Prayer for revival highlights SEBTS event

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Extended prayer for revival and messages from Ronnie Floyd, Steve Gaines and Daniel Akin highlighted the "United in Prayer" event at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"We are here today to get ourselves personally in a posture to pray for the next great awakening in America and around the world," Floyd, Southern Baptist Convention president and pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, said. "Today we are going to invest time talking to God ... and allow God to do a work in us."

Floyd spearheaded the event, which took place in two sessions on Sept. 18 at the seminaries' Binkley Chapel in Wake Forest, N.C. The first was geared toward faculty, staff and students at Southeastern. The second was for pastors, church staff and church members in the region.

Floyd said he believes America has fallen asleep spiritually and is in need of God. He contrasted contemporary American believers with leaders of the first Great Awakening in the 1730s and 40s, including Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.

Drawing inspiration from Edwards, Floyd said American Christians need to come together in "explicit agreement, visible union and extraordinary prayer for the next great awakening."

Attendees were encouraged to express personal repentance to God and then pray for revival in the lives of others as well.

"Today this Great Commission seminary is going to call out to God with all of our hearts," Floyd said. "God has the power to meet you at the point of the greatest need of your life."

Floyd defined revival as the manifestation of God in an individual's life and said God "wants us to live in a continual flow of His Spirit."

Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., spoke about revival among churches in the Raleigh-Durham area and beyond, especially the 46,000 Southern Baptist churches in the United States. He said churches today should look more like the church in Acts.

"Missions began in the same place the church began, in a prayer meeting," Gaines said. "When you saturate your church and ministry in prayer, God shows up."

Gaines called prayer "the most important thing in your life" and challenged believers to make prayer a priority.

"If you really love someone, you enjoy talking more to them than about them," Gaines said. "I'd rather talk to Jesus more than anyone else I know."

Akin, president of Southeastern Seminary, said prayer plays a vital role in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

"The first and hardest work of fulfilling the Great Commission takes place on our knees. It is prayer that God is going to respond to in reaching the nations with the Gospel," Akin said.

"We must ... be a praying seminary. I'm not sure that is where we are, but I do know I want us to go there. I believe that it is there that we find the power and promise to get the Gospel to the ends of the earth," he said.

Floyd asked attendees to pray for a personal passion for the Gospel, for financial resources to reach the nations and for David Platt, the new president of the International Mission Board.

Attendees were asked to visit Floyd's website pray4awakening.com. Go to multimedia.sebts.edu to watch messages from the "United in Prayer" event.

Ali Dixon is a news and information specialist at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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