It is often said, “You can never really go home again.” Well, I sure experienced that truth last week. As I toured the neighborhood of my first pastoral appointment, I noticed many houses in disrepair, yards strewn with junk cars, and many, too many, empty trailers and houses. We wondered if it was this bad when we were there in the 80s or if we just didn’t notice.
In these next two weeks, Americans, and especially Pennsylvanians have two great opportunities to change our world. The first is on Tuesday, April 24, when we have the right and privilege to vote in the primary elections. The second one and I believe more importantly, we have the awesome privilege of joining Christians across the country and praying on Thursday, May 3, the National Day of Prayer.
On a national level, in the often quoted scripture, 2 Chronicles 7:14, God promises, “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.” I agree with Ronnie Floyd that “The answer to our spiritual crisis will not be found in the ballot box but in our prayer closets” (The Power of Prayer and Fasting).
The greatest need for our city, state, and nation is that believers would join together in unity and power to pray for each other, our nation, and our world. Jesus said the world would know we are truly His disciples by our love for one another. Like any family, we may not agree on every decision or every interpretation of scripture (Yes, we even disagree on political issues), but we agree on one main thing, the only main thing, Jesus Christ is God’s Son who gave His life for us on the Cross, rose again from the dead, and is coming again some day, maybe soon.
On Thursday, May 3, I urge you to join with other Christians to pray. One special event that I will be attending is the Celebrate One National Day of Prayer and Unity Service to be held on the UPJ campus. At the Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Thursday, May 3, at 7:00 PM, Christians, clergy and laypersons alike, will gather to seek God’s face and blessing for our nation. The nationally-known Christian band, Echoing Angels, will lead us in worship and provide a Christian concert, as we join together in prayer, united in Jesus’ name. Yes, I hope you voted, but I especially urge you to join with other Christians in prayer for our nation.
Randy Bain is the Senior Pastor of Oakland UM Church located at 1504 Bedford Street in Johnstown. You may reach him through the church website www.oaklandumc.com.