In my previous column I urged North Carolina Baptists all across the state to pray for our state Convention’s annual meeting in Greensboro. I asked you to pray toward our theme of “Awaken,” or spiritual awakening. Now, I am asking for you to pray that the 182nd annual meeting of the Baptist State Convention ignites a revival and a powerful movement of God unlike anything this state has seen.
We have been praying for months that God’s presence and work during the annual meeting would be a catalyst for spiritual renewal. However, our prayers must not cease when the annual meeting ends. If we stop now, we will not accomplish all that God wants to do through us as we become the strongest force in the history of this Convention for reaching people with the message of the gospel.
Prayer is the force that God’s Spirit uses to empower His church. God expects His children to pray. He is glorified through our prayers and blesses us when we pray. As we pray toward the will and purposes of God and apply His Word to our life, God molds and shapes us so that we become more like His Son. Intimate time alone with God in prayer and Bible study allows us to listen to our Heavenly Father, to worship Him and to bind our heart to His heart.
If you want to know more about how things are changing in our nation in relation to a decline in the influence of Christianity, get a copy of an excellent book written by Dr. Rit Varriale entitled Reformation in Responsibility: A New Ethic for a New Era (visit amazon.com). Rit is a member of the Convention’s Board of Directors and the pastor of Elizabeth Baptist Church in Shelby. No longer should the world have more influence on the church than the Church is having on the world.
I know that we live in difficult times, but I also know that when we pray toward His passion, God can use us to make a Spirit empowered difference around us. As the spiritual darkness in this world increases, it becomes even more crucial that we who are Christ followers live as salt and light in this world. As God’s children we are His redeemed people and He calls us to make a positive difference in the world.
“Awaken” cannot be only a theme for a two-day meeting; rather, it must be the consuming desire of our hearts every day. We must commit ourselves to seek God and to live holy lives that glorify God and give witness about Him to those who do not know Him as their personal Lord and Savior.
I pray that this year’s annual meeting is only just the beginning of a spiritual awakening that will achieve much more than any of us could have imagined.
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Ephesians 6:18