SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) -- As the newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, I want to call every pastor, every church leader and every layperson from a Southern Baptist church to join me in Columbus, Ohio, on June 16-17, 2015.
As I work with our Order of Business Committee as well as other leaders, I will respectfully request that we dedicate as much time as possible in next year’s convention to pray extraordinarily for the next Great Awakening. I want to call you to Columbus to what could be one of the most significant prayer gatherings in our history.
Yes, we have to conduct business at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, and we will do it with great diligence. But we will also bring to fruition a year-long emphasis of praying in an extraordinary manner for the next great spiritual awakening in America. For the next year, I want to humbly request from each church, each national SBC entity and each state convention that we begin to pray in an over-and-above way for God to move mightily in our lives, our churches and our nation.
Now is the time
Why is this important? Our convention has bemoaned our decline in baptisms, membership, attendance and giving far too long. Now is the time for us to take aggressive action by calling out to God together in prayer. At the same time, we must take the needed strategic actions to change our trajectory as a convention of churches. While we face these critical times, we know God is doing some amazing things right now through Southern Baptists. As we celebrate those to the glory of God in Columbus, we will also call out to God in urgent desperation.
Why is revival in the church and awakening in the nation so important? I have been greatly convicted that one of the reasons God has placed me as president, for such a time as this, is for the purpose to call His people to what Jonathan Edwards called “extraordinary prayer.” We need extraordinary prayer for the purpose of revival personally, revival in the church and spiritual awakening in America, so that we can see commitment to the Great Commission escalated, and accelerate it to its completion in our generation. I believe this should be our heart and our goal.
I have been privileged to catch a glimpse of extraordinary prayer in the Praying Pastors gatherings in recent months. We have led more than 1,500 pastors in these four gatherings, two of which have been national gatherings held in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta areas. God is doing something very unique right now, and I believe that extraordinary prayer is our number one need. In extraordinary prayer, we recognize that only God can do what is needed in us personally, congregationally, denominationally, nationally and internationally.
We’ve had a great Conservative Resurgence in the SBC. We are in the midst of a Great Commission resurgence in the SBC. In order for the Great Commission resurgence to be elevated to the proper priority, we need a great spiritual movement and a mighty spiritual awakening, which this nation has not seen in a long time. Yes, we need to pray now in an extraordinary manner for the next Great Awakening.
Mark your calendar
Consider these facts about Columbus, Ohio:
* 15th largest city in America
* 139 languages spoken in Columbus
* 111 Southern Baptist Churches in the Metro Columbus Baptist Association
* One of the focus cities in our Send North America national church planting strategy
* Home of the Ohio State University
Our team is right now beginning to work on various ways we can begin to connect together via technology. We will use email, Twitter and Instagram to help all of us be a part of a movement toward Columbus -- but greater than that, a movement of praying for the next Great Awakening in America, so that we can see commitment to the Great Commission escalated and accelerated to its completion in our generation.
Please call on your church and others to pray for me daily. I want to represent our Lord, our church and our Southern Baptist family in the highest manner. I cannot do that without you praying for me daily.
Ronnie Floyd, on the Web at ronnniefloyd.com/blog, is the author of "Our Last Great Hope: Awakening the Great Commission" (2011) and "The Power of Prayer and Fasting" (2010).
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