I have said through the years that my most memorable time of worship ever was the Sunday after 9/11. The crowd was larger. We sang louder. We had a greater sense of desperation.
That’s the way I feel today. The crowds likely won’t be as large this Sunday, March 15, because of fears of gathering in large crowds and the need for many elderly to stay home, but if you are well and can gather, I sense that this will be a special day of worship. I am joining the call of our Southern Baptist Convention leaders in asking every church in Louisiana to have a special moment of prayer in your worship this Sunday. You can view and share their call using this link. Some of you may even be led to dedicate your entire worship service just to prayer. As a pastor I did this on a number of occasions. This was always a meaningful time of worship.
Pastors, you can use these suggestions to guide your praying. Send it out to those members who might choose not to attend. Whatever you decide to do Sunday, let us pray in focused, concentrated prayer.
As we prepare to pray, I think of these Scriptures . . .
Luke 18:1-8, the Parable of the Persistent Widow—Luke introduced this parable by saying, “Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up.” (Luke 18:1)
James 1:5—Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God—who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly.
2 Chronicles 6:28-31—
When there is famine in the land,
when there is pestilence,
when there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper,
when their enemies besiege them
in the land and its cities,
when there is any plague or illness,
29 every prayer or petition
that any person or that all your people Israel may have—
they each know their own affliction and suffering—
as they spread out their hands toward this temple,
30 may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place,
and may you forgive and give to everyone
according to all their ways, since you know each heart,
for you alone know the human heart,
31 so that they may fear you
and walk in your ways
all the days they live on the land
you gave our ancestors.
Now is the time to pray! Don’t panic, pray!