Millions of Americans will take part in the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, with churches across the country holding special services and a national observance planned in the nation’s capital.
This year’s theme is “unity,” one that seems fitting in an era where Americans seem more divided and partisan than ever, according to Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the annual event and senior pastor at Cross Church in Arkansas.
“God calls all of us to grow together in unity,” Floyd told Breitbart News.
The faith community has an especially important role in creating unity in their congregations and communities.
“A divided church cannot call a divided nation to unity,” Floyd said.
The scripture chosen for this year’s commemoration comes for the New Testament’s book of Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
The national observance, taking place in the Capitol, will focus on prayer for the nation’s leaders and lawmakers in Washington and for “unity among all ethnicities and people in America.”
Lawmakers scheduled to speak include Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), and Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC), co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus.
Leaders from the faith community who will deliver remarks include Dr. Negiel Bigpond, co-founder/president, Two Rivers Native American Training Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma; the Rev. Tony Suarez, executive vice president, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Sacramento, California; Tom Mullins, founding pastor, Christ Fellowship, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr., senior pastor, Hope Christian Church, Washington, DC; and Rev. David Um, Student Chaplain, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Senior Pastor, Antioch Church, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Anne Graham Lotz, evangelist, and daughter of the late Rev. Billy Graham, is also scheduled to speak.
The event at the nation’s capital will include the screening of a video titled “Violent Tragedies in America,” which focuses on mass shootings that took place at a church in Texas and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Following the video, Floyd will interview the Rev. Frank Pomeroy and his wife, Sherri. Rev. Pomeroy is the pastor of Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church on the outskirts of San Antonio, Texas, where a gunman killed 26 people in November of 2017, including the couple’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle.
“We are praying for the security of our schools, our churches, and our nation,” Floyd told Breitbart News.
A prayer Floyd wrote is posted on the National Day of Prayer website, and says, in part:
We pray for God’s power to unify families, workplaces, communities, and cities in America. By Your Spirit, lead us to forgiveness, reconciliation, healing, and unity.
We pray for people of all ethnicities and races in America to come together as one, living in peace and unity together.
We agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America. Oh Lord, wake up Your church spiritually and convict Your people to agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily until the next Great Spiritual Awakening occurs in our generation.
Floyd said achieving unity starts with respecting one another from conception to natural death and in all stages of life in between.
“We are all made in the image of God,” Floyd said.
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