NRB hosted a special online prayer event ahead of the Memorial Day weekend to intercede on behalf of communities, the nation, and all those who have been serving selflessly during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
The May 21 event, moderated by NRB Chairman of the Board Dr. Ron Harris, featured Dr. Charles Stanley (In Touch Ministries), Kay Arthur (Precept Ministries), Dr. Tony Evans (The Urban Alternative), and Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.). It was livestreamed on Facebook Live.
“These are unprecedented days,” noted Harris at the beginning of the “NRB Prays” event. “I think when we look back on 2020, that will be the word that will emerge above all others: unprecedented. But they are not days that are unseen by God.”
Noting how people today are looking for hope and looking for truth, Harris underscored the need for God’s wisdom before turning the mic over to Stanley, Evans, Arthur, and Lankford, each of whom offered words of wisdom, encouragement, and challenge.
Stanley encouraged Christ followers to trust and obey, and to be faithful to do what the Lord has called them to do.
“God is up to something,” Stanley said, noting that the present crisis may be a time for awakening in America.
“God has allowed this for some reason. I don’t know that we know all the reasons. We may know it much better later on. But He has allowed this one thing for certain: wake up, Christians,” Stanley said.
After noting the difficulties, hardships, pain, and suffering faced by believers in other countries, Stanley reminded Christians in the United States how they’ve “had it so good for so long.”
“It’s time to wake up and realize how blessed you’ve been and remember the Great Commission [God] gave you to reach the world with the truth of the Gospel,” he said. “And often times we probably have to stop and think, ‘Well, have we been too self-centered?’”
“It’s a wakeup call for us,” he reiterated.
Evans similarly echoed the idea that the current situation is God-allowed, calling it a “divine disruption.”
“The Bible teaches in Hebrews 12 that God speaks by disrupting the natural order of things. And this is a serious disruption. So, He is screaming right now,” Evans said. “When He disrupts the natural order of things, it is because He is trying to bring the spiritual to the forefront.”
Evans went on further to make the “radical” claim that “the Church is one of the causes of this problem.”
“The Church of Jesus Christ has drifted so far from doing Kingdom business, God has had to do a ‘shake-and-bake,’” he said. “He’s had to wake us up while waking up the world and inconveniencing us in the process.”
Evans recalled how a similar event was recorded in 2 Chronicle 15:3-6, when God sent distress following “spiritual failure in the land.”
“Because God’s people had failed, the nations were in trouble,” Evans noted.
But, he continued, “in their distress they cried to the Lord.”
“Things had to get bad enough before they contacted Heaven properly,” Evans said.
“It’s now time for the Church of Jesus Christ to cry out to God,” he continued. “Every church should be having a solemn assembly calling its members at some central time to cry out to God not only for the release from the pandemic, yes, not only for the restoration of the economy – that has its place – but for the proper positioning of God’s people with Him.”
“God wants us to cry out to Him, and He wants us to do it in unity,” Evans said.
In her remarks, Kay Arthur agreed with Evans’ assessment on the fault of the Church in the current situation, and also stressed the need for God’s people to go before God, noting that when His people bow before Him, He will lift them up.
“When we’re in the day of trouble, we need to run to the Lord, and know this: that when we run to Him, we’re in a position where He wants us to be, and that is a position of calling upon Him in the day of trouble,” she said.
“I believe that God wants us to go to the Lord. I believe that God wants us to repent. I believe that God wants us to agree with Him. And then I believe that God wants us to get serious about Him,” she added.
Following Arthur, Lankford offered encouragement, highlighting the events recorded in Acts 7-8 following the stoning of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.
“Out of that horrible event, the Church spread all over the region,” noted Lankford, who served for more than 20 years in ministry before his service in Congress. “And as individuals moved and traveled, they planted new churches. And literally from that one horrible event in Acts 7, by the time you get to Acts 8, the Church is now spreading all over the whole region.
“I wonder what will happen in the days ahead through the horrible event that we’re facing right now, if we’ll actually see a movement of the message of Good News – and of hope – to a new group of people,” he continued.
Lankford noted how these difficult times have been “opening up doors of opportunity that weren’t there before,” and how ministries are doing unique things that they weren’t doing months ago.
He encouraged them to continue finding new ways to innovate, and to keep pushing through.
Furthermore, as many people are looking to the government to fix things, Lankford highlighted the question posed in Psalm 121, which states in part, “Where does my help come from?”
“During this season, we should spend some extra time praying to the One who made heaven and earth because that’s where our help comes from,” he stated.
In closing, Harris reiterated the need to pray, to learn, and to change during this time, being attentive to God’s calling on the lives of those whose trust is in Him.
“May we pay attention to what God is teaching us and allow Him to shape us into the men and women He has called us to be and needs us to be to accomplish His Will,” he said. “And may we seek God’s wisdom and direction, may we learn to be more effective in sharing the hope of the world, the only hope, Jesus, and using every means available to us today to do so.”
To watch the “NRB Prays” event, click here.