NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Calls for intercession have been sent out through the planning of several prayer conferences set for this year. Southern Baptists are being asked to return to the discipline of prayer on behalf of their churches, the nation and the world.
2009 PRAYER AND DISCIPLESHIP CONFERENCE
Spring Baptist Church in Spring, Texas, in cooperation with T.W. Hunt Ministries, will host the 2009 Prayer and Discipleship Conference Aug. 3-5.
“It is our belief that the Lord desires an awakening within the church,” the event’s website, prayerconference.org, states. “An examination of the past revivals in history has led us to the conclusion that there are two primary factors which were evident in those movements that are lacking today: prayer and disciple-making.”
The conference is a call to churches nationwide to return their emphasis to prayer and discipleship, the organizers say on the website, noting that the two scripturally mandated ministries often are afterthoughts or neglected completely in modern church life.
“This must change if the church is to experience the power and presence of God in such a way that it transforms whole congregations,” the website notes.
Keynote speakers for the conference include T.W. Hunt, James Merritt, Jimmy Draper, Ken Hemphill and Mark Estep. Hunt is author of “The Mind of Christ”; Merritt is pastor of Cross Pointe Church in Duluth, Ga.; Draper is president emeritus of LifeWay Christian Resources; Hemphill is national strategist for Empowering Kingdom Growth; and Estep is pastor of Spring Baptist Church.
Breakout sessions will address topics such as “How to develop prayer ministries and strategies,” “Using apologetics in the discipleship process,” “A new paradigm for the discipleship process,” “Developing a discipleship strategy that includes children and youth,” and “How to deepen your personal prayer time.”
Any interested individuals are invited to attend, but the call is going out especially to pastors, church staff and lay leaders as well as seminary students.
Registration is now open online at prayerconference.org; the cost is $99 per person or $125 per couple. Spring is north of Houston, and a list of lodging options is available on the website.
BROKEN BEFORE THE THRONE
In its third year, Broken Before the Throne is an idea conceived by Dan Biser, pastor of Zoar Baptist Church and Fox’s Hollow Baptist Church, both in West Virginia. This year Virginia Baptist Avenue Church in Hagerstown, Md., will host the conference Aug. 8-14.
Biser said much of the calamity that has come to American culture today can be attributed to churches neglecting heartfelt prayer. Even a call for increased evangelism, such as the recent Great Commission Resurgence Declaration, must be preceded by biblical prayer, Biser said.
“Let us not go forth without the Spirit of God upon us,” Biser said. “Let us not labor in our own strength for the sake of doing the work.”
Speakers for the conference include Biser, T.W. Hunt, John McGregor of Canadian Revival Fellowship, evangelist Al Whittinghill and Greg Frizzell, a prayer specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.
Registration is requested at brokenbeforethethrone.com for those who plan to attend, and while no fee is mandatory, donations are welcome. A series of devotions by Biser leading up to the event is available on the website, as is a list of hotels in the Hagerstown area.
2009 PRAYER CONFERENCE
The Georgia Baptist Convention will host a state prayer conference with the theme “Speechless 2009: Seeking to Hear the Voice of God” at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa Oct. 19-20.
Speakers will include Frizzell of the Oklahoma Baptist convention; Randy Sprinkle of the Baptist Convention of New England, Jeff Renn of Putnam Baptist Church in North Carolina and Elaine Helms of the North American Mission Board.
Early registration is available through Aug. 3 by visiting gabaptist.org. More information may be obtained by calling the convention’s church-minister relations department at 770-936-5364.
On a related note, the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention is planning EQUIP 2009, “a one stop re-energizing, transforming, family conference that will renew your spirit and equip you to take your ministries to the next level.”
The event is scheduled for the Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah, Aug. 5-7. Church leaders, lay leaders and parents are invited to hear inspirational messages and music and attend training sessions that communicate life-changing Bible truths, according to the website uisbc.org/equip. Camps for preschoolers, children and youth will be offered to enrich the family experience.
Seminar topics for adults include church planting, evangelism, missions, prayer and religious education. The Utah-Idaho convention also will host a commissioning service for UISBC church planters serving as missionaries in the two states.
“You will leave renewed, refreshed and ready to press on,” the website states.
Advance registration closes July 27; late registration at the door will be available until capacity is reached. To register, call 801-572-5350, ext. 1, or click on the registration tab at the bottom of the EQUIP webpage. Registration fees range from $20 to $50 per individual before July 27.
Compiled by Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.