In the US, today, 3 May 2007, is the National Day of Prayer. Established by Congress in 1952 and proclaimed this year by President Bush, the effort is backed mainly by a group of evangelicals.*
With a few exceptions, our brotherhood doesn’t give the day much space. That is as it should be. We are not evangelicals. Nor can we see much spiritual profit in joining such religious bodies in this. We do not — cannot –, as a body, participate in such observations.
Our calendar is weekly and daily. We meet every first day of the week to eat the Lord’s Supper and join one another in worshiping God and encouraging one another. We take up the cross daily to follow Jesus, meet with our Maker, and serve him as opportunity affords us.
These spiritual movements provide the underpinnings of our faith.
At the same time, the New Testament provides a precedent for special moments in the life of a saint, a congregation, a brotherhood.
• The entire Antioch church devoted themselves to prayer and fasting before laying their hands on Barnabas and Saul, after having been chosen by the Holy Spirit for their first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3).
• The ordination of shepherds seemed to occasion a time of prayer and fasting (Acts 14:23).
• Saints from various congregations converged on Jerusalem to confer with the apostles and elders about a point of doctrine (Acts 15).
• The collection for the needy Jerusalem disciples provided a specific focus and special effort among many churches.
So as Christians we may unite in moments of prayer and fasting, efforts to relieve suffering, cooperation in preaching the gospel. We are at liberty to meet, pray, give, and work in special, specific moments and activities. We may invite others to join us in these.
Just as we have gospel meetings as a special evangelistic effort, we may also have other designated days or moments to draw attention to similar efforts and needs.
In times past, at the invitation of some congregations or ministries, many of our brethren have observed special days of prayer and fasting. Other days have been set aside to highlight needs.
With the Internet and instant, global communication, we could take better advantage of special moments, inviting our brothers and sisters in an area or region to participate. Or across the globe.
While we choose not to pile on the bandwagon of the National Day of Prayer — though we’ll certainly pray for the repentance of the American people –, let us join together in special moments and efforts to pray and work for the salvation of many.
So why not a brotherhood day of prayer, or a day of united effort? While every day we continue to serve the Lord.
*See these websites:
Though the National Day of Prayer is not for us, we may join with other disciples in special moments and efforts.