“Love One Another” is the theme for the 2019 National Day of Prayer event president Ronnie Floyd announced Oct. 30.
Anchored in John 13:34, the theme seeks to mobilize the nation in prayer on May 2 in every U.S. locale across generational, ethnic and linguistic lines, said Floyd, senior pastor of the multisite Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.
“I realize that our task today is daunting and quite intimidating,” Floyd said in his Facebook announcement, “but it is not impossible.
“I don’t have all of the answers, and I don’t think anyone of us would have all of the answers,” he said, “but we do know ultimately Who does have all of the answers, Who has a greater passion and a greater vision to redeem the world. And that’s Jesus Christ, the living Son of God.”
Floyd, a former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president, announced the theme and scripture during a two-day National Leadership Summit ending today at the Pinnacle Hills campus of Cross Church in Rogers, Ark.
National Day of Prayer is seeking to reach the nation’s 328 million people in 3,142 counties and 19,510 incorporated places, including cities, towns [and] villages.
“The vast majority of America does not look like us, believe like us, talk like us and understand us,” Floyd said. “But that also goes to the opposite side. We do not look like the majority of America. Nor do we believe like the majority of America, nor do we talk like the majority of America, and we certainly do not understand the majority of America.”
Screen capture from Facebook
Nearly a third, 29 percent, of Americans are nonreligious, ranging in extremes from religious resistance to solid secularism, Floyd said, referencing Pew Research Center numbers released in August. Juxtaposed to the nonreligious are 17 percent of Americans that Pew categorized as Sunday stalwarts, Floyd said, “meaning religious traditionalists actively involved in their faith and engaged in their congregations.”
“The remaining persons beyond these extremes,” Floyd said, “… believe all kinds of things and participate in all kinds of ways in American life today.”
At least one event in every city, town and county of America, in more than 350,000 churches spanning 200 denominations, and including all generations, ethnicities and languages spoken in U.S. is the prayer effort’s goal.
“Wouldn’t it be absolutely remarkable that one day,” Floyd asked, “the National Day of Prayer is heard in every language that is spoken in the United States?”
In addition to Floyd, the summit offered insight from 14 national leaders spanning ethnicities, Christian denominations and generations, and including both sexes.
Kie Bowman, senior pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church and The Quarries Church of Austin, Texas, was among summit presenters. He encouraged attendees to mobilize their churches in prayer.
“Take the prayer meeting out of the closet,” said Bowman, who preached the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting sermon in Dallas. “It’s time for prayer to go to the group. It’s time to take it to the congregation. It’s time to take it to the public square.
“Prayer meetings change the world,” he said. “And in those settings, the Holy Spirit speaks.”
Additional National Day of Prayer information is available on the event website, nationaldayofprayer.org, and its Facebook page.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)