by Manley Beasley, Jr., pastor, Hot Springs Baptist Church
I have a confession to make. I am no longer surprised by the spiritual depth and leadership of Arkansas Baptists. Once again, in the middle of what is being viewed (at this point) as the greatest worldwide crisis since WWII, Arkansas Baptists know where to go to get answers. Every Arkansas pastor and leader that I have spoken with has said the same thing, “WE ARE PRAYING.”
In an emphasis being called PRAY714, our Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) leaders are attempting to network this God-initiated prayer movement among associational leaders and pastors in a way that I have never experienced. Our ABSC Prayer Task Force has unanimously agreed that God is up to something like we have never seen. Whatever else that may end up being, IT IS DEFINITELY A CALL TO PRAYER.
On Thursday, May 7, 2020 our nation will be observing the National Day of Prayer. Millions of Christians in the U.S. will be praying. We will pray for the end to this life-threatening pandemic. We will pray for a return to our churches, our jobs, and our “normal” lives. Along with these very worthy requests, shall we not cry out to God for a much-needed revival?
My father, Manley Beasley, Sr., said on many occasions, “Many of us think revival is the lid blowing off, but it is almost always preceded by the bottom falling out.” In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14, God told Solomon, “If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
We cannot be fully aware of all that God is seeking to accomplish but if He desires nothing else, surely, He desires that we humble ourselves and pray. Beginning May 1, will you join us in seven days of prayer and fasting? Will you join millions of others in setting aside the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 7 as the focus of a week-long prayer emphasis that God will hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land?
If you have not yet received it, you can download a plan that we can all share as we pray through this time together. At www.absc.org/prayer there will be outlines and strategic prayer guides that you are welcome to use, along with links to multiple sources for various levels of participation.
Join Arkansas Baptists across the state, and hopefully across our nation, for an unprecedented prayer gathering like we have never experienced.