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FIRST-PERSON: Set a day to pray & fast for SBC’s annual meeting

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ronnie Floyd is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) — I humbly call on each of our Southern Baptist churches and congregations to set aside one day between now and June 16 to pray and fast for our upcoming Southern Baptist Convention. Pastors and church leaders, please lead the way!

We cannot fix ourselves. This is more than obvious. We need to humble ourselves, placing ourselves low before God in prayer and fasting, and call on the God of heaven to do what only He can do. He is Lord.

Jesus was more than clear to His disciples and to us as recorded in Mark 9:29, “And He told them, ‘This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.'” The disciples could not cast a demon out and asked Jesus why He could and they could not. Jesus was clear: Prayer and fasting! The Scriptures are full of illustrations about the power of coupling our prayer with fasting.

At Cross Church, we are setting aside May 17 (7 p.m.) through May 18 (7 p.m.) to pray and fast for the SBC.

Fasting is abstinence from food with a spiritual goal in mind. Whether a person fasts from one meal or all three for the full day is between them and God, but we will call on our members to join us in prayer and fasting for our upcoming Southern Baptist Convention.

Set aside a day for your church. Set aside a day for yourself. One day between now and June 16, pray and fast for our annual meeting, June 16-17 in Columbus, Ohio. So much is at stake. How do we not pray and fast?

You can still participate if you are unable to fast from food due to physical limitations. Choose to abstain from something you love besides food, like the Internet, television, etc.

Draw aside for a few minutes during the day when you would normally eat (or participate in the activity you’re fasting from), get in His Word and call out to God.

Why should we pray and fast?

Carnality abounds in life and church. Division dominates many churches, with gossip, skepticism, criticism and cynicism ruling the day. Many pastors and churches are jealous of and critical about one another.

Evangelism is lagging. Over 70 percent of our churches are plateaued or declining. We have missionaries ready to go to the field, but have limited funds to send them. We have Gospel churches that need to be planted now nationally and internationally.

We need to pray and fast. We need to ensure we are right with God and get right with one another. When we are repentant, we will become flexible to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, be set on fire by the Spirit and change whatever needs to be changed to reach our town, city, nation and world with the Gospel of Christ.

Please join us in praying and fasting over these requests and others that God may lead you to before June 16:

— Lead us Lord, to intercede in prayer and fasting with a mighty conviction that the hour is critical in America; we must pray intensely and responsibly.

— Holy Spirit, wake us up! Wake up our pastors and leaders.

— Holy Spirit, revive the churches of our convention.

— Lord, we ask You for the next Great Awakening in the United States, as spiritual awakening is our greatest need.

— Lord, lead our Southern Baptist pastors, leaders and churches to come together now in CLEAR AGREEMENT, VISIBLE UNION and EXTRAORDINARY PRAYER for the next Great Awakening and to reach the world for Christ.

— Lord, I call out to You each of the people, by name, who will lead in some way at the Southern Baptist Convention. (Please click here to see the entire program relating to those who are leading us, calling out each of their names. Ask God to empower them with His Spirit as they do this.)

— God, pour out Your Spirit upon Tuesday night’s National Call to Prayer gathering in Columbus for all Southern Baptists, using it as a catalyst for the next Great Awakening in America and to reach the world for Christ. On this night, extend the reach across the world through sbc.net and other media venues, where thousands join us as we begin at 6:45 p.m. Eastern time. (Call out to God these pastors who will lead.)

— Lord, help our churches through our SBC Presidential Panel on Wednesday at 3:35 p.m. This panel will address “The Supreme Court and Same Sex Marriage: Preparing Our Churches for the Future.” (Call out to God the names of these people who will serve on the panel.)

— Lord Jesus, give our SBC President, Ronnie Floyd, Your message as he prepares his presidential address for Tuesday morning, June 16 at 9:30 a.m. Anoint him powerfully as he preaches, leads and presides over our meetings.

— Lord, may the city of Columbus, Ohio, be impacted the week before the convention by evangelism and ministry, specifically Saturday, June 13, through Crossover Columbus.

If you will take the time, there is plenty to pray and fast about during one day. This could even become a daily prayer list.

I am pleading with Southern Baptists to pray and fast for our upcoming time together. In reality, the call is for so much more.

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  • Ronnie Floyd