1. WHEREAS God has revealed to us through His Word and His activity that:
  2. A Cleansing Guide for Preludes to Solemn Assemblies

Conducting a Solemn Assembly Service

“A Sample One-Night Outline for Leaders” Drawn from “Restoring Our First Love”

By Dr. Gregory R. Frizzell (This material is copyrighted and may not be used for sale or mass production. However churches may reproduce this material for their congregation only.)

The following outline is best used in churches that have already experienced a significant process of personal repentance in the days preceding the service. Though any church could benefit, the outline is better used as a culmination of cleansing that has occurred in a personal journey of repentance. Expect this service to be at least one to two hours in length. Please also remember this is only an outline and is just one option. Solemn assembly type services can be shorter and simpler than this outline or literally stretched out for two weeks. Each church must seek and follow God’s specific guidance for them. However, the shorter services can be somewhat limited in depth. In view of today’s tendencies toward shallowness, I urge church leaders to take solemn assemblies with great seriousness. Above all, we want the Holy Spirit to guide. For additional materials on full solemn assemblies, contact the BGCO Office of Prayer.


Key Principles for Church Leaders

1.  A solemn assembly is not a program you simply plug in or a script you rotely follow. As you examine the suggestions in this sample outline, tailor the suggestions to fit your own needs. Trust God to lead you with phrases and ideas for your own people. This outline is a guide for ideas and directions, not a script.

2.  Bathe the whole process in fervent prayer and serious preparation. Have your church leaders and entire church fast and pray for God’s detailed directions and power. Resist the modern temptation to take the easiest options with the least depth and effort.

3.  Involve key leaders in both the preparation and facilitation of the service. They can lead prayers, read Scripture or guide in some of the times of confession.

4.  If you sense either you or your church is not prepared, delay the process and seek God’s face until you sense it is His timing. Solemn assemblies should never be done casually or just because others suggest them. Based on Scripture, it would be far better not to do a solemn assembly at all than to do one casually, ill prepared or as a program. The leaders of our convention are in no way insisting that solemn assemblies be done on a certain date. It would be more effective to call a solemn assembly a few weeks later and do it right than to do it in a shallow, ineffective manner. However, do not let these cautions cause you to delay too long. The current need for repentance is extremely urgent.

5.  Strongly emphasize that this process is about a full surrender to Christ’s lordship in new obedience and specific lasting changes. A true solemn assembly is far more than a temporary event of general confession. It is to be the first love covenant to specific lasting changing changes.

6.  Consistently focus attention on Christ’s grace and His full acceptance for all who acknowledge their sin and embrace repentance. Keep a strong balance of grace throughout the entire process of repentance. Always conclude each major area of repentance with a focus on who we are in Christ’s righteousness. Conviction is to point believers to grace and transformation, not condemnation and hopeless despair.

7.  Familiarize yourself with various resources and tools for conducting solemn assemblies. In addition to my resources, I urge pastors to become familiar with tools by Henry Blackaby, Richard Owen Roberts, Claude King and Keeney Dickinson. The remainder of this document is a fairly detailed outline of a sample one-evening solemn assembly format.

The One-Evening Solemn Assembly

By Dr. Gregory R. Frizzell

Optional Prelude – Thirty minutes prior to the service: While a preparatory prelude is not essential, it can add considerable impact. If you use the prelude, strongly urge everyone to be seated in the sanctuary thirty minutes before the main service begins! Stress that they sit in absolute silence and pray through the thirty minute cleansing guide (attached at the end of this outline). Distribute the attached Prelude Cleansing Guide to all participants. During the prelude, ask everyone to prepare their heart in prayerful surrender. I suggest soft instrumental music in the background. Take steps to prevent any noise in the foyer or surrounding areas! If given the chance, Satan will surely create distractions.

Phase I
Introduction, Biblical Preparation, Praise and Prayer


During the opening moments, explain the purpose of the solemn assembly. Two powerful Scriptures help identify the purpose. (2 Chronicles 7:14; Joel 1:14, 2:12-16)

 One option for clarifying the purpose is to read excerpts from the one-page document issued by the SBC in 1989. It still applies just as well today. See the attached document entitled “Call to Solemn Assembly and Prayer.

 A second option is to briefly summarize the major reasons for calling the solemn assembly. Some primary reasons are: (1) Many believers and churches have clearly left their first love; (2) Apathy, sin and compromise have grieved God’s Spirit and profaned His name; (3) Key convention leadership senses God’s leading to call believers to special repentance and prayer; (4) There is an utterly desperate need for sweeping revival; (5) The extreme urgency of evangelism, discipleship and missions; (6) There are powerful increasing signs of God’s judgment upon our land; (7) The urgent need for global spiritual awakening.

 Pastors should emphasize the specific reasons his own congregation needs a solemn assembly. After the pastor (or leader) has shared reasons for the solemn assembly, stress that the ultimate purpose is a lasting return to our first love covenant to Jesus. If a solemn assembly is merely a programmed event, it is of little value and can even be spiritually dangerous. It is a serious thing to put on a surface show of repentance.

 In preparing to enter God’s presence, genuine praise and thanksgiving are nearly always important. (Psalms 100:4-5) At this point in the service, I encourage pastors to read Scriptures that remind us of God’s greatness, glory, holiness and grace. Give special focus to praising God for our covenant of grace in Christ’s blood. His blood is our sole hope for forgiveness and blessing.

*Voice a corporate prayer of praise and then ask the people to turn in small groups for prayers of thanks and praise. Also ask the prayer groups to cry out for God’s power and blessing on the service. *After five to ten minutes of small group prayer, voice another corporate prayer of praise and intercession for God’s blessing upon the meeting.

Immediately following this prayer, a moving solo or praise team song about Christ’s blood is especially powerful. A song about His holiness and love can help focus the people on God’s glory, grace and mercy.

 *Music note: During small group or silent prayer times, it is often helpful to have an instrumentalist play softly.

Phase II
Confession, Repentance and First Love Obedience


The leader strongly stresses that our purpose is not only confession of sin, but a return to lasting obedience and love to Jesus. (Read aloud Proverbs 28:13 and I John 1:9.) Remind the people it is only by Christ’s grace and the Holy Spirit that we can genuinely confess, repent and walk in powerful growth. Assure them of His grace to forgive and His power to transform our weaknesses. Emphasize that true confession is both specific and thorough. (Read Psalm 139:23-24.) General confession has little depth or power.

 Explain that full surrender of believers’ lives involve seven basic areas: (1) A total heart passion to know, love and fear God; (2) Spirit-guided attitudes and pure thoughts; (3) Godly words and communications; (4) Right relationships (personal, family and church); (5) Surrendering sins of transgression; (6) Surrendering sins of omission; (7) Embracing Christ’s cross in brokenness, humility, yielding of heart idols and prideful self-will. Ultimately, true commitment always centers on renewed passion for the Great Commission.

 During the phase of personal confession and repentance, ask the people to sincerely confess their sins to God and surrender to full obedience. Urge the people to listen closely and resist wandering thoughts. Warn them that Satan will try to distract them. Remind the people that God convicts to point His people to grace, repentance and hope, not condemnation and despair. We are accepted and counted righteousness in Christ! (Romans 4:5; Ephesians 1:6) For simplicity and sake of time, I suggest combining the seven areas into five separate times of personal examination, confession and repentance. (The pastor or leader guides the congregation to pray through the five areas)

Area One – Embracing First Love Passion and Reverential Fear of God: The leader briefly emphasizes that our walk with God starts with the commitment to know, revere and love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus utterly rejects lukewarmness and half-hearted commitment!

 Read some or all of the following passages: Matthew 22:37-39; Ecclesiastes 12:13; John 17:3; Revelation 2:1-4, 3:15-17. After reading the passages, make brief application as God leads. (It is usually very important to minimize sermonizing so we can maximize the time in confession and prayer.)

Ask the people to bow in reflection, personal confession and repentance. While their heads are bowed, I suggest that the leader ask select reflective questions to help the people embrace specific repentance. (Examples of such questions are found in my five-day cleansing guide, which is on our website. More extensive questions and options are found in my new book Restoring Our First Love.) Let me also state that pastors have the option of asking very few reflective questions. The Scriptures themselves are very powerful and may not need many reflective questions. Each leader should seek God for the right balance for his people.

In the reflective questions, it is vital to give people ample time to confess sin after each question. If you read the questions too fast, people are prevented from praying and surrendering each area to God. At the end of each of the five major areas of reflection and confession, a pastor or leader should voice a corporate prayer of commitment to obedience.

Area Two – Embracing Godly Attitudes and Pure Thoughts: The leader briefly shares the critical importance of godly attitudes and right thoughts. Read some or all the following Scriptures: Proverbs 23:7a; Matthew 5:28, 6:33; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:5; 1 John 2:16. After reading the passages and making brief comments as God leads, ask the people to bow in reflection, personal confession and repentance.

As their heads are bowed, I encourage the leader to ask select reflective questions to help the people embrace repentance. (Reflective questions are found in my five-day online cleansing guide and in the book Restoring Our First Love.) Again, pause long enough after each question for believers to surrender that area to God. After the period of silent personal prayer, a pastor or leader voices a corporate prayer of commitment to godly attitudes and thoughts.

Area Three – Embracing Right Words and Godly Relationships: The leader briefly shares the vital importance of godly words and right relationships. (For most believers, this section on relationships is the longest and most crucial to full surrender) Read select Scriptures from the following list: Proverbs 18:2, 29:11 & 20; Matthew 12:36; Ephesians 4:29-32; John 13:34-35; Matthew 5:23-24, 6:14-15, I Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 5:22-6:4; Psalms 105:5; I Thessalonians 5:12-13.

After reading the passages and making brief comments as God leads, ask the people to bow in reflection, personal confession and repentance. While their heads are bowed, I encourage the leader to ask select reflective questions to help the people embrace repentance. (Check the website and the book, Restoring Our First Love.) Again, pause long enough after each question for believers to surrender that area to God. After the period of silent personal prayer, a pastor or leader voices a corporate prayer of commitment to godly words and right relationships.

Area Four – Embracing Full Obedience (Overcoming Sins of Commission and Omission): The leader briefly shares the key importance of overcoming persistent sins of commission and omission. Read some or all of the following Scriptures: Proverbs 28:13; Malachi 3:8; Luke 12:47; John 14:15; James 4:17; I John 3:4, 5:3; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14.

After reading the passages and making brief comments, ask the people to bow in reflection, personal confession and repentance. While their heads are bowed, I encourage the leader to ask reflective questions to help the people embrace repentance. Again, do not rush! Pause long enough after each question for believers to encounter God. After the period of silent personal prayer, a pastor or leader should voice a corporate prayer of surrender to full obedience and pursuit of holiness.

Area Five – Embracing Brokenness, Humility and Full Surrender to Christ’s Cross: The leader briefly shares the essential importance of brokenness, humility and full surrender to Christ’s Cross. Read the following Scriptures: Matthew 16:24; Luke 6:46, 14:27; I Peter 5:5b; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8.

After reading the passages and making brief comments, ask the people to bow in reflection, personal confession and repentance. While their heads are bowed, the leader should ask select reflective questions to help the people embrace repentance. Pause long enough after each question for believers to surrender that area to God.

To conclude the period of silent personal prayer, a pastor or leader should voice a corporate prayer of humble surrender to Christ’s Lordship and full commitment to His gospel. After the final time of personal reflection and repentance, a time of corporate repentance is both biblical and powerful.

Lead a Period of Corporate Repentance

Following the final period of personal confession and repentance, it is important to ask people to respond to God in corporate repentance. The pastor or leader should stress the importance of fully rejecting pride and resistance to humble confession. After all, we are all a work in progress. It is crucial that we humbly confess our areas of needed adjustment. In many ways the biggest hindrance to revival is pride, hardness of heart and unbended knees. In James 5:16, we are commanded to “confess our trespasses one to another.” Two options for this time of corporate repentance are as follows.

A first option is to encourage the congregation to come to the altar to personally pray for full surrender. (Some may also want to pray together at the altar in small groups.) The pastor, staff and/or key deacons will also stand at the front of the congregation to pray with people who want victory over an area of weakness. During this time period, encourage people to go to anyone with whom there has been an offense or tension.

Have the entire congregation stand and tell them for the next few moments we will pray at the altar, with church leaders or with each other in the pew. (Soft music is played in the background) Strongly encourage people to respond but do not make it high pressure or contrived. Whether it is prayer at the altar, small group or private time in the pews, let people respond as God leads. These moments are for surrendering every part of our lives to the lordship of Jesus.

Confessing Corporate Sins of the Church

At the conclusion of this time (at least 10 minutes or as long as the leaders sense God’s guidance) the pastor should voice a corporate prayer of surrendering the congregation to God. At this juncture I strongly suggest that the pastor and/or church leaders ask God’s forgiveness for any corporate sins they sense the church has committed. Pastor, staff, deacons or teachers may also need to corporately ask forgiveness from the congregation. (i.e. lukewarmness, inadequate prayer, compromise, etc.) My book, Overcoming the Corporate Sins of Modern Churches contains an extensive list of today’s most common corporate sins.

A second option for corporate repentance is to encourage the congregation to turn in small groups and pray for repentance and new obedience. During this time of small group prayer, also give people the option to come to the altar or to staff for prayer. As with the first option, encourage people to go to anyone with whom they may have had a division.

A Word about Public Confession

At the conclusion of this time of small group and personal prayer, it is often powerful to give people the opportunity for appropriate public confession. Encourage them to heed God’s voice and resist the pride that would keep them from humble confession. In many great revivals, humble, public confession has been a key part of the moving of God’s Spirit! However, at this point good order and Biblical appropriateness are crucial. I strongly suggest that persons desiring to voice public confession should first share with the pastor or key church leaders the exact nature of what they want to share. If someone desires to share anything of a sensitive personal nature, it should be dealt with by the church leader and the other individuals involved, not the general church body. Deeply personal sins should not be confessed in a general gathering. Discretion is always a key priority.

Public confession is appropriate for issues like a wrong attitude (which was publicly displayed), anger, lack of love, inappropriate public statements, lack of dedication, dishonesty, gossip, etc. If people begin to confess sins publically, church leaders must be prepared to gently guide the confessions and prayer in directions that are appropriate and timely. (Some penitents may need help to keep their confessions reasonably concise and focused.) In public confession, the Holy Spirit is most commonly grieved and quenched in three ways: (1) By people sharing inappropriate matters, (2) Sharing too long, (3) Being cut off too quick.

As leaders, we must trust God for Spirit-guided balance in directing such meetings. While leaders must exercise sensitive leadership and guidance, we should also avoid any limiting or quenching of the Holy Spirit. One of today’s biggest revival hindrances is a fleshly bondage to the clock! I also encourage leaders not to fear periods of silence. In today’s churches, we often think someone has to be talking or something happening visibly. We lose much by depriving people of quietly waiting in God’s presence.

Phase III
A Responsive Reading Covenant of First Love Obedience

This responsive reading covenant is designed to address the seven areas of surrendering one’s whole life to Christ’s Lordship. Because it is a covenant to be prayed directly to God, urge people to treat this process with deepest sincerity and total dependence upon God’s grace and Spirit. This is not a covenant to be recited in a rote, casual manner! Before the covenants are prayed corporately, it is even advisable for the pastor to take the time to read aloud all seven covenants that are designated for Everyone. Tell the people they should not state these covenants to God if they are not serious about their commitments to obedient. A covenant to God is a deadly serious matter. Have the people stand as we pray the responsive covenant to God.

Leader Reads - (Matthew 22:37-39; Ecclesiastes 12:13; John 17:3; Revelation 3:15-17)


Leader – “Blessed God and Savior, we acknowledge that You deserve our constant first love passion, reverential awe and full obedience. We recognize that our whole life purpose is to know, love, glorify and serve You in godly fear. Lord, we humbly confess there are ways we have failed to know, fear and love You with all our hearts.”

Everyone“God and Savior, by Your grace and Spirit we hereby covenant to love You with first love heart passion. We covenant to walk in reverential fear and to ever seek to know You in deeper intimacy. We repent of lukewarmness and compromise. We commit to fully abide in Christ through powerful daily prayer and significant time in Your Word. By Your grace, we wholly commit our hearts to glorify Your name and spread Christ’s kingdom in all the earth.”

Leader Reads - (Proverbs 23:7a; Matthew 5:28, 6:33; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 2:5; I John 2:16)

Leader – “Holy God, we desire to surrender our every thought and attitude to Christ’s Lordship. We confess angry, fearful and unclean thoughts that have grieved Your Spirit. We ask forgiveness for the times our thoughts have centered more on earthly needs and desires than kingdom priorities.“

Everyone“Righteous Lord and Savior, by Your grace and Spirit we covenant to embrace right thoughts and holy attitudes. We repent of all angry, fearful and unclean thoughts. We hereby covenant to fill our minds with Your Word and surrender our attitudes to the obedience of Christ. By Your strength, we will embrace powerful prayer and time in Your Word.”

Leader Reads - (Proverbs 18:2, 29:11; Matthew 12:36; Ephesians 4:29-32; Colossians 3:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; James 1:19)

Leader – “Holy God and Father, we acknowledge that we will give an account for every word we speak, email or text. We ask forgiveness us for the times our tongues and keypads have departed from full surrender to Christ. By gossip, slander and unkind words we have profaned Your name, damaged the unity of Your Church and hindered Christ’s gospel. Forgive us O Lord, and fill us with godly sorrow and true repentance.”

Everyone – “Lord, by Your grace and Spirit, we turn away from words that are angry, excessive, inaccurate, unclean or unkind. Help us to be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath. We wholly surrender our tongues and keypads to edify one another, glorify Your name and spread Christ’s gospel to all the world.”

Leader Reads - (John 13:34-35; Matthew 5:23-24, 6:14-15; 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 5:25, 22, 6:1-3; Psalm 105:5; 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)

Leader – “Sovereign God, we acknowledge that we are not right with You if we remain wrong with others. Through a lack of loving unity, we shame Your name and hinder Christ’s gospel. By neglecting our spiritual responsibilities as fathers, mothers and families, we grieve Your Spirit and forfeit spiritual power. Please empower us for loving unity and renewed strength in our families and churches.”

Everyone“Loving God, by Your grace and Spirit we repent of all bitterness, disunity and lack of love. We covenant to forgive all who have offended us and seek reconciliation with any we have offended. We commit to be families centered around Christ and His word. We covenant to guard the bond of peace in our church and honor our spiritual leaders. Empower us O Lord, to walk in love and unity to the glory of Your holy name.”

Leader Reads - (John 14:15; Hebrews 12:14; 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 John 3:4, 5:3;)

Leader – “Righteous God, we acknowledge that all Your commandments are just and true. We humbly confess that we have transgressed Your laws in thought, word and deed. Please forgive and empower our hearts for holy living, right relationships and fervent labor for the gospel.

Everyone – “Savior and Lord, by Your grace and Spirit we repent of transgressing Your Word and law. We covenant to obey all Your commands for holiness, godly relationships and first love passion for the gospel. Empower us to fully turn from evil and embrace righteousness in our daily lives.”

Leader Reads - (Proverbs 28:13; Malachi 3:8; Luke 12:47; James 4:17)

Leader – “God of glory, we acknowledge that all Your commandments are light, life and truth. Lord, we confess that we have omitted things You clearly command. Forgive us O God, and empower us for full obedience.”

Everyone – “God of heaven, by Your grace and Spirit we turn from sins of omission. We covenant to daily abide in Your Word and prayer. We covenant to faithfully tithe, give sacrificial offerings and faithful service to Your Church. We covenant to walk in fervent love and unity with one another. We covenant to faithfully pray for revival and spiritual awakening. By the power of Your Spirit, we covenant to first love passion for evangelism, discipleship and missions.”

Leader Reads – (Luke 6:46; Luke 14:27; Matthew 16:24; 1 Peter 5:5b; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)

Leader – “Lord and Savior, we acknowledge that You deserve our total surrender at all times and all ways. We confess that we have failed to fully embrace Christ’s cross and die to ourselves in true brokenness and humility. Lord, please forgive our prideful self-will and empower us to take up our cross and daily follow you.”

Everyone – “Lord God and Savior, by Your grace and Spirit we covenant to fully die to ourselves and embrace Christ’s cross in daily living. Empower us to wholly surrender our hearts, thoughts, relationships and resources to Christ’s Lordship. For the glory of Your name, and the spread of Christ’s kingdom, we utterly surrender our lives to Your purposes. Cleanse Your Church O Lord and revive Your people. Rend the heavens in spiritual awakening and sweeping global harvest. Come Lord Jesus – come quickly!” (Revelation 22:20)



As soon as you finish the responsive covenant (and the people are standing), sing “How Great Is Our God” or other chosen songs. The pastor then stresses the four essential commitments of walking in first love obedience. (1) Embracing an abiding daily prayer life; (2) Deep ongoing cleansing; (3) Praying for spiritual awakening; (4) Praying, giving and laboring sacrificially for the Great Commission. Emphasize that this solemn assembly is to be the beginning of a whole new walk with God, not an “event” we do and lay aside. The pastor sends the people out to walk in victory.

To equip believers for walking in their surrender, I urge churches to provide the Covenant Commitment Bible Inserts for their members. The Bible inserts equip believers to walk in powerful daily prayer, deep cleansing and fullness, effective prayer for spiritual awakening and a deep commitment to evangelism and missions. Without a concrete commitment to powerful daily prayer and cleansing, lasting change is virtually impossible! It is crucial to provide practical tools to help people walk in the commitments they have made.

Solemn Assembly

“Restoring Our First Love Covenant” (A Sample Outline)

Prelude (Optional) (30 minutes)

Introduction and Biblical Preparation (5-10 minutes)

Corporate Prayer (Leader)

Small Group Prayers of Invocation and Praise (8-10 minutes)

Corporate Prayer (Leader)

Optional Song

Confession and Repentance (Explanation by Leader)

Facilitation of Confession and Repentance (20-40 minutes)

Area One – Loving and Revering God

Area Two – Attitudes and Thoughts

Area Three – Words and Relationships

Area Four – Commission and Omission

Area Five – Total Surrender of Self and Idols

Church-wide Corporate Confession and Prayer (At the altar and/or public confession)

Responsive Corporate Covenant (Explanation by Leader)

The Charge to Walk in Covenant Commitment

Concluding Prayer and Worship




WHEREAS God has revealed to us through His Word and His activity that:
1. The times are very serious. Many factors indicate that the
Church should be preparing for the return of the Lord.
Revelation 19:6-9 says that the Bride will prepare herself for
Her union with Christ.
2. He is calling extraordinary numbers of people to pray for spiritual awakening and we are seeing more prayer than at any other time in decades (lsa. 62:6-7; Zech. 8:20-23).
3. He has begun awakening a growing number of His people who are making radical adjustments in their lives to God (Acts 2:16-21).
4. Because of our impurities, God is bringing judgment on America and on His church in America by removing His hedge of protection and giving us over to the consequences of our sins (Isa. 5).
5. Unless we repent, the gravity of His judgment will intensify with each passing day as He begins to pour out His wrath in turning us over to disasters (Ezek. 7:1-14).
WHEREAS God has revealed His displeasure because:
1. His people have disregarded His Lordship for their own selfish desires and self-serving practices (Matt. 7:21-22; Luke 6:46).
2. His people have not honored His holiness and are not becoming holy as He is Holy (1 Pet. 1:16-17).
3. His standards and commandments in His Word are not being used to determine right and wrong (Isa. 5:20).
4. His people are disoriented to Him and apathetic to His voice and activities (Luke 19:41-46).
5. His Bride has prostituted herself with worldly values, priorities, and methods and is not preparing herself for the wedding feast at Christ’s second coming (Eph. 5:25-26).
6. His warnings have been ignored again and again (Rom. 10:21; Ezek. 12:21-28).
7. His house is not known as a “house of prayer for all nations,” and He is displeased with much of the religious activity and worship of His people (Matt. 21:13).
8. Many leaders remain in personal sin and disobedience and
have not led His people to corporate repentance (Jer.23).
WHEREAS God has given us a way to come to repentance and spiritual awakening:
1. Individually by confessing and forsaking our sins (1 John 1:9).
2. Corporately by calling a solemn assembly to seek the Lord (2 Chron. 7:14; Joel 1:13-15; Joel 2:1, 12-17; Daniel 9).
THEREFORE we urge all leaders to call a solemn assembly of the people they lead.
1. WHAT is a solemn assembly? The urgent call of a leader to all the people he or she leads to come together: • to humble themselves to seek God’s face to fast and pray to turn from their wicked ways to hear God’s Word read to remove all things and practices from their lives that are displeasing God
to worship God with all their hearts to make a solemn covenant with God to become God’s instruments to spread the gospel to all the world.
2. WHY hold a solemn assembly? Because of God’s judgment on His people, a fresh revelation of God, or a rediscovery of truth from His Word.
3. WHO should call a solemn assembly and who should attend?
The leaders in Israel called all the people together. Usually the call came from the prophet, priest, and/or the king.
• 2 Chronicles 12:1-8 Rehoboam
• 2 Chronicles 15:1-19 Asa
• 2 Chronicles 20:1-29 Jehoshaphat
• 2 Chronicles 29-31 Hezekiah
• 2 Chronicles 34 Josiah
• Ezra 10:7-9 Ezra
• Nehemiah 8-9 Nehemiah
• Joel 1-2 Joel
In our day solemn assemblies should be called by every leader for the people he or she leads. The call could be for a family, church, state convention, national convention, or the whole country by leaders of each respective body.
4. WHEN should a leader call a solemn assembly? At God’s
sovereign direction. As soon as possible!
“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say. Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God?”
(Joel 2:15-17).
THEREFORE we also plead with all Christians to join in
prayer groups on a continuing basis until spiritual awakening comes in our churches and nation by including:
1. Explicit Agreement
Make a covenant with one another to pray for at least one year for spiritual awakening in your church, association. convention, and nation. Consider renewal of the covenant at the end of the first year.
2. Visible Union
Set a specific time and place for your group to meet on a regular basis. We recommend that it be on Saturday or Sunday for an hour, and occasionally for a day or a half-day of fasting and prayer.
3. Extraordinary Prayer
Make the prayer extraordinary in asking God to do extraordinary things, praying at extraordinary times, with extraordinary fervency, depending on the sovereignty of God and the extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit.
“Who knows? He [God) may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing” (Joel 2:14. NlV).
Issued September 17, 1989 by the prayer leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention:
• Douglas Beggs, Brotherhood Commission
• Henry Blackaby, Home Mission Board
• Minette Drumwright, Foreign Mission Board
• Barbara Elder, Woman’s Missionary Union
• T. W. Hunt, Baptist Sunday School Board

• Avery Willis, Baptist Sunday School Board


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A Cleansing Guide for Preludes to Solemn Assemblies

If our prayers and witness are to have state-shaking power, God’s saints must be deeply cleansed and filled with God’s Spirit. (Psalm 66:18; Acts 1:8) To prepare for Revival and Spiritual Awakening, I urge every believer and church to embrace the following journey to full surrender. As believers embrace times of cleansing, let us remember three key truths. (1) We are fully accepted in Christ’s blood and righteousness. Let us keep our eyes on God’s grace and not be defeated by condemnation. God convicts to transform, not condemn His children. (2)  Do not just confess sins, also forsake them! (Proverbs 28:13) (3) Believe Christ to live through you. Ask Him to daily fill you with His powerful presence. You can now trust God to cleanse and empower for dynamic prayer and witness.
1. Pure Thoughts –-For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7a) “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Fully confess and forsake whatever sins God brings to mind. Trust God to fill and empower you with His Spirit. (a) Do I have any pattern of unclean or lustful thoughts? (b) Do I think far more about worldly things than spiritual? (c) Am I often guilty of angry thoughts? (d) Do I frequently entertain thoughts of doubt instead of trust? (e) Am I often filled with thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness? Believe Christ to live through you by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:11) Put off sinful thoughts and put on Christ by faith.
2. Godly Attitudes — “Let this mind (attitude) be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5)
Fully confess and forsake any areas God brings to mind. Trust God to fill and empower you by His Spirit. (a) Am I lukewarm about spiritual things? (b) Am I in any way proud or condescending toward others? (c) Is there anyone about whom I think jealous, envious thoughts? (d) Do I have an attitude of doubt and unbelief? (e) Do I have any tendency toward being harsh or critical? Believe Christ to live through you by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:11) Put off wrong attitudes and let the mind of Christ dwell in you.
3. Holy Speech — “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers…Neither filthiness nor foolish talking, nor jesting which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.” (Ephesians 4:29; 5:4) “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Fully confess and forsake any sins of speech. Trust God to fill and empower you by His Spirit. (a) Have I uttered any inappropriate or slang speech? (b) Do I have pattern of cursing or off-color words? (c) Am I prone to exaggeration or lying? (d) Do I have patterns of complaining and griping? (e) Am I guilty of any form of divisive speech? (f) Do I have any patterns of critical, judgmental speech? Believe Christ to live through you by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:11) Put off all ungodly speech and yield your tongue to Christ’s Lordship.
4. Right Relationships — “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift...For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 5:23-24; 6:14-15)
            Fully confess and forsake all relationship sins. Take your time and be thorough! (a) Is there anyone I have offended but have not asked forgiveness? (b) Have I failed to seek full reconciliation and make restitution to anyone I have offended or harmed? (c) Do I harbor the slightest unforgiveness and anger toward anyone? (d) As a father, am I leading my family spiritually? (e) As a mother, am I sacrificially and joyfully serving my family? (f) Have I in any way failed to honor, respect or show attention to my parents? (g) Have I spoken negatively about anyone behind their back? (h) Am I involved in any form of gossip or negative, critical speech? (i) Is there any pattern of failing to respect and support my spiritual leaders? Put off sins of relationship and let Jesus be the Lord of all.
5. Rejecting Sins of Commission — “For I acknowledge my transgressions; and my sin is ever before me.” (Psalms 51:3)
  Fully confess and forsake all sins of commission. (a) Am I engaged in any form of sexual immorality? (b) Have I compromised by viewing anything unclean via movies, TV or Internet? (c) Do I have habits that abuse or neglect my body? (d) Do I commit idolatry by placing anyone or anything over loving and serving God? (e) Have I dabbled in any form of gambling or new ageism? (f) Am I doing anything for which I do not have perfect peace? (g) Am I in any way harsh or unkind to others? (h) Have I abused God’s grace by taking sin lightly? (i) Do I confess sins but fail to forsake them? Put off disobedience and put on full surrender to Christ.
6. Renouncing Sins of Omission — “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
  Fully confess and forsake any patterns of omission. (a) Am I failing to abide in Jesus by neglecting regular time in His word and prayer? (b) Do I neglect to be a daily witness and fail to generously support evangelism and missions? (c) Have I neglected to discern and use my spiritual gifts? (d) Am I allowing any point of spiritual bondage to remain in my life? (e) Have I in failed to support and respect my spiritual leaders? (f) Am I failing to daily pursue holiness? (g) Am I robbing God by failing to tithe and give generous offerings beyond the tithe? (h) Have I neglected to work at improving my marriage and family life? (i) Do I fail to pray with my family? Believe Christ to live through you by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:11) Put off sins of neglect and put on full obedience.
7. Embracing Full Surrender and Obedience to Jesus — “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Fully confess and forsake whatever God reveals in the following questions. (a) Have you willfully failed to surrender every part of your life to God’s total control? (b) Has God told you to do something yet you still haven’t obeyed Him? (c) Is there some area where you pretend not to know what God is saying, yet deep down you know you do? (d) Are there things God has told you to stop; yet you still do them? (e) Is there any area of service you should be doing; yet you are not? (f) Have you continued to sin willfully in areas about which God has clearly spoken? Believe Christ to live through you by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 6:11) Put off self-will and wholly surrender to Christ’s Lordship.
Drawing Near to God in Full Surrender
Once you have thoroughly confessed your sins and yielded to Christ’s full Lordship, He promises to draw near and fill you with Himself. “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) With cleansed hearts and fervent prayer you can indeed stand firm in God’s wonderful promise of mercy and prayer. Though we are all imperfect, His grace is greater than our weakness. “If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14) In these crucial days of destiny, may God find us drawing near to Him in full surrender.

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