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Tenn. Baptists launch statewide prayer thrust

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP)–March 8 will mark the start of a statewide prayer thrust by Tennessee Baptists.

Approved by messengers at the TBC annual meeting last November, the resolution on “United Prayer for Revival and Spiritual Awakening” calls for four sustained initiatives of fervent prayer during the year 2000.

The first of those initiatives entails four designated Wednesday nights throughout 2000 when all TBC churches would be encouraged and equipped to call fervent meetings of corporate prayer for revival and spiritual awakening.

The dates for the prayer meetings were announced recently by TBC President Jerry Tidwell of Jackson.

They are March 8 (in conjunction with the Day of Prayer for Spiritual Awakening already designated by the SBC); May 3 (in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer on May 4); Sept. 13 (in conjunction with the Week of Prayer for State Missions); and Nov. 1 (in conjunction with the national presidential election and the TBC annual meeting later in November).

Each Tennessee Baptist church has been mailed a booklet, “Biblical Patterns for Powerful Church Prayer Meetings,” written by Gregory R. Frizzell, pastor of Georgian Hills Baptist Church, Memphis.

Frizzell is the author of eight books on united prayer, spiritual awakening and prayer evangelism.

In the letter which accompanied the booklet, Gary Rickman, the convention’s ministry coordinator, noted, “Just passing a resolution at a convention does not accomplish anything unless the local church wishes to act upon the resolution.

“I am writing to you, a pastor, who is concerned about serious praying, urging you to lead your church in this call to united prayer.”

Frizzell, who also has written columns in the Baptist and Reflector state newsjournal concerning prayer and spiritual awakening, notes that “no church develops a powerful prayer ministry or dynamic corporate prayer by accident.”

“Neither does a church experience genuine revival and explosive evangelism without prayer becoming a sustained, top priority.”

Frizzell observed the same could be said of a state or national convention.

“Nearly all Great Awakenings occurred as past generations made the determined choice to seek God with all their hearts,” Frizzell wrote.

“We must now choose whether we will embrace the type of prayer required for a massive move of revival. God is indeed watching to see what we do in prayer, not what we say about it.”

Other initiatives called for in the resolution passed by Tennessee Baptists last November include:

— Throughout the year 2000, all Tennessee Baptist churches will be encouraged and equipped to establish evangelistic church prayer ministries.

— Throughout the year 2000, the churches will be encouraged and equipped to combine fervent prayer with all their evangelism strategies.

— The Tennessee Baptist Convention will seek to develop a statewide network of continuous prayer for revival and evangelism.

The goal of the prayer resolution and initiatives was not “to create some complicated new program,” Frizzell noted, “but rather a simple way to undergird all we do with far greater prayer.”

Rickman wrote: “It is the hope of the leadership of the Tennessee Baptist Convention that if we return to serious prayer and repentance, God will hear and send mighty revival, spiritual awakening, and sweeping evangelism.”

    About the Author

  • Lonnie Wilkey

    Lonnie Wilkey is editor of the Baptist and Reflector (baptistandreflector.org), newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

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