Church of God Celebrates National Day of Prayer
By Carl Stagner
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”—2 Cor 7:14 NIV
On the first Thursday of May, believers in the United States observe the National Day of Prayer. The Church of God is no exception. Throughout the year, we seek the Lord’s face as we encourage others to do so. On this special day, we set aside time to pray for the needs of our nation and world. In light of recent tragedies in our world, we are humbly reminded of our dependence on Almighty God.
Ryan Chapman, coordinator of the National Prayer Ministry for the Church of God, reflects on our desperate need for prayer as the people of God: “The recent horrific bombing in Boston highlighted again the risks facing our nation. Our culture is being assaulted in so many ways. A tradition for a number of years for believers is to have a focused prayer effort for our nation in early May. The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture. This year’s theme is ‘Pray for America’ and the theme verse is Matthew 12:21, “In his name the nations will put their hope” (NIV).
Church of God Ministries annually celebrates the National Day of Prayer by praying throughout the day in the prayer chapel at its Anderson, Indiana, location. Staff sign up for fifteen-minute timeslots to cover each hour in prayer. We thank the Lord for this opportunity not only to lift up the great needs of this world and of the Church of God movement, but also to ask the Lord to strengthen and encourage you—the individuals, families, and pastors of our congregations.
Church of God people are participating this year in full force, by joining community prayer rallies or by holding their own. David Aukerman, pastor of Mt. Haley Church of God in Midland, Michigan, said, “Several churches in our community are putting together a ‘free prayer’ hour at 11:00 AM for people to come and receive prayer for any reason, followed by an hour of prayer for the nation at noon. This is all happening at the local baseball stadium.”
As the Church of God continues to thank the Lord for his blessing upon the forty days of prayer and fasting leading up to Easter (Focus 40), we are encouraged to know that congregations around the world are finding every opportunity to enter into focused times of praise, thanksgiving, confession, intercession, and petition.
Would you take time out of your schedule today to pray?