(Photo: Courtesy Cornerstone Church)
Leaders at Assemblies of God USA, one of the largest Pentecostal denominations in the nation, say the country is facing a time of crisis like no other and are asking Christians to join them in a "7:14 Prayer Initiative" (based on 2 Chronicles 7:14) beginning today (Sept. 30) and continuing through the presidential election.
"Our nation faces unprecedented crises," said Superintendent George O. Wood in a video message posted on the AG website. "Let's not misuse our freedom by failing to vote on Election Day. Jesus called the Church to be salt and light in the world, and one of the ways to do this is by voting."
Wood encourages Christians to "prayerfully and carefully" consider the candidates and issues in the November elections. He urges Christians to "bring biblical and moral values to bear on the pressing concerns of our day, including abortion, unemployment, gay marriage, education, religious freedom, war and other issues," AG leaders stated.
Christians are also encouraged to set aside a few minutes each day to pray for the nation and its leaders. As part of the 7:14 Prayer Initiative (based on 2 Chronicles 7:14), Wood asks people to join him in praying every day at 7:14 a.m. and p.m., as well as to fast and pray over the noon hour on Fridays.
In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God assured Israel that: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (NIV)
In an article also posted on the AG website, General Secretary James T. Bradford elaborated more about the prayer initiative after describing Pentecostal revivals in the U.S. during the nineteenth and twentieth century.
"We are hearing this call afresh in our Assemblies of God fellowship – a 7:14 Call to Prayer. The urgency behind this initiative is born out of not only the imminence of national elections, but a prophetic sense that God is preparing our churches and our nation for renewal and spiritual awakening," Bradford stated.
In the five-week prayer guidelines for the initiative, in the first week (Sunday, Sept. 30–Sat., Oct. 6), those participating are asked to: "Repent of spiritual coldness, indifference, prayerlessness, and disobedience in our lives and churches," and "Seek for authentic humility and dependence on God to mark our way forward."
Last May, AG announced its opposition to President Barack Obama's stance on same-sex marriage. The fellowship of 3 million members sent out a statement shortly after Obama declared support for gay marriage in which Wood stated, "The Bible clearly teaches that marriage should be a life-long commitment between one man and one woman."
The Assemblies of God is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of North America (PCCNA), the Pentecostal World Fellowship (PWF), and the World Assemblies of God Fellowship (WAGF).
Combined with membership internationally, Assemblies of God organizations make up the largest Pentecostal denomination globally with some 65 million members and adherents, according to AG leaders.
On the Web: http://ag.org/top/vote/.