By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
Prayer will take center stage May 4 at not only churches, but businesses, courthouse steps, city parks and other locations in the state and U.S.
On that day, Louisiana Baptists will join millions of other Christians as they ask God to forgive and heal the nation as part of the annual National Day of Prayer.
Created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S Truman, this annual observance in May invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation. This year’s theme verse is Daniel 9:19, which says “O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your Sake, O My God.”
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has already signed a proclamation for this year’s Day of Prayer.
Jay Johnston, state coordinator for the Louisiana National Day of Prayer Task Force and associate pastor at First Baptist Covington, stressed the importance of a day of corporate prayer across the country.
“The National Day of Prayer provides us an intentional time to gather with people in our community to pray for Government Leaders, families, military, churches, education, media and business,” he said. “This day was signed into law during the presidency of Harry S Truman. I encourage you to gather with others to pray for these seven areas.”
Louisiana Baptist Convention President Gevan Spinney said Christians have a spiritual responsibility according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for our nation and leaders.
“Who but God’s people have the access to enter into the throne room of Heaven with prayers?” said Spinney, pastor of First Baptist Church in Haughton. “Our nation is in need of a spiritual awakening. Let’s join together across our state to plead for our God to hear us, forgive us, heal us and revive us.”
Millions of people are expected to pray at thousands of events across the United States, from church sanctuaries to community centers to courthouse steps. In Louisiana, a National Day of Prayer event will take place in the state Senate chambers at the State Capitol building from noon to 1 p.m.
Among the 16 locations listed on the National Day of Prayer website are three Louisiana Baptist churches. However, many more churches around the state will be participating as well.
For more information on coordinating a National Day of Prayer event, e-mail Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the day can be found at nationaldayofprayer.org