I believe this needs to be reiterated. Earlier this year, May 2, was the National Day of Prayer. Congress established this to be an annual event in 1952 and President Regan amended it to be the first Thursday in May. It is a day in America set aside to bring people together to seek the Lord for the Nation. It is a day to look past our differences and come together for a common purpose. Scripture has plenty to say on prayer.
One reference in 2 Chronicles 7 verse 14 says, “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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Does our Nation need healing? Yes. So, the Nation comes together, but the Nation is made up of many local communities. Our community, Calhoun County, met together to worship and pray. Some of you missed it. There will be next year. We prayed that we would love one another and work together, and that revival would come to the church. Does that happen here yet? Yes, on some level. Can we do better? Absolutely. We get better by allowing God to direct us and cooperate with his directions.
As the family of faith, disciples of Jesus Christ, the bible has something to say about this in John chapter 13, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
So, the question is if people were to look at the Christians in Calhoun County using this criterion, would they know we were disciples of Jesus? Not just the ones in your own prayer group, or my Wednesday evening fellowship, but the collective body of believers in our population of 22,000.
That brings us to the third point, as a good Baptist preacher would and I am not even Baptist. The Nation may come together as many local communities gather to pray, but local communities are comprised of many individuals. As much as I appreciate prayer meetings large and small, we must come down to our personal involvement. We must be motivated to pray and commune with God outside of big events and weekly groups.
If locally, one day a year, we pray to love one another but the rest of the year, maybe except for Sundays, work against that prayer in words and deeds, what have we done? I believe if we each personally commit not only to prayer but also to practice, we then will be stronger locally. When locally, many communities become closer and stronger truly learning to work together, imagine where we could be Nationally. May God continue to bless the United States of America, local communities, and you and I personally.