Social distancing requirements and stay-at-home restrictions mean far fewer Americans will gather for the National Day of Prayer on May 7 than in past years.
But a Central Texas minister hopes Texas Baptist churches will use social media to encourage members to participate in a guided prayer time throughout the day. And in neighborhoods throughout the state, he envisions individuals standing on their front porches at 7 p.m. singing “Amazing Grace.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect Texas in mid-March, many churches have increased their online presence and social media engagement. Congregations with little previous experience on social media have learned how to livestream worship services and post Bible study and devotional videos.
Norman Flowers, missions and discipleship pastor at First Baptist Church in Marble Falls, hopes congregations will use those tools to mobilize members to pray in concert with other Christians around the country.
Habakkuk 2:14 is the theme Scripture verse for the 2020 National Day of Prayer: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
While prayer breakfasts and town square public prayer meetings may be impossible this year, Flowers wants churches to invite individuals to pray “so that we may fill the earth with prayers of hope.”
He is urging congregations to post written prayers or videos on social media throughout the day with the hashtag #NationalDayofPrayer.
A suggested schedule for hourly prayer emphases from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. is posted here, along with graphics that churches can download and post throughout the day on social media.
After singing “Amazing Grace” at 7 p.m. on their front steps, participants are invited to watch the National Day of Prayer broadcast featuring Michael W. Smith, Will Graham, Jim Cymbala and others on Facebook Live and several Christian TV networks, he added.
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For more information, email Flowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Texas Baptists will host a statewide prayer call at noon on May 7 in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer. Church leaders are invited to join the call as Baptist General Convention of Texas leaders pray for the protection of frontline workers, wisdom for leaders and wisdom as churches prayerfully consider a relaunch. Program participants will include Executive Director David Hardage, President Michael Evans and Executive Board Chair Donna Burney. To register, click here.