RALEIGH, N.C. (Christian Examiner) -- A nine-day prayer initiative issued by the evangelist Billy Graham's daughter Anne Graham Lotz will begin Friday as thousands of Christians join to pray.
Lotz's "Mayday Call to Prayer" May 15 - 23 is intended as an "international distress call that signals a life threatening emergency," she writes.
"I believe it's time to not just pray. It's time to cry out to God on behalf of our nation and our world," Lotz states in a message on her website.
In her message, Lotz refers to "The Rapture," a time when "Jesus is soon to return to take all of His follower to Heaven with Him."
"While this will be deliverance for His people, can you imagine the impact on our natoin, let alone the world, when suddenly every single authentic Christian disappears?" she asks.
"God may allow His people today to go through a time of distress and trouble before The Rapture takes place," she warns. "I beleive we are in that time now."
The timing is important she says. Nine days represent the days between the Day of the Ascension of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost -- days that have traditionally and biblically been ones od prayer and fasting for an outpouring of God's Spirit.
The purpose of "MayDay! MayDay!" Lotz said is:
* To claim God our Father's promise of an outpouring of His Spirit in these days following three blood moons and a total solar eclipse: ...I will pour out my Spirit in those days ...The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. Joel 2:29, 31
* To implore God the Holy Spirit to compel the church to repent of sin and our nation to return to faith in the living God, that times of refreshing may come... Acts 3:19
* To entreat God our Savior for an abundant harvest of souls for His Kingdom in the remaining days. Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? ¹ I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. John 4:35
* To delay or soften God's judgment that is coming on America and on our world. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing. Joel 2:13-14
Rev. Pierre Bynum of the Washington based Family Research Council encourages participation in the prayer, asking Christians to "take Anne's call to heart" because she "hears from the Lord and obeys."
In preparation for the Mayday prayer day, participants can choose to receive a prayer written by Lotz or follow specific prayer points. She will post videos and other helps at her site for those who sign up.
During the nine days of prayer, participants are asked to pray for an hour per day. Critical occurrences surrounding these days of prayer include the Supreme Court's landmark decision on the future of marriage in America.