Love and Forgiveness the Focus of the National Day of Prayer

Those in attendance bow in prayer during the National Day of Prayer observance May 2 in the U.S. Capitol. Photo by Bud Sullins

“From the church house to the state house and all the way to the White House, we need to learn how to love one another,” Ronnie Floyd told the crowd present at a National Day of Prayer (NDP) observance May 2 in the U.S. Capitol.

“I want to remind everyone here tonight — government cannot fix us. Politics cannot heal us. But loving one another can change the world,” said Floyd, NDP Task Force chairman and president-elect of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

That theme — “Love One Another,” based on Jesus’ command in John 13:34 — dominated this year’s NDP observance, running through the messages and prayers of the more than 20 speakers on the program.

The two-hour event, held in the National Statuary Hall, drew a large crowd in person as well as TV and internet viewers. It was the culmination of a day when people gathered in roughly 50,000 locations across the nation to pray for God to bring revival.

“America’s greatest need tonight … is that the next great spiritual awakening would occur in our generation,” Floyd said.

During the observance, speakers from different ethnic backgrounds led in prayers for government officials, the military and people in need of love all across the nation. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers sang at various points in the program.

Anthony B. Thompson, pastor of Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church of Charleston, S.C., called Christians to radical forgiveness. His wife Myra was killed in 2015 by a shooter at Emanuel AME Church, along with eight others who were attending the church’s Wednesday night Bible study.

Two days after her death, Thompson said, he felt God asking him if he was going to extend love to the young man who had pulled the trigger. Thompson said yes, and at the hearing, he told the shooter that he forgave him.

“I experienced God’s love, I experienced God’s peace and for the first time I understood what it meant to experience love that passes all understanding,” Thompson said. “He freed me. He healed me from the inside out.”

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Source: Baptist Press

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