Brodie Copeland was an eleven-year-old Little League baseball player in Austin, Texas. He recently starred in a local production of Peter Pan. His family was in Nice, France, where they joined the Bastille Day celebration. They were waiting for fireworks to begin when a large truck rammed into the crowd. Brodie and his father were killed.
At least eighty-four died in the attack, including ten children.
This was clearly a terrorist assault. Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups have promoted such tactics, which have been used in Israel and elsewhere. ISIS recently boasted that its operatives killed or wounded 5,200 people during the most recent Ramadan. Clearly, jihadist attacks are part of our present and our future.
These are such difficult days. Bombings in Baghdad, Dhaka, and Istanbul were followed by shootings in Minnesota, Louisiana, and Dallas. And now this tragedy. In the face of such challenges, it is vital that God’s people gather to pray.
That’s just what Christians will do tomorrow in Washington, DC. “Together 2016” will meet at the National Mall from 9 AM to 9 PM and will feature more than forty Christian leaders. Pope Francis, Hillsong United, Tony Evans, Luis Palau, Josh McDowell, Francis Chan, Lecrae, and Kari Jobe are just some of those participating. More than a thousand churches nationwide have pledged to attend. There are 8,000 service opportunities within a 100-mile radius of Washington, DC during the week before and after the event.
Founder Nick Hall says, “We want to have the largest Jesus gathering in America’s history.” His vision began more than ten years ago when he was a young adult minister in North Dakota and began praying for revival on his campus and in America.
He told The Christian Post, “It’s a gathering for all people to come together under the banner of Jesus. The only agenda is Jesus. . . . It’s going to be prayer, and it’s going to be lifting up Jesus and praying that he changes our hearts individually. We’re talking about a reset in our lives and ultimately a reset in this generation. We really believe that there’s a heart issue and that God wants our heart.” Organizers are hoping one million Christians will join them on the Mall.
When God’s people pray in unity, the world cannot be the same. That’s why Scripture calls us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Spurgeon believed that “prayer moves the arm that moves the world.” A. J. Gordon: “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.”
So let’s pray today for survivors of the attack in France and for authorities as they confront global terrorism. And let’s pray tomorrow with those who are gathering in America’s capital. This Cultural Commentary will be read by Christians in 204 countries. If we make time to pray for each other and for the spiritual awakening we so desperately need, we will circle the globe and our Father’s throne in intercession.
E. M. Bounds noted: “Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God.” We need God to move mountains. So let’s join together to move God.