National Day of Prayer Inspires International Intercession

 In All Church of God, CHOG

By Carl Stagner

The year 2024 marks the 73rd annual National Day of Prayer in the United States and, for the Church of God, another opportunity to intercede locally, nationally, and internationally. It’s not that the Movement needs another reason to pray; Church of God pastors and leaders take the priesthood of all believers seriously. But, thanks to the formal reminder on the calendar—the first Thursday of May—a scheduled event that brings together “every blood-washed one” for prayer is more than another chance to “reach our hands in fellowship,” but also to fold our hands in prayer.

Not a single year goes by when Church of God people do not participate in public prayer gatherings in ecclesiastical, educational, and civic settings. Though special occasions for focused and collective prayer matter greatly, so do the ongoing, day-in-and-day-out conversations with the One who hears and responds to our prayers. Amid crises and chaos spanning the globe, the Church of God is a movement doing battle on its knees. In 2024, Church of God pastors and churches from coast to coast once again posted online about calls to prayer and information regarding local prayer gatherings on social media. This Thursday, many will gather at church, at city halls, on school campuses, and online to lift their voices up to the Lord on behalf of government, education, churches, businesses and the economy, international affairs, and so much more.

Robin McCollough, one of our outstanding Missouri ministers, has shared with Church of God Ministries that she recalls fondly her days of tremendously meaningful ministry associated with the National Day of Prayer. Her congregation would meet annually on first Thursday of May to pray together and spend some time discussing the experience. Todd Braschler, known broadly for his singing and speaking engagements, also recounts such experiences with appreciation. “I’ve been a part of the National Day of Prayer in my community for many years because it repositions the value of worship and prayer over and above denominations, traditions, and the burdens of our community.”

New Beginnings Church of God (Albuquerque, New Mexico) annually plays a major role in their city’s National Day of Prayer.

Jessica Hall has proclaimed, “Our prayers can make a difference in our nation!” Pastor Jessica, of Beulah Church of God in Eubank, Kentucky, who also serves as chairwoman of Pastors’ Fellowship, has come to understand personally the incredible power and intimacy with God accessible through prayer. “But it has to happen on personal level [too]. When we saturate ourselves in prayer it changes the fabric of our lives, the fabric of our churches, and then pours out to change the fabric of the communities we live in and serve in.”

Of the perennial need for prayer, beyond Thursday, May 2, 2024, Ryan Chapman, associate director for US and Canada Strategy, has said, “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.” He has pointed out that the National Day of Prayer Task Force has faithfully sought to “mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.”

The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer in the United States is “Lift Up the World, Light Up the World.” Based on 2 Samuel 22:29–31, organizers encourage intercessors to take an assortment of needs to the Lord, especially with the broader view of the world in mind. As the Light of the world himself, Jesus takes center-stage as the Mediator between the Father and humankind, advocating on behalf of all who would seek to illuminate the darkness, replacing hopelessness with hope.

How will you and/or your church observe the National Day of Prayer this year? Share your story and pictures with us! Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org. For more information about the National Day of Prayer, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.

Feature (top) photo: Pastor Allan Hutchinson (First Church of God, Winchester, Kentucky) took this picture last year at a local prayer gathering.

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