EDITOR'S NOTE: This column is part of the call to prayer issued by Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, to pray for revival and spiritual awakening for our churches, our nation and our world during 2013. Baptist Press is carrying columns during the year encouraging Southern Baptists to pray in specific areas and for specific needs in petitioning the Father for spiritual awakening.

ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP) -- International Mission Board President Tom Elliff envisions a day when Southern Baptists will flock to the IMB's International Learning Center to learn about the kind of fervent, effective, Great Commission-directed prayer that can change entire countries for the sake of the Gospel.

When Elliff introduced his vision for the School of Prayer for All Nations to the IMB trustees in 2012, he said, "We dare not ignore this imperative any longer -- the imperative of prayer."

Elliff's passion is for the School of Prayer to generate a "blast furnace of prayer" for reaching the nations with the transforming message of salvation through Jesus Christ.

After months of preparation, the first weeklong session of the School of Prayer is set to launch July 29-Aug. 2 at the International Learning Center in Rockville, Va.

Please take a few minutes today to pray for this session's 18 participants. The following prayer starters will guide you in your intercession.

-- Lord, please protect the students in all their preparation to participate in the upcoming intensive week of intercession. Protect them in travel, providing traveling mercies going to and coming from the learning center (Psalm 121:8).

-- Heavenly Father, protect their families as a shepherd protects his flock from enemy attacks, so that nothing will prevent participants from total focus and commitment to the experiences You have planned. May there be nothing to block their participation in this important prayer experience (Isaiah 40:11).

-- Almighty God, keep their minds dependent on You and in perfect peace as they leave family, work and other concerns behind. Help them trust in Your provision for all their concerns (Isaiah 26:3). Draw their attention away from any distractions or worries.

-- Father, please bless them with Your love as they commit to take up the cross and follow You into this intensive week of prayer for the nations. In dying to self, may they find greater joy, peace and satisfaction (Luke 9:23-25).

-- Lord, give them clean hands and pure hearts, and fill them with the Spirit of God, so that all intercession will be from pure motives responding as the Spirit leads (Psalm 24:4; 51:10).

-- Give them a great confidence in the power of Your Spirit as they intercede for the nations (Hebrews 11:6).

-- Lord, keep them humble in heart and spirit so they might hear your voice and respond in obedience (James 4:10).

-- Lord, teach them to pray just as You taught Your disciples to pray for Your Kingdom to come, asking, seeking and knocking for Your will to be done. Thank God for giving them a teachable and willing spirit (Luke 11:1-12).

-- Father God, thank You that You have given them the Counselor, Your Spirit to guide in praying and revealing Your truth and Your purposes. Please bless them with Your Holy Spirit to guide and initiate prayer for Your glory and honor (John 1:7, 13).

-- Ask God to set their souls on fire to seek His way and to experience a great week of being totally dedicated to praise, confession, intercession and thanksgiving, that all nations will worship and bow down before Jesus, the Lamb of God (Romans 14:11).

A complete schedule of the week's activities and registration information for future sessions are at http://imb.org/SPAN

Eddie Cox is director of the International Mission Board's Office of Global Prayer Strategy. IMB senior writer Don Graham contributed to this report. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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