Dear Praying Friends,
The nation continues to mourn the tragic murder of nine men and women in a Bible study in their Charleston, South Carolina church. While the pundits argue over human means of addressing such evil, we know that we “wrestle not against flesh and blood,” but against “spiritual wickedness in the spiritual realm” (Eph 6:10-20). We see this “spiritual wickedness” not only behind the senseless violence motivated by racism, but also behind the determined efforts to silence Christians and to permanently undermine our nation’s Judeo-Christian foundations. Yet in the midst of it all, there are also powerful signs of hope! Even in Charleston, the Christian testimonies of the shooting victims have been bought to light and the gracious and godly responses of their believing family and church members are shining like a bright light to a watching world, pointing us all to Jesus! What a contrast to rhetoric from the purveyors of racial division that has dominated the airwaves for many months. Amid all this, God promises that if we who believe in Him will humble ourselves and pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will do what we cannot: heal our land (2 Chr 7:14)! God is our hope, our only hope!
Revival in Columbus, Ohio – Southern Baptists comprise the largest Protestant denomination in America. The network of independent churches has weathered the storms of time and cultural change, and prevailed against extraordinary pressures and internal efforts to water-down Scripture and embrace liberal views to which many other Protestant churches have succumbed. Indeed, many once-vital mainline churches have become spiritual graveyards where men and women, boys and girls can seek but have a tough time finding Biblical truth and new life in Christ. Some churches are now cheerleaders for a left-wing political agenda, attempting to give religious credence to same-sex “marriage,” abortion, anti-Israel politics, and more.
If anyone wondered where the Southern Baptists stand, they need only have watched the proceedings of the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), held in Columbus, Ohio, last week. Inspirational and challenging, leaders laid out the unchanging moral imperatives of Scripture and called for repentance, prayer, and action. If but a fraction of Southern Baptists take what was said to heart, they will contribute mightily to a coming revival, not only among Baptists but also other denominational and non-denominational churches across America. They called for believers to be salt and light, to renew evangelism and citizen action to impact public policy, and to elect civil leaders who will honor God and his word. They declared to the Supreme Court and the political powers everywhere that they would be willing to die rather than compromise the fundamental Biblical truths of the sanctity of life, marriage, and family.
SBC President Dr. Ronnie Floyd encouraged Southern Baptists never to compromise but to be strengthened for the battles ahead. Hear what he said about the marriage debate. But the dominant message was his call to extraordinary prayer, a call echoed and practiced by the leaders, speakers, and 7,000 “messengers” from Southern Baptist Churches across America as they prayed and worshiped fervently throughout the multi-day gathering. I was not in Columbus and am not a Southern Baptist but I listened to the live presentation via the internet as able and to Dr. Floyd’s message on Tuesday morning. I could not help but agree with another non-Baptist pastor who said: “This week we are all Southern Baptists.” Floyd’s prophetic message was for believers everywhere, a word from God to the churches in America at this specific moment in history. I urge you to take the time to view the 40 minute message: Now is the Time to Lead (video) or to read the transcript, and to watch the evening prayer service Dr. Floyd called “A National Call for Prayer to All Southern Baptists for the Next Great Awakening.” Watch HERE and pray in agreement. Whenever you hear “Southern Baptists” think “Christians everywhere.”
The prophetic gathering in Columbus was in many ways a Solemn Assembly, and together with a growing number of such denominational and multi-church gatherings, they are paving the way to revival in our churches and awakening in America. It was a perfect prelude to the Call2fall this Sunday, June 28th. Click HERE to hear Dr. Floyd on Call2Fall (1 ½ minutes). I pray that your church is participating (let your pastor know it’s not too late), but if not, that you will carve out time after church to participate alone, with family and friends. Go to Call2fall.comand click “I’m in.”
- May God continue to strengthen the hearts of the families, church and friends who lost love ones in Charleston. May His perfect justice be done. And may the Christian Spirit of grace and forgiveness in Charleston be embraced and emulated across America. May God honor the prophetic messages and prayers of the 7,000 Southern Baptists who were in Columbus. May they take home to their congregations the fire of your word and the determination to break through to revival prayer that changes churches across America and around the world — Southern Baptist and otherwise. May millions of Americans pray in agreement with the great vision presented in Columbus. Break down dividing walls between us and make your people one. Use your church to heal the racial divide and all of the other divides that are hurting America (Joel 2:11-12; 2:28-29; Lk 14:23; Eph 6:18; Jn 17:21-23).
Partners in Prayer – FRC and the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation (CPCF) are partneringto promote extraordinary prayer not just on Sunday, June 28th but every day. We are urging pastors across America to lead their churches in prayer for our nation, spending at least 5 minutes – the Call2Fall – on their knees, the Sunday before the 4th of July. We want to acknowledge our dependence upon God as a nation, before we celebrate our Independence with picnics and fireworks. But we are also urging pastors and churches on June 28th to invite their people to take the PrayUSA pledge, sponsored by the CPCF. Hundreds of public officials, including members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus and numerous State legislators who are working with the CPCF, have already done so. Together we are urging individuals, families and churches to sign the pledge. In so doing they acknowledge that our national condition demands a prayer response of not just a day or two or even a week each year, but that our condition calls for repentant, believing prayer “without ceasing” (1 Th 5:17). FRC agrees. Thus we are urging churches to observe Call2Fall and to invite their people to sign the pledge to ceaseless prayer for our nation on June 28th.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce the landmark marriage decision either tomorrow, Friday or Monday the 29th, the day after Call2Fall. Please visit Call2Fall.com and click “I’m in” and like us on Facebook. Also plan to take photos of your church’s Call2Fall and post them. See a brief video about PrayUSA HERE. If your church does not offer members an opportunity to sign the Pray USA pledge, you and your family members can sign it HERE.
- May our voices joined together with other believers across this land touch the heart of God! May He hear our prayer, forgive our sins, heal our land and may He make us one nation under God again! (1 Chr 12:32-33; 2 Chr 7:13-14; Ps 33:12;133:all; Ecc 4:9; Jn 17:17-23).
Finally, Please continue to pray for Charleston and the victims’ families; Pray for the Supreme Court and the Obamacare and Marriage decisions. Pray, too, for Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland. Hogan, the son of a great Congressman, Larry Hogan Sr., who won the governorship last November against all odds. He announced Monday that he has stage 3 cancer but pledges to fight and continue to do his job.