Written by Dr. Kyle Barrett, Director of Spiritual Formation

“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 would be easy to look at the pace of change even 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. More skirmishes over religious freedom. The list goes on and on.

But, the prophet Jeremiah had a word for God’s people then that still speaks to 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 having been forcibly deported from their homes and resettled in pagan Babylon. Some of the prophets were (falsely) encouraging the people not to worry, that this wouldn’t last long. Jeremiah, on the other hand, was (rightly) encouraging the people to dig in for the long haul…and pray!

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 our well-being is tied to their well-being.

With National Day of Prayer coming up on Thursday, May 4th, I’d like to invite you to set aside some time to pray for our country, our state, and our city. You can find more information on the National Day of Prayer by visiting their website but please plan to spend some time praying for our nation.