MONTICELLO, Ark. – The sanctuary of First Baptist Church in Monticello on Jan. 24 was occupied for 24 hours straight by members seeking the Lord in prayer.
Every 30 minutes a new individual or family relieved the previous person to spend 30 minutes, or more, praying. Kelly Jones, pastor at First Baptist Church in Monticello, said they had stations set up with prompts for prayer, should participants want to use them, and whiteboards for participants to write prayer requests.
Jimmy Grissom, a deacon with the Drew County church, said he liked having specific items and people to pray for.
“Time went by very, very fast. No distractions whatsoever. Complete silence. Talking to God in the sanctuary under those conditions was truly a worship experience. We serve a mighty God,” Grissom said.
The event was taken part in by people of all ages, Jones said, from children all the way up to “octogenarians” – people in their 80s.
Luke Frost, a senior at Monticello High School, said he loved his prayer time.
“I honestly ran out of time before the next person came in, but I enjoyed it very much and really felt God’s presence. I typically pray at night but starting my day with prayer just seemed to have a huge impact on my day. I can’t really explain the feeling, but it was definitely different,” Frost said.
Life Group Leader Susan Akin called it a “much-needed pause for seeking the Father’s face and heart about issues, praising Him and being still before Him.”
In a recent Facebook post, the church described the 24 hours of prayer event as “one of the most fruitful, rewarding, and impactful experiences FBC Monticello does every year. We look forward to seeing what God does in response to our prayers.”
The 24-hour prayer event coincided with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention’s Pray First initiative, which encourages Arkansas Baptists to begin every year in prayer together.
Last year was the church’s first time to hold the January 24-hour prayer event. A second 24 hours of prayer event was held in May on the National Day of Prayer. Both times were powerful, Jones said.
“We’ve seen a lot of great things happening in our church,” Jones said, noting they’ve had several people saved and have seen growth in all the church ministries. “Good things are happening.”
Jones said his goal is to encourage other churches in the Monticello area to host their own 24 hours of prayer event at their church this year on May 4, the National Day of Prayer.
“I can’t imagine what God might do in our community if we all united in prayer on that day,” Jones said.
Kelly: I am so thrilled to read the report on your 24 hour prayer experience. I am prayer Coordinator for IBCLR PRAYS. It is a 24 hour event that we do on the last Monday of each month. If you could get other churches to take a day of the month, with 31 churches you could have unceasing prayer for Monticello and surrounding area. I will send you an article that will help you see more about that potential. God be praised, one day He will break out in revival or the Return and we will have all had a part in tilling the soil through prayer. Don Moore