1. Sunday, January 31st
  2. A Most Critical Day of Prayer!
    1. The Importance of Taking January 31st Seriously
    2. Practical Steps for Making January 31st Powerful


Sunday, January 31st

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A Most Critical Day of Prayer!

 

 
If ever there was a time for all Southern Baptists to observe a time of intense prayer and repentance, that time is surely now! No doubt, the timely call to prayer by Johnny Hunt is a call every church should whole-heartedly embrace. With all three major agencies seeking presidents and far-reaching strategies being considered, Southern Baptists simply must seek God’s exact direction and timing for the issues at hand. Surely every believer can see the urgency of uniting to seek God’s face on January 31st.
Yet, as Dr. Hunt has indicated, our foremost prayer must be for heaven-sent revival, godly unity and restored first love passion. The BGCO Office of Prayer wholeheartedly encourages this focus! All the programs, strategies and personnel on earth (by themselves) can never produce the two things most desperately needed — burning heart passion and genuine New Testament power! These come only by a return to fervent kingdom-focused prayer and deep God-seeking repentance. That is precisely the intent of January 31st.


  
The Importance of Taking January 31st Seriously
Because of today’s phenomenal busy-ness, it is dangerously easy to treat calls to prayer lightly. An absolutely critical element of January 31st is that it is a day of fervent prayer and deep repentance. Such prayer is no doubt the heart and intent of Dr. Hunt and others who have encouraged this special emphasis. Unfortunately, a common problem with some modern “days of prayer” is a lack of deep, Scripture-based repentance. With America’s instant mindset, many assume that a brief casual pause for “repentance” is sufficient for seeking God’s face. According to Scripture and history, that is definitely not the case.
True revival never comes merely by “saying” some prayers or brief moments of general confession. Genuine revival praying is always about thorough repentance and personal commitment to ongoing obedience. Our Lord is never fooled by prayer “events” that fail to return to Him with “our whole hearts.” (Jeremiah 29:13, Joel 2:12-24) In fact, prayer, worship or solemn assemblies that are half-hearted and insincere seriously “offend” God. (Isaiah 1:12-14; Amos 5:23) To aid churches in a genuine return to God, the BGCO Office of Prayer encourages three practical options.


 
Practical Steps for Making January 31st Powerful
(1) Embrace a seven day process of focused prayer and deep repentance beginning on Sunday, January 24th. On the Office of Prayer website, we provide a new downloadable seven day journey for individual believers and churches. Each day, participants are guided through deep repentance as well as praying the specific requests outlined by Johnny Hunt. The cleansing guide can also be used on January 31st as a single day emphasis. These guides are easily printed for distribution to church member. (For this and other helps. go to http://www.bgco.org/5683 )
(2) On January 31st, give the entire morning or evening service to intense prayer and repentance. The BGCO website contains a practical pattern for embracing a dynamic service of corporate repentance and prayer specifically for this day. Several other practical options and materials are provided on our website. We also strongly encourage believers to check out the materials on the North American Mission Board website. There is very helpful material on a solemn assembly by Claude King. (See the NAMB website at http:/www.namb.org and search for “Call for Urgent Prayer.”)
(3) Treat January 31st as the beginning of an ongoing return to God. Today, we need far more than a one day event to “say” some prayers and pause for surface confession. We need a lasting return to God in deep specific repentance and kingdom-focused prayer. Toward fostering a true return to God, the BGCO website contains a newly developed Covenant of Prayer for Revival and Spiritual Awakening. Both the Covenant and the seven day cleansing guide are for ongoing use in personal quiet times and corporate prayer meetings. The covenant comes from our upcoming book release, Praying God’s Heart in Times Like These. May God help every believer embrace January 31st as the beginning of true revival and global harvest. To Him alone be praise and glory.

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