FIRST-PERSON: Why Southern Baptists need a Good Friday online prayer gathering
NASHVILLE (BP) -- Never, and I do mean never, have Southern Baptists needed to gather together to pray for one another, for America, and for the world, like we need to pray right now. The COVID-19 global pandemic is touching the lives of our people and others across the world. As the number of deaths continues to rise, our economy simultaneously sinks -- and these alarming realities create great uncertainty and concern for the future.
Our Southern Baptist churches -- pastors, church staff, laypeople and missionaries, as well as the employees of our local associations, state conventions and national entities -- have an opportunity to come together at 12 p.m. CDT on Good Friday (April 10) for a concentrated time of prayer.
As we celebrate Easter weekend with hope in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord, please make every effort to join Southern Baptists from across America and around the world praying for God's intervention in this major global crisis.
Our focus will be on prayer and Scripture reading. We hope to gather as many Baptists as possible to join in one online gathering to pray together for:
-- The end of this pandemic.
-- Those on the front lines of this battle: our doctors, nurses and other medical staff, as well as first responders and military personnel.
-- Government leaders at the federal, state and local levels, as well as members of the Coronavirus Task Force.
-- Our more than 47,500 Southern Baptist churches, our pastors and church members, our 5,017 North American missionaries, our 3,500 endorsed chaplains and our 3,700 international missionaries and their 2,880 children.
-- The advancement of the Gospel in this challenging season throughout the towns, cities, states, and nations of this world.
-- The spiritual awakening that could emerge through this global pandemic.
-- The personal needs of all who join us in this prayer gathering.
We need to gather together for prayer. Thankfully, we have the ability to engage people online, both in our nation and throughout the entire world.
This will not be a preaching event. The focus is on praying as one body. We will talk to God together. Gather your friends and families and let's petition our mighty God and ask for His miraculous intervention.
During the SBC Good Friday Online Prayer Gathering, other Southern Baptist leaders will join me for Scripture readings and prayers. Those include: Julio Arriola, Marshal Ausberry, Jacob Boss, Paul Chitwood, Kevin Ezell, Jeana Floyd, Steve and Donna Gaines, J.D. Greear, Jeremiah Lepasana, Ronnie and Marci Parrott and Heiden Ratner.
Please join us on at noon CDT on Good Friday at sbc.net/pray or on Facebook Live @SBCEXECCOMM.
For too long, others have seen what we can do; now is the time for others to see what our God can do. The need has never been this great.
Now is the time to pray.