Written by Dr. Steve Whitaker, Head of School

“The times, they are a changin’.” This was true over 50 years ago when Bob Dylan first sang this line and is still true today.

It can be easy to look at the pace of change in the last decade and become discouraged or fearful. Fewer Americans regularly attend church. Fewer students graduate high school with a genuine faith in Jesus. More people claim no religious affiliation whatsoever. We witness more skirmishes over religious freedom. The list goes on and on.

The prophet Jeremiah had a word for God’s people as they suffered in exile, and it remains true for us today. He wrote, “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”

God’s people had experienced great upheaval after being forced from their homes by a hostile army and resettled in pagan Babylon. Some of the prophets were (falsely) encouraging the people not to worry. “This won’t last long,” they said. Jeremiah, however, was (rightly) encouraging the people to dig in for the long haul and pray! The Hebrews would spend more than 50 years in Babylon.

I think God has the same encouragement for us today. Dig in for the long haul and pray! Pray for our leaders. Pray for our businesses. Pray for our neighbors. Seek their good. Why? Because in their welfare, you’ll find your own. And more importantly, this demonstrates the very heart of God to bless every nation through His people (Psalm 67).

National Day of Prayer is next Thursday, May 2, and I hope you’ll join believers from across the United States to pray. This year’s theme for National Day of Prayer is Love One Another. The theme comes from the words of Jesus in John 13:34, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you.” Here at The First Academy and at First Baptist Orlando, there are several ways that you can get involved in National Day of Prayer:


The First Academy

Our annual Sr. Led Middle/Upper School Chapel will take place on May 2 at 9:35am in the Worship Center, and will feature a special video and time of prayer based on the Love One Another theme. We would like to invite all of our parents to this chapel for a brief time of prayer immediately following the chapel presentation. A National Day of Prayer Prayer Guide will be provided for parents to take with them.

The special National Day of Prayer Prayer Guide will also be made available to all TFA teachers. Teachers will begin classes on May 2 with a brief time of prayer, highlighting one of the prayer emphasis featured in the National Day of Prayer Guide.


First Baptist Orlando

FBO is hosting a Prayer Gathering on May 2 from 12:00pm – 12:45pm in Henry Chapel. Key leaders will voice prayers for centers of influence in our nation.

Additionally, from 7:00am to 7:00pm there is a “come and go” prayer time with a self-guided brochure.


Let’s pray for our world, our country, and TFA’s school community. You can find more information about the National Day of Prayer by clicking here to visit their website.

Let’s dig in for the long haul and pray together!