By Brian Koonce
JEFFERSON CITY – National Day of Prayer isn’t until May 6, but the Missouri coordinator is hoping the praying starts long before then.
Madge Atkinson, a member of Centennial Baptist in Mexico, said she hopes Missouri Baptists will set aside time to prayer walk the Capitol grounds morning, noon and night on the three days leading up to the statewide event in the Capitol Rotunda on May 6.
The theme for this year’s event – For Such a Time as This – focuses on the urgency of praying for the nation.
“This is a time for urgency,” said Bob Loggins, prayer and spiritual awakening specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). “Now is the time for God’s people to pray.”
Atkinson said her goal is to unite the body of Christ in prayer, and that means not all only Missouri Baptists but all Christians across the state.
“It’s bigger than Jefferson City and it’s bigger than just the MBC,” she said. “It’s not about our agenda, it’s about God’s agenda. I want this to be known as the ‘Show-Me Your Glory State.’”
Atkinson said she hopes people will begin constantly lifting up the nation, not just on one day each spring.
“People talk about a grassroots campaign in political terms,” she said. “Well, I hear that phrase and I think about people falling on their knees on that grass. That’s my kind of grassroots.”
Organizers of this year’s event are hoping to get more involvement from state government leaders. Not to get them on stage praying, just to let them become aware people are praying for them.
“We need to come up to our senators and representatives, put our arm around them and say I honor my country and I honor your leadership, and I want God to bless you,” Loggins said.
That doesn’t mean not taking a stand for moral issues, however.
“We need to be willing to stand up on the wall and be a watchman,” Atkinson said. “We’ve looked a little bit, then looked away. Looked a little bit, then looked away again. We’re asking Missouri Baptists, ‘Will you stand your watch?’”
For more information about National Day of Prayer, go to www.ndtpf.org.