God’s people. Do you believe this?
 
I plead with all of us today, we need extraordinary prayer and cooperation more than ever before.
 
Let’s believe God together.
Afghanistan, Executive Committee, prayer, SBC, Southern Baptist Convention

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