After Ronnie Floyd was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) at the June annual meeting this year in Baltimore, he expressed his desire for Southern Baptists to come together in extraordinary prayer for the next great awakening.
“It’s time for us to come together, for us to have visible union and time … in extraordinary prayer,” Floyd said in a press conference after his election. “Over the last many months, I have given my life to pastors and local churches together to practice hours and hours of extraordinary prayer for this very purpose, to see … the manifested presence of God in our lives, to see revival come to the church of Jesus Christ so that America would be awakened with a powerful God-consciousness so that great numbers come to faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”
SEBTS photo by Maria Estes
Ronnie Floyd leads prayer in Binkley Chapel at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, was on campus with Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., to call people – students, faculty, pastors and other church leaders – to prayer.
For three months, Floyd has been intentional in these efforts. Recently, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) hosted an event, “United in Prayer,” meant for students and pastors to pray for awakening and persistence in the Great Commission.
“Revival is the manifested presence of God in our lives,” Floyd said to those gathered Sept. 18 in Binkley Chapel. “Today, this Great Commission seminary is going to call out for God to … raise us up” to fulfill His mission.
Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn., Steve Gaines said the early church was birthed in a white-hot, fervent prayer meeting.
“They prayed until God showed up, and when they prayed nobody had to tell them when He showed up,” Gaines said.
“When God shows up, you don’t have to ask anybody. … A lot of people tell me that we need God in our government and we need God in our schools, but I want to tell you that we need God in our churches.”
Gaines also noted that missions happened when the early church started praying in a small, upper room in the book of Acts.
The two-hour morning session was set aside for students and professors, and an afternoon assembly hosted area pastors.
Time was allotted in each gathering for worship, teaching and prayer, which concentrated on personal and national repentance, local ministries and international missions.
Nathan Finn, associate professor of historical theology and Baptist studies at SEBTS, prayed for spiritual renewal in churches and global awakening.
He prayed, “Lord, we pray that you would help us to be faithful in our going, to help us be united in our vision for the greater mission, and Father, we pray and long for that day prophesied by the prophet Habakkuk when the knowledge of the glory of the Lord would cover the entire world as the waters cover the sea.
“That’s our prayer today.”
The president of SEBTS, Daniel Akin, referenced the International Mission Board’s statistics that report approximately 3.5 million people don’t have adequate access to the gospel, whereas 1 billion have no access at all.
“The Bible says that God will respond to the prayers of His people to get the gospel to every tribe, tongue, people and nation,” Akin said.
“Might it be that the first and hardest work in fulfilling the Great Commission takes place on our knees?
“Brother Ronnie said in the beginning that [Southeastern] aspires to be a Great Commission seminary, but I’m wondering more and more if that means we must also be a praying seminary?”
Floyd plans to meet with senior pastors Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Southlake, Texas, to continue praying for revival and awakening.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – To find out more about Ronnie Floyd’s prayer gatherings, visit ronniefloyd.com. Get updates via ronniefloyd.com/join-the-movement.)