Last Thursday was the National Day of Prayer. The family and I couldn’t decide between a local, small event and the City event, but the kids voted for the City Event so off we went. I was nervous about getting there too late to get a good seat. Afterall, the venue was Steinbrenner Field and only held 11,000 people. I figured there were well over 11,000 Christians in Tampa who would be ready to pray it up for the evening.
Traffic was backed up down Dale Mabry, Jesus Freaks stood on the corner with signs that read, “Honk if you love Jesus!” The kids were excited, I was excited…but then…I glanced at the stadium and my heart sunk. I reasoned with myself, it’s still early, there will be tons of people here soon.
But as the evening progressed, this is what I found
Yep. Empty Seats. And not just one or two, more like 2/3 of the stadium completely vacant. I struggled to take it all in. I knew there were other events in other counties, but this was the city of Tampa event, surely there should be more people. Pastor after pastor stood up to pray for different areas of country and our city. Pastors of mega churches, who have inflluence over thousands of people, but still empty chairs.
I was overwhelmed yet baffled. Overwhelmed, because the prayers were so necessary and powerful. I witnessed my kids holding hands in prayer and lifting their hands in worship. And baffled that so many Christians were missing out on this opportunity.
Every day when I login to Facebook I see comments about Obama and his beliefs, and problems in schools and issues with our government from my Christian friends. On this ONE day, Christians have been given a government declared day to Nationally assemble and pray for needs of this country and our city and this is the turnout.
And we wonder why the government doesn’t take the Christian community seriously, and we wonder why our voice is not being heard. We watch the moral decline of policies yet don’t re-arrange our lives for the ONE day we are given to come together to exercise our most powerful tool of our faith–pleading to the God of the Nations for intervention. Does the rest of the world think Christians Don’t Care or do they simply think Christians are Lazy? I happen to think we are the latter.