NASHVILLE—January is a distinctive month of prayer across the Southern Baptist Convention.
It is a time when a readiness to pray can gain new traction in churches, large or small, urban or rural.
Listed as the “Call to Prayer” on the SBC Calendar, it gained momentum from the 2010 Great Commission Task Force report adopted by messengers to the SBC annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., and was placed on the SBC calendar as an annual focus during the convention’s 2011 meeting in Phoenix.
This year’s theme is “In All Things Pray,” drawn from the familiar 2 Chronicles 7:14 passage, the journal SBC LIFE of the Executive Committee noted in its Winter 2015 issue.
The theme and key emphases for this year’s Call to Prayer were developed with input from the PrayerLink network of state convention and SBC entity prayer leaders. The website inallthingspray.net provides numerous prayer resources developed in concert with PrayerLink partners, including downloadable artwork for this year’s emphasis.
Key points of prayer for January 2016, with accompanying suggestions listed in SBC LIFE and posted on the website, are:
—My Family. Select a family member who is unchurched or without Christ and pray that they would come to faith in Christ.
—My Community. Select a friend, neighbor or colleague and pray that they would come to faith in Christ.
—My Church. Select a specific area of ministry in your church, such as a small group or age-graded ministry, and ask the Lord to use it to engage the lost with the gospel.
—My Nation. Select an elected national leader or a Send North America city (see North American Mission Board namb.net/cities webpage) and pray for the salvation of the leader or the church planting efforts in that area.
—My World. Select an unreached people group (see International Mission Board imb/people groups webpage) and pray that the gospel would be advanced among these people.
“My heart is thrilled that thousands upon thousands of Southern Baptists will begin 2016 in prayer,” said SBC President Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.
“Never in my lifetime have we needed to call out to God more than today,” Floyd said in a written statement. “In my own church, we are entering into a major 21-day journey in prayer and fasting. Therefore, we stand with you to pray for ourselves, our churches, our nation and world. Our greatest need is the next Great Spiritual Awakening in the United States.”
Frank Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, commented, “From time to time, I have wondered if it is a sign of health or weakness to have to remind people to pray. However, after reading Scripture, I see constant reminders and calls to prayer, so I am convinced it is a healthy practice!”
One example cited by Page: “After encouraging believers to put on the full armor of God and explaining what that means, the apostle Paul encouraged us to ‘pray always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit…’ (Ephesians 6:18).
“As we enter into this new year, I cannot think of a more appropriate thing to do than to pray more, and more passionately, than ever before,” Page said. “Our world is in need of prayer and we are in need of praying.” (BP)