Editor’s Note: Bill Elliff is the National Engage Pastor at Summit Church in Little Rock. He is also a member of the ABSC Prayer Task Force.
Arkansas Baptist pastors are praying! Even COVID19 couldn’t keep several hundred pastors from gathering across our state for the 7th Annual Pastors Prayer Gathering. When discussions were held in July about whether or not this important gathering should be held, our convention leadership and Prayer and Spiritual Awakening team said, “This is what we do in Arkansas. We may have to do it a little differently, but if there was ever a moment when we needed to gather and cry out to God, it’s now.”
While the main gathering was held at Immanuel Baptist’s new City Center in Little Rock, the Monday night and Tuesday morning prayer gathering was live-streamed to four regional sites across Arkansas. Also, multiple associations gathered leaders to participate by live stream, as did many individuals. At each site, reports came in that the leaders were fervently engaged in prayer.
Led by multiple pastors who called the people to prayer and The Summit Church Worship team, the leaders focused around seven themes that outlined the path to revival and spiritual awakening.
- That DESPERATION would grow;
- Extraordinary PRAYER would sweep across our state and nation;
- God would raise up VOICES to call us back to Himself;
- Believers would hear God’s voice and respond with UNASHAMED, BOLD WITNESS to the lost;
- CHRIST WOULD BE EXALTED as never before, drawing people to Himself;
- Resulting in a statewide, nationwide, and worldwide SPIRITUAL AWAKENING!
These prayer themes will be the focus for a statewide emphasis in January on 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Every church will be invited to participate in this vital time of extraordinary prayer.
Each year it seems our pastors and spiritual leaders are learning more and more about how to cooperate with God insignificant, powerful, extraordinary prayer. Such prayer always precedes revival and awakening. Matthew Henry said, “When God intends great mercy on His people, He always sets them a praying!” God has humbled us this year, stripping us of our idols and calling us to return to Him. We cannot return to “business as usual.” But God has promised to build His church. All that is happening is not accidental but leading to desperation and determination that always precedes a return to God. By God’s grace, He is calling us to humble, repentant prayer and His leaders are aggressively cooperating with Him!