Monday evening, my wife and I attended the Convocation that opens the academic year at Harding School of Theology. The evening included several prayers led by faculty, staff, and students, songs of prayer, and addresses about prayer. Dr. Allen Black delivered the keynote speech, which considered the theme of prayer in the New Testament books of Luke and Acts, two books penned by the same author. Both give great attention to prayer in the lives of God’s people (The Call for Fire Seminar Facebook page has a link to the event where you may find audio links to the evening’s messages). The early Christians, like Jesus before them, prayed regularly and often, individually and in community. Student officer Steven Gaines noted, with attribution to a professor, that one should not pray unless they are prepared for God “to do crazy things.” “Crazy” is used there in sense of much more than we can imagine. When we are caught in dark times in our lives, it is easy to imagine that God does not care. But the Bible consistently asserts that God is at work for us in those darkest hours, preparing us for works of service.
God who restores, bring light to darkness. Renew fellowship where it is shattered by violence and distrust. Comfort the hurting; inspire the cynical. Turn our hearts toward you and align our values with your values. Remind us to listen to the recounting of what you have done for your people. Open our eyes to see you activity on our behalf today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.