During the Board of Trustee’s report, David Robertson formally moved to have a National Prayer Day. The main impetus for this was an open letter sent by Andy. Did you know the last National Day of Prayer in the Free Church was when David was very close to dying in hospital? Inevitably, Andy seconded David’s motion. Here is what Andy said to the Fathers and Brethren (it is a distilled version)
"I have a question for you?"
"What do these five men have in common – Ezra, Nehemiah, Daniel, John Knox and Robert Murray McCheyne?"
"* They all lived in dark period of history.
* They all had broken hearts over their sad predicaments.
* AND they all believed that the only answer to their problem was the intervention of God Almighty!"
"So what did they do? They all turned to God in prayer."
"Let me give you a few examples:"
"a. Ezra, when hearing about the unfaithfulness of the people, said this in Ezra 9: “When I heard this, I tore my tunic and cloak, pulled hair from my head and beard and sat down appalled. Then everyone who trembled at the words of the God of Israel gathered round me because of this unfaithfulness of the exiles. And I sat there appalled until the evening sacrifice. Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God 6 and prayed: "O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.”"
"b. John Knox, in the 16th century prayed, “Give me Scotland or I die”"
"c. Robert Murray M’Cheyne, in the 19th century prayed, “Give me a man of God with truth to preach, a house of prayer within convenient reach, give these things, and the Spirit’s genial shower and Scotland shall be a garden all in flower.”"
"The only answer to our predicament in the 21st century is serious, intercessory prayer. We are living in dark days where things are at low ebb. Brothers, to that end, we must pray for our nation, for our church and for ourselves!"
We are both excited about the prospect of a National Day of Prayer. The Board of Trustees will hopefully set a date for this, when every congregation in the Free Church can give itself to fasting and prayer. We really believe this is the only answer to our desperate predicament.