Last Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks that devastated the nation, and Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor of Cross Church of Northwest Arkansas, urged church leaders to devote 11 minutes to an hour of their worship service for a time of prayer for the nation.
“The churches of America need to pray for our country in our worship services. Not just mention it, not just pray, but pray extraordinarily,” Floyd proclaimed in public call-to-prayer last month.
“Surely, as the churches in America, we can agree on one major thing: America needs prayer now!” he added. “Surely we can unite on this day to call out to God for our nation. In this desperate hour in America, we need to see Sunday, September 11, as a day to pray for America.”
In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, World Outreach Church (WOC) held an event titled “Give Thanks Nashville,” which featured Eric Metaxas, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Michael W. Smith, and more.
Though not originally planned as an event related to 9/11, WOC Pastor G. Allen Jackson said the scheduling “seems like a time appointed by God.”
“We all respond automatically to this calendar date because it is a special time of reflection and honor — a time of re-thinking and restoring, that of passion and unending thankfulness to those who bravely turned one of the darkest days of history into thankfulness,” expressed Jackson in a press release. “September 11th is not forgotten. With God’s help we will have the know-how to overcome despair by raising the banner of hope. This is the objective of the Give Thanks Event.”
Meanwhile, in Greenville, South Carolina, Bob Jones University (BJU) commemorated the 2,977 lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001, with a display of American flags at the front of the campus – one for each of the victims who perished in the attacks.
In addition, two beacon lights represented the World Trade Center towers, and in front of the beacons, a wall of remembrance featured the names of the 2,977. Furthermore, a piece of steel girder from the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City was publicly displayed in the University’s Welcome Center.
“Fifteen years ago, the world was forever changed by the attacks on 9/11,” said BJU President Steve Pettit in a statement on the school’s blog. “It is my hope that these displays will honor those who lost their lives that horrific day in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.”
On the Thursday prior to the anniversary, Grace to You aired a special broadcast titled “Standing Firm in Unstable Times,” which features an interview with Pastor John MacArthur that was recorded just days after 9/11. The two-day broadcast, which continues Friday, will address commonly asked questions such as questions about evil and God’s power to stop evil. It also addresses those who are struggling with how to deal with fear, anxiety, and uncertainty – not only for themselves but also for their children and grandchildren.
“Not only will John show us how God answers the most challenging questions in Scripture but he’ll provide listeners with biblical wisdom for how we can honor God in the face of evil,” shared Michelle Blood of Ambassador Advertising Agency, which represents Grace to You.
In addition to promoting the broadcast, Ambassador Advertising is also making available an artistic rendering that it commissioned to remind believers of the eternal perspective following the events of 9/11.
In particular, the piece reminds believers that
- we are called to compassion;
- we are surrounded by ordinary citizens who, on perhaps the darkest day of our country’s history, chose to respond in extraordinary measure;
- we are uniquely blessed to live in the United States of America, where our privilege to speak Truth remains upheld; and
- most of all – despite grief, fear, anger, confusion – our eternal confidence is in the God of the Universe, who reigns indeed!