The National Day of Prayer for 2019 in the United States is May 2nd. You should expect hear about participating in this event soon at your local Bartow Baptist church. I advise you not to participate in it and I encourage local churches to opt out of supporting this event. Given what is known about the event’s participants and leaders, both local and national, I do not believe God is pleased with the National Day of Prayer. Let’s examine the many reasons why.
The National Day of Prayer itself is not an exclusively Christian event. According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, the National Day of prayer is “a government-proclaimed day (which) is offered to all Americans to ‘turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.’” Prayer is an act of worship. By encouraging non-Christian prayer, the US Government is encouraging at least some of its citizens (Muslims, Mormons, etc…) to engage in an idolatrous practice that God hates. As Americans we understand that the federal government is not in the position to endorse a particular religion. Given that it’s not, it would be wise for the government to get out of the “Day of Prayer” business altogether. Since the government can’t endorse a religion, it makes no sense to endorse a prayer event. To do so implies that all religions are equal. They are not. While the federal government provides equal protection to members of all religions, God hates all religion except biblical Christianity. Furthermore, Christians are not in need of any “offer” from the federal government for an occasion to pray.
The Bartow Baptist Association will be participating in National Day of Prayer Events in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which is specifically organized to encourage Christian prayer. Unfortunately, participation in the National Day of prayer can place Christian focus on the wrong kind of nationalism. Christians are ultimately citizens of a Heavenly Kingdom and their greatest focus should be on advancing that Kingdom. At the same time Christians are certainly not proscribed from participation in civil affairs. Arguably, there is a biblical mandate for God’s people to pray for the welfare of their earthly home. It is written in the book of Jeremiah:
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, ‘Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.“
There is nothing wrong with American Christians praying for the welfare of their earthly home, but should they make such a show of it? Bartow Baptist National Day of Prayer activities are scheduled to be done in public. The gospel of Matthew records Jesus’ condemnation of showy, public prayers. Furthermore, why should Bartow County’s Christians feel beholden to recognize the official prayer day of the federal government? Christians are supposed to be in prayer every day. There is no compelling biblical reason for Christians to participate in government prayer events. In fact, not showing up to them may provide a more powerful witness than participation.
Special attention should be given to Jerimiah’s warning, cited above, about false prophets. God clearly tells his people that he has not sent false prophets to them. The president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is Ronnie Floyd. Ronnie Floyd is a proven false prophet.
In his 1997 book, The Power of Prayer and Fasting, Floyd made the following prophecy:
It is twenty years later and this prophesied revival is yet to come to pass, despite Ronnie Floyd claiming in the same book that “God is on the brink of ushering in a great spiritual awakening across this land through the mighty gateway to His supernatural power.” Ronnie Floyd, who is considered something of a prayer expert, among his denomination is exactly the kind of slick-talking dreamer that about God warned his people through Jeremiah. Why partner with him? He is to be rejected for claiming to speak for God when he does not. To make matters worse, the task force event being held in Washington, DC features celebrity Christians who are notorious for compromise, ecumenism, and controversy, including Nick Hall, Sammy Rodriguez, Jay Strack, and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
But what about local participants? To examine them, look no further than the crowd gathered together by Bartow Baptist Missionary David Franklin: James Griffin, Jacon King, Kevin Lobello.
Franklin himself is the Georgia state coordinator for the National Day of Prayer Task Force. He is in formal alignment with the false prophet Ronnie Floyd. Furthermore, Franklin has a history of bringing suspect preachers and their errant thought to Bartow County. He brought hokum historian David Barton to Bartow just last year. On local level, he continues to partner with unhinged charismatics.
Jacob King is the pastor of the Church at Liberty Square in Cartersville which is a part of the Church of God International. He has previously led prayer at the the Bartow Day of Prayer event. In the regular course of his ministry, he makes a mockery out of God the Holy Spirit. I have personally witnessed King “slay” young women “in the Spirit” at his church. For those who are unfamiliar with this unbiblical practice, it involves a preacher grabbing the head of a worshiper and shaking her while hollering in tongues until she falls down on the ground in a trance-like state. God hates false worship.
Kevin Lobello is the pastor of Sam Jones Memorial United Methodist Church in Cartersville. The United Methodist Church has been in the process of departing biblical orthodoxy for the better part of a century. Lobello counts as an associate pastor, a female, even though God’s word limits the office of pastor to men. United Methodist clergy in the United States are largely pro-LGBT. In fact Lobello’s alma mater, Candler School of Theology, runs a placement service to help LGBTQ students find a geographic region where United Methodist Church boards will ordain them. The United Methodist Church, from the top down, is frighteningly liberal while, at the same time, nominally Christian. I have been personally told by Bartow Baptist leadership that United Methodists are among the hardest people in our area to evangelize. So why partner with their so-called Shepherd?
James Griffin is actually a Baptist. The seeker-sensitive church which he pastors, CrossPoint City Church, is actually a member church of the Bartow Baptist Association. I have written elsewhere about various concerns with that church but frankly, Griffin is the least problematic of Franklin’s local partners.
I think I’ve made the case here that, locally and nationally, Christians should avoid involvement with the National Day of Prayer event. Considering that the intended purpose of event is to adjure God to bless America, does it make sense to partner with false prophets, ecumenists, wild charismatics, and liberals? Rather than joining arms with such men, shouldn’t we be praying to God to help us be witnessing to them against their false worship and unbiblical beliefs? I encourage you to pray about and research what I’ve written here.
At least consider this, our marquee prayer warriors and revivalists have been promoting these types of events for years. Baptisms are down and western culture is becoming ever more inhospitable to Christian values. Could it be that prayer leaders like David Frankin are all talk while God isn’t listening?
Take some time today to sincerely pray to God for guidance. Then take some time tomorrow and the day after that.
*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion. It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled. Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.