“Lord, I need You. I need Your grace, Your forgiveness, Your love, and Your reviving power.”
John Avant of Life Action Ministries leads revival-focused "Thirst Conference" at Southwestern Seminary.
“Lord, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I want to say YES to You in every category of my life.”
“Lord, help me prioritize Your kingdom vision, Your Great Commission; and help me love others boldly, just as You have loved me.”
These are among the guided prayers provided for the campus community of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) by Life Action Ministries during “Thirst Conference” revival meetings, Oct. 23-25 at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus. Led by Southwestern alumnus and Life Action president John Avant, the revival encompassed six sessions over three days that encouraged humility, repentance and saying “yes” to God in every part of life.
“We have a John the Baptist kind of ministry at Life Action,” Avant explained during the opening session in MacGorman Chapel. “Luke 1:17 says to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. That’s all we’re here to do. We’re here to help you to think and to pray and to seek God and to say, ‘Am I ready for God to do whatever He wants to do?’
“This is what we’ve been praying for: a movement in this seminary of unity, healing and a fresh start.”
In the lead-up to the revival, Southwestern students, faculty and administration anticipated a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit on the seminary campus. In every chapel service of the semester, interim president D. Jeffrey Bingham concluded with a prayer for revival among the Southwestern family.
“Every seminary’s most fundamental needs are spiritual in nature,” Bingham said prior to the Thirst Conference. “We need the Spirit of God to touch us, to empower us, to refresh us and to sanctify us for global gospel service out of love for God and neighbors. We need the Spirit to bear His fruit in our lives.”
Avant previously preached at Southwestern in the spring of 1995 in a packed-out chapel service that ultimately lasted all day. Numerous students crowded the front of the auditorium to confess sin and fall on their hands and knees before the Lord. “God broke loose on the campus that day,” Avant said.
For the Thirst Conference, Avant and the Life Action team prayed for a similar movement of God, regardless of what form it took. Across the morning and evening services – as well as men’s and women’s lunches between sessions – students, faculty and staff were invited to humble themselves before the Lord, confess their sins to Him, ask forgiveness from those whom they had wronged and, above all, worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.
“We’re not here today because we’re wonderful called men and women of God, and God has all these great things to do with us. We’re here because He’s great,” Avant said. “And if we humble ourselves and become less, He will become more.
“We must be more astonished by God Himself than by our theology about Him or our ministry for Him.
“Our mission at Life Action is simply to inspire your next ‘yes’ to God,” Avant said. “When God speaks, the most important thing in our lives is to hear Him and say ‘yes.’ If we will do that at Southwestern and across this country, I believe God in His grace and mercy will revive us again.”
The Thirst Conference sessions at Southwestern can be viewed at lifeaction.org/swbtslive.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Alex Sibley is associate director of news and information at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)