Statewide day of prayer planned in S.C.

by Staff/Baptist Courier, posted Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (2 years ago)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (BP) -- Evangelicals from across the state of South Carolina plan to gather at the North Charleston Coliseum & Performing Arts Center for a day of prayer and fasting called by Gov. Nikki Haley.

The June 13 event, "The Response South Carolina: A Call to Prayer for a Nation in Crisis," will mirror a similar emphasis on prayer to be held during this year's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 16-17 in Columbus, Ohio.

"The Response is an evangelical all-day event of worship, fasting and prayer to intercede for a nation in crisis," said Brad Atkins, pastor of Powdersville First Baptist Church in Easley, S.C., and chairman of The Response South Carolina planning board. "The event is open to all those who believe that salvation is found only through Jesus. It is not a time for preachers to pontificate or politicians to make political speeches. It is a called time of repentance and worship."

During the day-long event, sponsored by the American Renewal Project, various evangelical speakers will lead a series of 45-second prayers interspersed with Scripture and worship music. There is no scheduled lunch break and participants are urged to fast during the day's events. But coliseum concessions will be available.

Approximately 10,000 people are expected to attend.

"Our nation and state are in crisis," said Mark Hendrick, director of the South Carolina Baptist Convention's Office of Public Policy. "Prayer and the Lord are what will bring us back; we should humble ourselves and seek Him."

The concept of the event, organizers note, is based on biblical accounts in Joel 2 and 2 Chronicles 7:14, which outline a sacred and solemn assembly intentionally called to seek God's intervention in times of crisis.

Prayers during the event will focus on areas of repentance, reconciliation, revival, reformation and refreshment. Hendricks said issues specific to South Carolina will be prayed for throughout the day including human trafficking, education and church awakening.

Atkins said he attended a similar event in Louisiana that was held in January and he participated in training leading up to the event.

"Our state and nation are at a tipping point," he said. "It is time for the church to unite and stand for righteousness. This is not about a denomination or a personality; this is about creating a posture of prayer before God and interceding for our nation's future."

Hendrick noted, "We have prayer events generated from within the church and faith community, but it is refreshing to see a secular public entity recognizing the need for prayer and calling for this day to happen in South Carolina. It is great to see a governmental leader step out and stand with Christians in this way."

Atkins said what excites him most about the event is that it is expected to cross over denominational lines and racial barriers. "We will see generations and various evangelical denominations rallying together under the banner of Jesus," he said. "The hope for our nation will not be found in a political group or a politician's office; our only hope is in a restored relationship with our Creator."

There is no registration fee to attend The Response South Carolina, but seating is reserved.

For more information, go to theresponsesc.com or contact Hendrick at markhendrick@scbaptist.org or by phone at 803-227-6105.

Article submitted by the Baptist Courier, newsjournal of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.
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