WAKE FOREST, N.C.— Since the displacement of American soldiers communities have gathered to pray against what many believed to be an unnecessary and unjustified war. Now, a week after the war began, many Christian communities gather in support of U.S. troops in Iraq. Thomas White, director of student life at the Southeaster Baptist Theological Seminary led the seminary students in an evening of song and prayer for the people in battle, March 20.
Following President George W. Bush’s assessment of prayer as being one of the most patriotic things people can do for the troops, White lead the students in the “Prayer For the Nations” service, describing such prayers as a task not to be taken lightly.
"Before we can pray for our nation, we must make sure we do what we're supposed to do," White noted, describing prayer, as "not something you do to make others think highly of you."
White said he is reminded of the sinfulness of the human heart. That sobering realization, he said, should lead Christians to glorify God for the price Jesus Christ paid on the cross.
"As we ponder the deceitfully wicked human heart, we must further appreciate the saving act of Jesus Christ on the cross," White said.
White urged the students to pray, not only for the soldiers and leaders, but also for a revival in America.
"The most important thing to pray for during this time is the salvation for the lost and that
God could use this unfortunate situation to bring about a worldwide revival," White said.
The vice president for institutional advancement in Southeastern, Waylan Owens, says Southeastern has been planning to hold a prayer vigil several weeks before the war began.
"First of all, we at the seminary pray because we need to pray," he said. "We are weak, but God is strong. We need to turn to him, and in this kind of time, our weakness is made so wonderfully clear."
Along with prayer, Owens urged the congregants to constantly support the mission, not only through prayer but through physical means as well.
"Flags and other signs and symbols can be important components of our communication, but we need to limit, especially at this time, our conversation to that which is edifying and encouraging," Owens said.
By Pauline J.