Today, the National Prayer Committee announced that Dr. Ronnie Floyd of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark. will serve as the new president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force — an ecumenical organization that mobilizes prayer across Christian denominational lines.
“America’s greatest need today is to experience the next Great Spiritual Awakening,” said Floyd in a statement. “We know that no great movement of God ever occurs that is not preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God’s people [and] the National Day of Prayer mobilizes unified public prayer for America.”
Recognized in federal law as a day “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals,” the National Day of Prayer has been observed on the first Thursday of May since 1988. Its history stretches back to a resolution of Congress signed into law in 1952, as well as national calls to prayer dating back to the Continental Congress in 1775.
Floyd has served as senior pastor of Cross Church since 1986, a megachurch with five campuses where approximately 10,000 people combined worship weekly. He previously served as the president of the Southern Baptist Convention and currently participates in the White House evangelical advisory board.
He picks up the reins of the National Day of Prayer from Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of Reverend Billy Graham and a well-known Bible teacher. She had served in the role since May 2016.
Lotz planned the 2017 national observance of the National Day of Prayer held in the U.S. Capitol on May 5, which Floyd helped lead. Less formal than previous annual gatherings, the Capitol Hill event convened by Anne Graham Lotz focused specifically on corporate repentance and less on political influence.
She led the hundreds of assembled faith leaders and elected officials in twelve statements of confession, including: “We confess to believing the prosperity of our nation is because we are great, while refusing to acknowledge that all blessings come from Your hands.”
In a related incident, the atheist advocacy organization Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a letter of legal complaint in North Carolina against Lotz on June 28. Her nonprofit group AnGeL Ministries has been based in Raleigh since 1988.
Longtime chairman of the National Prayer Committee Dave Butts endorsed the new leader, saying: “As we step into a new phase of carrying this mission and legacy, I believe we couldn’t have found a man more passionate or dedicated to prayer and spiritual awakening than Ronnie Floyd. Throughout his life, he has demonstrated he is a leader with a unique calling to lead others to unify together to pray for our nation and the need of spiritual awakening.”
The National Prayer Committee, which serves as a board of oversight for the National Day of Prayer, started in 1979 as an outgrowth of the evangelism-centered Lausanne Movement. A prayer leaders roundtable, the committee meets regularly to share strategies and coordinate national efforts.
1. The National Day of Prayer mobilizes unified public prayer for America.
2. The National Day of Prayer must become a movement of prayer… every day of the year.
3. The National Day of Prayer must become a multi-church, multi-denominational, multi-ministry, multi-generational, multi-ethnic, and multi-lingual movement of prayer for America.
4. The National Day of Prayer must engage with the digital world via relevant and robust channels.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force office currently resides in Colorado Springs; as of press time, questions on whether it would be relocated were not returned. Under new convening leadership, the next observance of the National Day of Prayer will be held on May 3, 2018.
A freelance writer and editor,Josh M. Shepherd has served on staff at The Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, Bound4LIFE International, and two Congressional offices. His articles have appeared in media outlets including The Federalist, The Daily Signal, Charisma News, The Stream, and Christian Headlines, where he serves as a contributor. He earned a degree in Business Marketing from the University of Colorado. Josh and his wife live in the Washington D.C. area.
Photo courtesy: Will Foster / via Flickr
Publication date: August 22, 2017