Today marks the first of three consecutive Wednesdays in which Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President J.D. Greear invited Southern Baptists into “committed, specific times of prayer and fasting,” leading up to the SBC annual meeting in Nashville June 15-16.
In an article last week, Greear called Southern Baptists to a focused time of fasting and prayer on May 26, June 2 and June 9, the three Wednesdays before the meeting, whether they plan to attend the meeting or not.
Greear will be leading a designated time of prayer each Wednesday from 3-4 p.m. EDT on the SBC Executive Committee’s Facebook Page. A specific prayer and fasting guide for the upcoming annual meeting, designed by Greear, has been made available to Southern Baptists.
Citing the example of both the ministry of the disciples in Acts 2 and the conversion of Paul in Acts 13, Greear emphasized how God has answered the prayers of His people throughout history. He explained that if Southern Baptists want God to move during the meeting, an intentional effort of prayer and fasting will be needed.
“Above all things, our annual meeting needs to be saturated by prayer,” Greear said. “We need to pray before it, during it and after it. This convention should not be about what we think or what we want, but what God wants. And the way we discover that is through prayer.
“The challenges that face our Convention are many. The struggles and obstacles are real. We live in a rapidly changing world, desperate to hear good news. I am convinced that God will not give us these victories except through prayer and fasting.”
SBC Executive Committee President Ronnie Floyd echoed the sentiments of Greear about the need for Southern Baptists to pray for the upcoming meeting and for God to enable them to fulfill the Great Commission.
“There is power in prayer and fasting. It is the gateway to God’s supernatural power,” Floyd said. “When we fast and pray, we humble ourselves before God. When the Lord leads, it is always appropriate at some level. During this time in our SBC family, we need to practice extraordinary prayer. When we pray, God opens doors and we are changed from the inside out. Prayer always precedes gospel advance.”
Three specific areas Greear felt the Southern Baptists should pray over are:
- Great Commission mobilization
- Unity in the gospel
- Holy Spirit anointing on the annual meeting and SBC ministries around the world
Greear explained fasting may look different for each person. Some people may choose to fast for the entire day each Wednesday, while some may choose to fast for one specific meal during the day. Others may choose to instead fast from something besides food, such as social media, due to medical or other reasons.
Regardless of how one chooses to fast, Greear invites all Southern Baptists to participate in these intentional times of asking for God to be over everything happening at the annual meeting.
“Whether or not you are able to attend the annual meeting in Nashville, I’m asking you to join us for these days of prayer and fasting,” Greear said. “We want to see the ‘finger of God’ on our churches, our Convention, our nation and our world. Prayer is, after all, not simply preparation for our work of ministry; prayer is the work of the ministry.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Timothy Cockes is a Baptist Press staff writer.)