The Baptist Messenger recently sat down with nationally-recognized prayer expert Gregory Frizzell to talk about important books on powerful prayer and an upcoming prayer event in January 2014.
Messenger—You have said this year’s statewide solemn assembly was among the most powerful you have witnessed. Why was it so unique?
Greg Frizzell—I sensed a unique blessing of God for three reasons. First, there was a heightened sense of urgency for God’s people to seriously seek His face. Second, several mid-state churches transferred their evening services to the central site, and many congregations statewide held meetings in their own churches. Third, the presence of God was evident in unusual power. By God’s grace, there was sense of passion only He can produce.
Messenger—You expressed a special excitement about the solemn assembly preceding the 2014 State Evangelism Conference. Why do you think this has significance?
Frizzell—In Scripture and history, prayer, repentance and empowered evangelism are always connected. Early this year, our office sensed God’s leading for a statewide solemn assembly. At the same time, Tim Gentry (Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma evangelism specialist) was sensing a similar leading connected to the State Evangelism Conference (SEC). I so appreciate Gentry’s heart, and we immediately knew God was confirming the leading to connect the two. While neither of our offices want to turn a solemn assembly into a rote tradition, we again sense God’s leading for 2014. Spiritual conditions in our state and nation are surely no less urgent.
Messenger—This year, you released the book, Return to Me Says the Lord, in the weeks leading up to the Solemn Assembly. What has been the response?
Frizzell—We have received several unusually strong testimonies of God’s unique touch upon believers and churches. Part of the uniqueness is the 21-day process that helps transform all major areas of believer’s lives. While it is a little less thorough than the book Returning to Holiness, its day-by-day devotional process is a strong format. As with all of our books, it is filled with fully-quoted Scriptures and produced at a price that is not prohibitive. One thing is certain—it is God’s Word that brings repentance, healing and transformation, not my words.
Messenger—You have also written about the special power of beginning a New Year in focused prayer and renewed unity. How does Return to Me uniquely fit this pattern?
Frizzell—Because of its three-week format, it is a powerful way to use January as a time of special prayer and repentance. The emphasis also contains strong focus on increasing church unity and sharpening the evangelistic Kingdom focus of congregations. Return to Me is also the exact length of a three-week Daniel Fast. I can think of no better way to begin a New Year than with three weeks of intense prayer, deep surrender and a biblical fast. Today’s believers definitely need exposure to Spirit-led, biblical fasting. We recently posted on our website practical instructions for a Daniel Fast.
Messenger—If the three-week period leading up to Sun., Jan. 26 is not the best time for a church, can the emphasis be done equally well in later months?
Frizzell—Absolutely! The three-week prayer and renewal journey is Scripture-filled and church transforming for any time of emphasis. A powerful renewal emphasis can be done with or without a solemn assembly. Many congregations use the tool as preparation leading up to a church-wide revival meeting or evangelistic crusade. It can also be used multiple times, as no one outgrows the need for deep, periodic surrender to Jesus.
Messenger—We know you have just released a new book titled The Lord’s Supper: A Covenant of Love and Surrender. Please give us a brief overview.
Frizzell—The Lord’s Supper is designed as a tool the membership prays through leading up to a Lord’s Supper. It is intended to bring deeper understanding of believers’ incredible covenant of grace and God’s awesome glory. The reading journey brings the deep heart preparation we are commanded to experience before taking a Lord’s Supper. In many ways, this tool is designed to restore believer’s first love for Jesus, deeper unity with one another and new power through Christ’s indwelling life. The book is especially designed for the weeks leading up to Lord’s Suppers just before Easter.
In both Return to Me and The Lord’s Supper, my burning desire is to strengthen and encourage pastors and churches. The more I minister, the more I am convinced that revival is all about the local church. It is a profound honor to serve Oklahoma Baptists.