MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (BP)--We live in a fallen world. The latest headlines tell us that drought is upon the land and setting records from the East Coast to the West Coast. A staph infection "superbug" is killing more people per year in America than the AIDS virus.
Wars and rumors of wars continue throughout the world, and still the church slumbers as if all will quietly pass away. The only excitement is that of the church being entertained while the world is lost and perishing.
At Westview Baptist Church in Martinsburg, W.Va., Saturday through Nov. 11, we're inviting believers to gather and pray for God to bestow His favor and mercy on us as a nation. We're expecting it to be a time of prayer unlike any that has been held in recent years -- nine days of calling upon the Lord to forgive us, revive us and restore us.
Watchman Nee, the famous Chinese Christian leader, declared that the highest state of prayer is praise. What honor is due unto His Name. What blessings has God given to us as His people. We will worship Him with our whole heart. But there is great sin in the church: unbelief, divorce, sloth, lack of brokenness, immorality. The list continues to our great shame. We will confess and repent for the sins of our nation, our churches, our families and our own individual lives.
God's mercy is great, and we will seek abundant mercy and cling to His longsuffering attributes out of His Divine love for us. We will yield ourselves afresh to Him; we will renew our vows and consecrate our whole selves unto our Lord. Nine days of refreshing, praying, seeking His face and waiting before His throne. We will ask to have the life of power, of faith through the fullness of His Holy Spirit. For what can we do without Him? The answer is nothing!
Some have said, "We don't need a prayer conference like this. We are winning souls by our own methods." They might be winning them, but as A. W. Tozer declared nearly 50 years ago, "What are we winning them to?" A holy church that honors Christ cannot continue without dying to self and living in the Spirit. We cannot change this world without His power.
We cannot continue when our affections are on things of this world instead of on heavenly things. We will pray for the power of God to be granted to His church for revival and spiritual awakening. We will cry out for mercy from judgment with a broken and contrite heart. If we do not have prevailing prayer during this time we know what must come. Will you join us?
Dan Biser is pastor of Zoar Baptist Church in Augusta, W.Va., and Fox's Hollow Baptist Church in Romney, W.Va.