By Brian Koonce
FULTON – “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14 is a standard passage of Scriptures when it comes to Fourth of July sermons and calls for revival, but one Missouri pastor is taking the Biblical promise a step further. Ronald Baker, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Fulton, says the call to prayer is more than a simple three-point sermon.
“America is a polarized, divided and angry nation,” he said. “The greatest power we have available is prayer. God will hear our prayer and heal our land if we believe. I’m concerned about our future.”
For that to happen though, His people have to pray, and that’s where 2c714 comes in. The acronym of sorts refers to not only the passage in 2 Chronicles, but is also an outline for prayer and replication. “2c” represents two Christians, allowing for accountability and encouragement to stick with the prayer program. “7” refers to seven specific prayer concerns: personal cleansing, personal circle of influence, church/spiritual leaders, members of Congress, the president, constitutional direction and healing of the United States.
“I love America and I make no apologies for it, but there is a responsibility to each one us,” Baker said. “Christian people must band together and pray.”
As for the “14,” it refers to the two-week period each pair is to focus together on prayer.
“At the end of the 14 days, they find new prayer partners and start the process anew,” Baker said. “I envision this multiplying like Evangelism Explosion.”
Baker said the idea for 2c714 is one God impressed up on him.
“I wrestled with how to present it to the congregation,” he said. “I’ve said ‘no’ to God so many times about this, but I really believe this is a God thing. It is my hope and my prayer that it would extend beyond the walls of Southside Baptist Church. It’s my prayer that it goes nation-wide.”
Baker introduced the concept one Sunday morning at Southside and 50 people committed to the program. He said he encourages other churches and individuals to consider participating as well, but cautions against attaching a political connotation to the initiative.
“There have been obvious mistakes made by all political parties,” he said. “I’m not talking about Republicans or Democrats, I’m talking about America. 2c714 is a spiritual solution to the problems of our nation, not a political solution.”
For more information about 2c714, call Southside at (573) 642-5921 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Baker said he would be willing to share the initiative with other churches or groups who are interested.