ATLANTA – Building from a prayer gathering of senior pastors this fall, a group of Southern Baptist pastors is inviting pastors, other ministers and ministry students to participate in a two-day prayer meeting in Atlanta Jan. 13-14.
Labeled "A Call to Pray for Revival and Awakening," the gathering "is time for us to pray in an extraordinary way, to seek the God of heaven to revive His church and awaken our nation," Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, said in a written statement to Baptist Press.
Floyd, a primary organizer of a 42-member invitation team, announced the gathering on the meeting's website, www.praying-pastors.com. Information about the gathering at the Westin Atlanta Airport Hotel also is being disseminated via Twitter using the hashtag #prayingpastors. Each member of the invitation team has committed to attend the event in its entirety, Floyd said on the website.
"We had a fabulous response to our Dallas prayer gathering," he said. "We did not have any plans to do another gathering but wanted only what God wanted. There was a real desire to do something again [and] many who were not able to attend Dallas.
"Additionally, there was a cry for it to be expanded beyond senior pastors," Floyd continued. "After listening, prayer and discussion, we determined God wanted us to open it up to all Southern Baptist senior pastors and God-called ministers. Therefore, we worked for a month to define the time and place."
Nearly 200 senior pastors from 27 states attended the gathering Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Southlake. A video at praying-pastors.com plays anonymously some of the prayers offered by attendees. Among them:
"God, how dare we preach words that aren't anointed by the Spirit."
"I don't want to do this if You don't come down in power. Lord, I don't want to do ministry without the filling of the Spirit. Lord, it's one thing to read about it. We want to experience revival."
"We're going to proclaim … the gospel. Not our thinking, not our thoughts, not our agendas. But we will say what You ask us to say. We'll go places You ask us to go. We'll do the things that You ask us to do."
"Help us, God, understand that since You called us, You qualified us, God. Since You called us, God, You equipped us, O God. Since You called us, You made our hearts prepared. Let us remind ourselves now, God, You're still going to do great things in this land."
"God, I'm not going to let go of You until You burst from the heavens and come down."
Both the Dallas gathering in the fall and the Atlanta gathering to come are "real prayer meetings," Floyd said. "This is not a place to come and go or come and be seen. We begin together and we end together. Built upon the Word of God, we move into prayer moments personally, together, for each other, our churches and our nation."
There is no cost to attend the prayer gathering, but all attendees must register through the website and are responsible for their own travel and hotel costs. Hotel reservations must be made by Dec. 22 to secure a group rate of $119 per night.
The meeting will involve ministers who "are desperate for a move of God in our churches and in our nation," Floyd said. "They realize to penetrate their towns, cities and our nation, God will have to empower a mighty movement of revival in the church so we can see spiritual awakening in our nation."
Joining Floyd on the invitation team are, in alphabetical order, pastors Mel Blackaby, First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga.; Michael Catt, Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga.; Frank Cox, North Metro Baptist Church in Lawrenceville, Ga.; Steve Dighton, Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kan.; Ernest Easley, Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga.; Bill Elliff, The Summit Church in North Little Rock, Ark.; Grant Ethridge, Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton, Va.; Bruce Frank, Biltmore Baptist Church in Arden, N.C.; Steve Gaines, Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn.; Robby Gallaty, Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn.;
Jack Graham, Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas; Tommy Green, First Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla.; Mike Hamlet, First North Church in Spartanburg, S.C.; Eric Hankins, First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss.; Gary Hollingsworth, Immanuel Baptist Church in Little Rock, Ark.; Johnny Hunt, First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga.;
Brad Jurkovich, First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La.; Paul Kim, Antioch Baptist Church in Cambridge, Mass.; David Landrith, Longhollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn.; Drew Landry, Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Va.; Richard Mark Lee, First Baptist Church in McKinney, Texas; Ed Litton, First Baptist Church in North Mobile, Ala.; Fred Lowery, First Baptist Church in Bossier City, La.; Bob McCartney, First Baptist Church in Wichita Falls, Texas; Byron McWilliams, First Baptist Church in Odessa Texas; Kevin Miller, Hebron Baptist Church in Dacula, Ga.;
Vance Pittman, Hope Church in Las Vegas; Clint Pressley, Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte; Ike Reighard, Piedmont Church in Marietta, Ga.; Willy Rice, Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, Fla.; Jimmy Scroggins, First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bryan Smith, First Baptist Church in Roanoke, Va.; Rhys Stenner, New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga.; Ted Traylor, Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla.; Simon Tsoi, International Baptist Church in Mesa, Ariz.; A.B. Vines, New Seasons Church in Spring Valley, Calif.; Rick White, The People's Church in Franklin, Tenn.; Ken Whitten, Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla.; K. Marshall Williams, Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia; Don Wilton, First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, S.C.; and Bryant Wright, Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga.
(EDITOR’S NOTE– David Roach is a writer in Shelbyville, Ky.)