"LifeWay is a part of a denomination called the Southern Baptist Convention. The SBC is struggling. Our churches are struggling. And across our nation and denomination, churches are being called to pray."
Rainer's request for LifeWay employees to participate in the special season of prayer came as part of LifeWay's annual missions emphasis chapel and relates to the SBC Day of Prayer emphasis Jan. 30 as well as the solemn assembly called for by the SBC's Great Commission Council -- which is composed of the heads of the convention's entities. (See Baptist Press story, "'Desperate times' call for prayer, GCC says" from 11/12/10).
"My call to LifeWay is to pray that our churches will be everything God wants them to be, and that they will answer the call that God has for them, and that the people in the churches will respond to the call," Rainer said Jan. 12.
"Let us pray that we won't simply be a denomination of struggling churches, but that we'd be a denomination of revitalized churches that are on fire for the Gospel to reach the nations for the glory of God," he continued.
"We cannot fix these struggles with our own resources and our own humanity," he said. "If we're going to reach the nations, it has to be a God thing. We don't have the solutions -- and maybe that's the best place to be -- for then we know that it's only in the Lord that our hope is found."
Rainer told LifeWay employees that Bryant Wright, elected as SBC president at the annual convention in 2010, acted on the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report calling on the convention's president to lead the churches of the SBC in concerted prayer "for the purpose of calling Christ's people to return to God, to repentance, and to humility in service to a renewed commitment to Christ and the Great Commission."
"We join Dr. Bryant Wright, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, in calling Southern Baptists to a solemn assembly ... that in the sight of God and His witnesses we might renew our commitment to Christ and the Great Commission," Rainer said.
Micah Carter is director of communications and associate to the vice president of the executive communications and relations division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. To access the full collection of Baptist Press stories on the call for Southern Baptist churches to engage in a solemn assembly, go to http://www.bpnews.net/BPCollectionNews.asp?ID=179.
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