As we turn the page to 2015, I want to lay before us a challenge to incorporate more strategic and intentional efforts of prayer into this new year. While we will set times for pastors and staff to come together for prayer and fasting, it is imperative that prayer becomes a major priority in ongoing church ministry.
I do not think anyone would argue with me when I declare that our churches, state, and nation are in desperate need of the move of God. The darkness that surrounds us is determined to snuff out the light of Truth. Lostness abounds and evil continues to rise. The church cannot overcome in its own strength. We are desperate for a mighty move of God; He is our one and only hope.
God responds to the cries of His people through prayer. History proves that God can and does sovereignly move in revival and awakening in His own time and in the places of His choosing. However, it is also clear that He responds to the unified extraordinary prayers of His people. I believe He so longs to send revival that He constantly looks for a people who are serious and persistent in prayer. Every great spiritual move of God is marked by a movement of unified prayer among His people that gives priority to deep cleansing and abundant faith.
So to begin the year, I am calling on our churches to set aside Sun., Jan. 25, as a day of prayer for spiritual awakening. An evening prayer service will be held at Del City, First Southern for all who can attend. Obviously, only those in central Oklahoma will be able to attend this prayer service; therefore, I am calling on all Oklahoma Baptist churches to reserve their evening services on Jan. 25 for a service of prayer for spiritual awakening. This date is strategic because it precedes our State Evangelism Conference, which will be held Jan. 26-27, at Del City, First Southern.
What is a service of prayer? Is it like the old prayer meetings we once had on Wednesday evening? A service of prayer is a whole service dedicated to prayer with a guided time of worship, including personal and group prayer that engages everyone in the ministry of prayer. A service of prayer is focused on Kingdom praying. The focus is on cleansing and confession, the spiritual condition of the church, and the brokenness of our communities, state, and nation. A key part of any prayer service is focus on the unsaved and unreached people who need the Savior. At the heart of our praying will be a crying out to God to send a mighty sweep of His Holy Spirit and revive His work among Oklahoma Baptists.
Do you think God would be pleased if He heard Oklahoma Baptists calling out to Him as one voice on one day for spiritual awakening and a great evangelistic move in our state? There is no doubt the heart of God would rejoice!
Prayer has too often been relegated to perfunctory status in the church. Services, meetings, and functions are opened and closed with prayer. I am calling for a dedicated time in the church where prayer is the activity of the whole church gathered. Regardless of size, every church can participate in prayer for spiritual awakening. I am asking our churches to not dilute the service of prayer by making prayer a small part; I am asking our churches to make prayer the entire service.
I hope you will encourage your pastor to plan a service of prayer. Greg Frizzell, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) prayer & spiritual awakening specialist, has prepared sample service outlines designed to lead God’s people into unified prayer. These are available on the BGCO website at www.bgco.org/prayer (click on the “Articles” tab on the left).
On Jan. 25, may our Father hear the sweet sound of thousands of Oklahoma Baptists seeking His face in prayer.
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