The Southern Baptist Convention’s prayer guide for this year’s National Day of Prayer—Thursday, May 7—uses the framework of Seven Mountains Dominionism in asking people to “pray for the seven centers of influence.”
Seven Mountains Dominionism—also called the seven mountains mandate—is grounded in a belief that God wants a certain kind of Christian to be in charge of all the “mountains” or “spheres” of cultural influence, which traditionally have been government, media, education, business, arts and entertainment, church, and family. Sometimes the categories are tweaked, as the SBC guide does, to include the military as a separate center of influence.
The seven mountains construct is associated with the New Apostolic Reformation, a network of Pentecostal and charismatic leaders who believe God has given modern-day apostles and prophets the power to work miracles, transform the church and whole nations, establish God’s kingdom on earth, and speed the return of Jesus Christ. But it has expanded well beyond that network.
“The rhetoric of the seven mountains has been adopted across the religious right even by leaders who may not share NAR’s theology, but find the concept a convenient lingua franca for encouraging conservative evangelicals to get more involved in politics,” Right Wing Watch has noted.
The SBC prayer guide demonstrates just how deeply the seven mountains rhetorical framework has penetrated conservative Christian circles.
Seven Mountains Dominionism is promoted by “prophetic” Trump supporters, like Lance Wallnau, and was mentioned from the stage at the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference by Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, who said, “Finally we have a president that understands the seven mountains of cultural influence.”
The National Day of Prayer falls on the first Thursday in May, according to a federal law signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988. This year’s official observance will be held online at 8 p.m. EST, but many other online events are being hosted throughout the day, including one at the White House with President Donald Trump at 4 p.m. EST.
Kathy Branzell, president of this year’s National Day of Prayer Task Force, will host the national observance on Thursday night. SBC President J.D. Greear will lead a Thursday afternoon event. Ronnie Floyd, president of the SBC Executive Committee and a former president of the National Day of Prayer, participated in “Praying on the Mountain” on the eve of the National Day of Prayer, which organizers say was joined by 265,000 people praying for “spiritual awakening in our country.”