DUNWOODY, Ga. — In 2022, the Lord gave the vision of a national prayer gathering to Alabama Baptist Pastor Jacky Connell. In response to that vision Connell connected with a United States congressman to launch a one-time “If My People Will Pray” gathering in Washington, D.C. on October 1, 2023. This effort is based on the conditions and promises of II Chronicles 7:14.
Mark Mirza, founder of Common Thread Ministries and the Georgia Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer, rejoices in this one-day prayer event and is urging churches across Georgia and beyond to host prayer gatherings in their communities on October 1.
One of Georgia Baptists’ most strategic churches, Dunwoody Baptist, will host a satellite prayer gathering to complement and strengthen the effort. Britt David Baptist Church in Columbus is also planning to host a prayer gathering on October 1. Other churches across the country are beginning to join the effort to cry out to God on behalf of the world, our nations, our cities, our communities, and our families.
Esther Ortiz, prayer coordinator for the Dunwoody church, emphasized, "I've noticed that prayer is becoming something that we talk a lot about, but are not as quick to spend time doing. It should be our lifeline but is often an afterthought or just used as a transitional element into another activity. At DBC, we're trying to be a people who faithfully and intentionally sit in God's presence and allow Him the time and space to speak into our lives, church, and community. If My People Will Pray is an opportunity to gather and commune with the Father collectively in prayer and worship. We're excited about it!
“Our event is open to the public. We also have a kid’s event that will be running in parallel called 'Dinner and a Movie' that might allow for more adults to attend while their children are cared for and taught by our children’s pastor.”
John Hume, discipleship pastor at the Dunwoody church added, “As a church, we studied Experiencing God this past winter and one of the realities we studied was that 'God speaks by the Holy Spirit through the Bible, prayer, circumstances, and the church.' Through the 'If My People Will Pray' event we will have an opportunity to gather, worship, and pray. Imagine what will happen when we listen to God speak to us and do what he calls us to do!"
One must wonder what would happen if God’s people really got serious about prayer. Obviously, prayer should start in the home and the church. In fact, Jesus said, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17).
S. Hawkins, in his devotional book, The Believer’s Code, writes, “Before it is called a house of Bible teaching, a house of evangelism, a house of discipleship or a house of social actions, Jesus said His house is to be called a house of prayer.”
Charles Spurgeon, the great pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London in the 19th century stated, “We shall never see much change for the better in our church in general till the prayer meeting occupies a higher place in the esteem of Christians.”
While the “Let My People Pray” vision was confirmed in the hearts of a group of pastors and ministry leaders in central Alabama, strategic teams have been developed in other states including Georgia. There teams are working together to promote, organize, execute, and coordinate “If My People Will Pray” prayer events on October 1.
Pastor Connell exclaims, “It is exciting to know that from Alabama to Washington, DC, from border to border and coast to coast and beyond, this unique prayer gathering is gaining momentum like puddles that are flowing into a raging river across our country and abroad.
“This is much bigger than one church or one denomination. You will not want to miss the opportunity to participate in a nationwide event that could change our world as we know it.
“Please connect with us at: www.ifmypeoplewillpray.net and like us on Facebook. Let’s all come together, humble ourselves, pray, seek the Lord’s face, and watch and see what God is going to do.”