NASHVILLE (BP) – The current challenges across America and the world are extraordinary. Together, we need to respond with a commitment to extraordinary prayer and cooperation.
We need each other now more than ever before, and we need God’s power like never before in life and in ministry.
The tragedies in Afghanistan
How can any of us dismiss the ongoing tragedies in Afghanistan? Tuesday (Aug. 31) was set as the final day for all American personnel and Afghan allies to be out of the country. Reports are that this has not been fully accomplished.
Additionally, Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous countries for Christians to live, and now many are left behind. Some may have chosen to stay in order to present the Good News of Jesus to their nation. Yet, we know under the rule of the Taliban, not only are Christians under a greater threat, but threats towards women become even stronger. Additionally, an increase of refugees who are now displaced will need love, care and a new place to call home.
This past Sunday, a sobering and somber scene occurred at Dover Air Force Base that personified the depths of our nation’s grief, as the remains of thirteen young American service members were brought home for burial after being killed at the Kabul airport. Grief continues to abound in our country.
This is why we need to pray in an extraordinary way. Only God can change the hearts of people, and only God can intervene in this situation.
Hurricane Ida, the damage and loss of life
On the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, 150 mph winds from Hurricane Ida hit the Louisiana coastline. For six hours, Ida remained a Category 4 hurricane before it was downgraded.
Baptists are already on the ground operating with a great commitment to providing disaster relief. If you are not aware, please understand that the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry of our churches is the third largest in the nation, behind only to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. We are very thankful for our state conventions who champion disaster relief efforts.
We need to pray for all those impacted, including our Southern Baptist churches and all relief personnel. These situations are dangerous and real.
While this is occurring, disaster relief efforts are continuing in Waverly, Tenn., due to the devastation of flooding on Aug. 21. In a town with just over 4,000 people, 20 people died and 270 homes were destroyed. Grief and devastation are real in Waverly.
How can we not pray in an extraordinary way? Personally, we need to pray in a manner greater than the normal. Collectively, in our churches, we need to pray in a manner greater than the normal.
Through our churches, we need to give in a more extraordinary way so monies can be forwarded through our Cooperative Program to the disaster relief ministries in our states and to Send Relief, which ministers nationally and globally.
Extraordinary prayer beyond the ordinary
What is your ordinary pattern of prayer? How much time a day? How many days a week do you pray? Whatever is normal for you needs to become extraordinary.
If you pray five minutes a day, then pray for 10 minutes a day. If you pray an hour a day, then pray a few minutes more. If your church prays two minutes in a worship service, then take it to five minutes in a worship service.
Extraordinary prayer is praying beyond what is your ordinary practice. This could be in minutes, hours or days.
Extraordinary prayer is the greatest need as we live in and navigate these extraordinary times. While an avalanche of trouble is occurring, we operate through this trouble by committing to and practicing extraordinary prayer.
I believe God can do more in a moment than you can do in a lifetime. Do you believe this?
I believe God can do great things anywhere at any time with anyone. This includes you. Do you believe this?
I believe there is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with extraordinary prayer of God’s people. Do you believe this?
I plead with all of us today, we need extraordinary prayer and cooperation more than ever before.
Let’s believe God together.
Now is the time to lead.