NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–As Southern Baptists prepare for a solemn assembly for fasting, prayer and repentance in January as set forth in the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report adopted last June, resources are available to assist pastors in leading their congregations in the spiritual exercise.
The event is to be “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,” and the challenge was reiterated by SBC President Bryant Wright and the leaders of the convention’s entities.
At www.namb.net/sbcdayofprayer, Southern Baptists are called to pray corporately and individually on a date in January that best fits a congregation’s needs. The reason for the challenge, according to the website, is because “we have forgotten our first love (Revelation 2:4) and need revival in the SBC. We need God’s direction.”
Among the SBC Day of Prayer resources available on the website is a document titled “Scriptural Soap for Confession of Sin,” adapted from a book titled “Prayer 101: What Every Intercessor Needs to Know” by Elaine Helms of the North American Mission Board.
The document is compared to a hotel-size bar of soap — just a starter for repentance and a cleansed life.
Following is the content of the document:
— Ephesians 5:25b-27: “Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless.”
— Hebrews 4:12-13: God’s Word is “alive and active and sharper than a two-edged sword … able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” It is good to look into Scripture and ask God to bring to our attention any overlooked sins that we need to confess.
Jesus said in Matthew 15:19, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.”
— 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
— Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
Are you focusing on God’s Word above TV, radio, cell phone, computer and other attention grabbers? Do you think more about work and play than about Christ and expanding His Kingdom? Does your life look more like the world or like Christ?
In Matthew 7:1-2a Jesus says, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged, for in the way you judge, you will be judged.”
What is Jesus saying to you? How does this apply to your life? Ask God to examine your heart to see if you have a judgmental attitude that you are unaware of and ask Him to change your heart to please Him.
JEALOUSY AND SELFISH AMBITION
— James 3:16: “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”
Do you want what others have? Are you envious of attention shown to someone else? Do you feel left out? Are you striving to get ahead at all costs? What are your motives for your hard work?
PRIDE — TAKING GOD’S GLORY
— Isaiah 42:8: “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, nor My praise to another.”
Are you overly proud of your accomplishments? Do you enjoy having people brag on you and what you have done? Are you impressed with your position? Do you point people to Jesus or try to make yourself look good in their eyes? Ask God to help you obey His command in Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”
USE OF YOUR TONGUE — SPEECH
— James 3:5: “So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.”
— Proverbs 12:18: “There is one who speaks rashly like the thrusts of a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
— Ephesians 4:29: “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Does your speech please your heavenly Father? Do you ever use filthy language, tell slightly vulgar jokes or listen to them? Do you check to make sure what you are saying is true? Do you struggle with gossip? Are you known as an encourager or a nag?
— Matthew 6:14-15: “For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
Are you harboring a grudge against someone? Do you remember a hurt that seems too hard to forgive? Are you willing with God’s help to turn it loose? Ask God to empower you to give it to Him. (See Romans 12:17-21.)
PRAYER AS LIFESTYLE
— 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”
— Psalm 5:3: “In the morning, O Lord, You will hear my voice; In the morning, I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.”
Do you have a regular time to read your Bible and talk with God? How often are you aware of His presence with you in your daily routine? Do you talk to God about everything or only in a crisis?
— Psalm 77:11: “I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old.”
Do you know the biblical wonders that God performed? Are you aware of God’s activity all around you today? Do you remember how great God is and talk about Him with others?
— Psalm 119:11: “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”
Are you making an effort to memorize Scripture?
SIN OF OMISSION
— James 4:17: “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
Was there a kindness you could have shown, but you didn’t? Are you hoarding the spiritual gifts God has given you to use for edification of the body?
USE OF MONEY
— Malachi 3:8: “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.”
Do you know that God owns everything and we are His stewards? Does that affect how you use your money? Do you give a tithe of your income to support God’s work in your church first?
GOD FORGIVES OUR SINS
— Psalm 79:9: “Help us O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and forgive our sins, for Your name’s sake.”
— Isaiah 43:25: “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
— 1 John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach. To view other Baptist Press stories on the call for churches to engage in a solemn assembly in January, go to http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34226, http://www.bpnews.net/BPnews.asp?ID=34280, http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34079 and http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?id=34080.