Antisemitism Should Trouble Southern Baptists & Prayer Is a Powerful Tool
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin has been “vitally interested” in Israel his entire ministry. And, In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman asks if what the Bible says about prayer and worry is still applicable today. His answer is yes.
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin has been “vitally interested” in Israel his entire ministry. That includes more than a dozen visits to the country, at least two of those at the request of the Israeli government.
His interest connects to Bible prophecy rooted in Scripture and not in daily headlines. But headlines are impossible to ignore since the Hamas terrorist attack earlier this month that killed more than 1,400 Israelis and launched a military response.
Akin and other Southern Baptists are also paying attention to headlines about cases of antisemitism following the attacks.
The Anti-Defamation League reports a list of such incidents outside of Israel that have “an apparent connection” with that country. Those include 588 incidents in France, a 240 percent increase in Germany since Oct. 7 and 218 antisemitic hate crimes reported to London police from Oct. 1-18, a rate 13 times higher than the same period last year.
“Antisemitism is ugly and evil,” Akin said. “To see it on the rise in America and around the world only brings sorrow to my heart and a resolve to oppose it. Followers of Christ love all persons. We love Jews and Palestinians, and we work and pray for the peace that only the Prince of Peace can bring.”
Antisemitic incidents in the United States increased by 36 percent from 2021-2022. The tabulated figure of 3,697 reports was the highest since the ADL began keeping track in 1979, and marked the third time in the previous five years a high number had been recorded.
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In the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman asks if what the Bible says about prayer and worry is still applicable today.
His answer is yes.
He writes, “Paul made it clear that these verses do indeed refer to mental health challenges, and that prayer is a powerful tool for successfully coping with worry. Notice for example that Paul recommends prayer instead of worry, so that as a result we might experience peace that surpasses all understanding. He added that praying in the face of anxiety puts a “guard” on “your hearts and minds,” implying that prayer not only soothes the worries of the moment but provides a baseline defense against the onslaught of any future, worrisome circumstances. The word “guard” comes from a Greek word referring to military action. It describes the work of a sentry or garrison surrounding our minds to protect us, in this case, during panic attacks. “
Bowman points to the statement, “Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is a conversation you have with God about things He can change.”
You can read the full piece and learn more about our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.
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