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Seminary community gathers for ‘Prayer for the Nations’


WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP)–The Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary community gathered in Binkley Chapel for prayer and song the evening of March 20 in support of U.S. troops in Iraq.

The “Prayer For the Nations” service was led by Thomas White, Southeastern’s director of student life.

One of the most patriotic things people can do is pray for the troops, for President George W. Bush and the nation’s leaders, White said during the service, describing it as a task not to be taken lightly.

“Before we can pray for our nation, we must make sure we do what we’re supposed to do,” White noted, describing prayer as “not something you do to make others think highly of you.”

In praying amid the crisis, White said he is reminded of the sinfulness of the human heart. That sobering realization, he said, should lead Christians to glorify God for the price Jesus Christ paid on the cross.

“As we ponder the deceitfully wicked human heart, we must further appreciate the saving act of Jesus Christ on the cross,” White said.


While key prayer concerns amid the current crisis involve America’s leaders, soldiers and their families, overriding even that is an urgent need to pray for revival, White said.

“The most important thing to pray for during this time is the salvation for the lost and that God could use this unfortunate situation to bring about a worldwide revival,” White said.

Waylan Owens, vice president for institutional advancement, said Southeastern had been planning for several weeks to hold a prayer vigil when the war began.

“First of all, we at the seminary pray because we need to pray,” he said. “We are weak, but God is strong. We need to turn to him, and in this kind of time, our weakness is made so wonderfully clear.”

Beyond the need for constant heartfelt prayer, Owens said there also is a need to speak supportively of the United States and its leadership during the war in Iraq.

“Flags and other signs and symbols can be important components of our communication, but we need to limit, especially at this time, our conversation to that which is edifying and encouraging,” Owens said.