WASHINGTON (BP)–BarlowGirl, three sisters who are one of the top bands in contemporary Christian music, are on board with this year’s National Day of Prayer.
“We want to be a part of encouraging people to press into God, pray and seek His face, then watch Him move in their lives,” Rebecca, Alyssa and Lauren Barlow said in a statement on the nationaldayofprayer.org website.
“If there is one thing we’ve experienced in our lives, it is that prayer changes things.”
BarlowGirl, as this year’s NDP youth ambassador, is encouraging students -– and people of all ages -– to participate in the May 3 National Day of Prayer.
“BarlowGirl is reaching out to a generation of young people who are passionate about the things of God, calling them to action and challenging them to make an impact in their communities,” said Michael Calhoun, director of marketing and communications for the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
BarlowGirl and several other Christian artists released a special song for the National Day of Prayer, titled “We Pray.” (To hear the single, visit www.ndptf.org and click on the Youth section.) BarlowGirl will be representing the NDP at this year’s Dove Awards, April 25 in Nashville, Tenn.
The NDP Task Force also has teamed with Third Day to help students host a “Freedom Rally” in their churches and schools on May 2, the eve of the National Day of Prayer. To help students unite and impact their community, video, audio and print resources are available free of charge on the NDP website.
“Today, millions are uniting in prayer” through each year’s national call to prayer, Calhoun said. “Over 6 million people have visited the website since April 2006, an increase of 84 percent. More than 108,000 people have been given information on how to have a relationship with Christ through prayer.”
Calhoun also noted an increase in interest in this year’s NDP events, compared to 2006 when nearly 2 million people were involved. “So far we have seen an increase of 384 percent in posted events, indicating that God’s people will turn out in massive numbers this year as well,” Calhoun said. “These events are taking place in courthouses, on capitol steps, in churches, firehouses, on mountaintops and even in airplanes.” An estimated 46,000 churches will be involved.
“Through partnerships and media exposure, more than 81 million people will be exposed to the National Day of Prayer this year,” Calhoun said.
“Our country is stronger through prayer,” he said. “It is a shield that protects us and reminds us of our dependence on our heavenly Father.”
This year’s NDP honorary chairman is Charles Swindoll, noted author and pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Swindoll will be the keynote speaker at the NDP national observance in Washington, D.C., at noon in the Cannon House Office Building.
The event can be viewed live by going to the NDP website.
Also, a special observance of the National Day of Prayer is scheduled at the White House involving President Bush, various members of Congress and other officials.
Bush, in a proclamation for the May 3 National Day of Prayer, noted the tragedy at Virginia Tech when 32 students and teachers were killed by a student gunman.
“Following the tragedy at Virginia Tech, in towns all across America, in houses of worship from every faith, Americans have joined together to pray for the lives that were lost and for their families, friends, and loved ones,” the president said. “We hold the victims in our hearts and pray for those who suffer and grieve. There is a power in these prayers, and we can find comfort in the grace and guidance of a loving God.”
Bush also noted, “A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge.”
Thousands of other events will be held across the country, such as the 12th annual Longs Park prayer event in Lancaster, Pa., where 10,000 people are expected to attend, Calhoun said. And in Hollywood, Calif., Christian actors, directors, producers and others will gather in the CBS studios for prayer.
For more information about the 2007 National Day of Prayer and resources such as prayer guides, bulletin inserts, sermon notes, small group studies and more, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org. For those who are looking for an event close to home to attend, go to the NDP website and locate local NDP events.
Brandon Bryant is based in Lynchburg, Va.