Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) Executive Committee, will hold a Good Friday Online Prayer Gathering April 10.
“Never, and I do mean never, have Southern Baptists needed to gather together to pray for one another, for America, and for the world, like we need to pray right now,” Floyd said. “The COVID-19 global pandemic is touching the lives of our people and others across the world. As the number of deaths continues to rise, our economy simultaneously sinks — and these alarming realities create great uncertainty and concern for the future.”
Floyd said the focus of the event will be on Scripture reading and prayer, specifically prayer for:
- The end of this pandemic.
- The healing of God’s power upon all who are sick with this virus and comfort for those who have lost loved ones — we already have pastors and laypeople who are infected and ill, and some dying.
- Those on the front lines of this battle: our doctors, nurses and other medical staff, as well as first responders and military personnel.
- Government leaders at the federal, state and local levels, as well as members of the Coronavirus Task Force.
- Our more than 47,500 Southern Baptist churches, our pastors and church members, our 5,017 North American missionaries, our 3,500 endorsed chaplains and our 3,700 international missionaries and their 2,880 children.
- The advancement of the Gospel in this challenging season throughout the towns, cities, states, and nations of this world.
- The spiritual awakening that could emerge through this global pandemic.
- The personal needs of all who join us in this prayer gathering.
“The focus is on praying as one body. We will talk to God together. Gather your friends and families and let’s petition our mighty God and ask for His miraculous intervention,” Floyd said.
Guests scheduled to attend the prayer gathering include SBC president J.D. Greear, former SBC president Steve Gaines, International Mission Board (IMB) president Paul Chitwood and North American Mission Board (NAMB) president Kevin Ezell.
“The greatest resource for the Great Commission is not our money nor even our missionaries. It’s the Spirit of God,” Chitwood said in a statement. “We access that resource through prayer. Now is the time to pray!”
Noting the social distancing protocols many churches are facing, Ezell said, “Nothing replaces being together physically better than being together in prayer. We are stronger together and that is never demonstrated better than when we pray. I’m grateful for our SBC family and can’t wait to see the many ways God will this time to bring us together and help us move forward on mission.”
The full list of participants joining the Floyds for the event include:
- Julio Arriola, executive director of Hispanic relations and mobilization for the SBC Executive Committee
- Marshal Ausberry, SBC first vice president and senior pastor of Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax Station, Virginia
- Jacob Boss, affinity leader for European peoples at the International Mission Board
- Paul Chitwood, president of the International Mission Board
- Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board
- Donna Gaines, pastor’s wife and founder and president of ARISE2Read in Memphis, Tennessee
- Steve Gaines, senior pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tennessee, and former SBC president
- J.D. Greear, SBC president and lead pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, North Carolina
- Jeremiah Lepasana, lead pastor of Bible Church International in Randolph, New Jersey
- Marci Parrott, pastor’s wife and mother of six in Huntersville, North Carolina
- Ronnie Parrott, lead pastor of Christ Community Church in Huntersville, North Carolina
- Heiden Ratner, senior pastor of WALK Church in Las Vegas.
The call to prayer — hosted by Floyd and his wife, Jeana — comes during a time of great uncertainty in America as people look for answers to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“We have never been here before,” Floyd said. “Our prayers need to match these challenges. Gather friends and families everywhere and let’s talk to God about where we are. We need God to intervene miraculously. Together we must pray and be on mission with God.”
The event will take place at noon CDT on April 10 and will be livestreamed at sbc.net/pray and on the SBC Executive Committee’s Facebook page. The format will include times of Scripture reading and focused prayer to address specific needs related to the pandemic, according to Floyd, who is inviting and encouraging all Southern Baptists to participate. (Baptist Press)
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