I think every church in the Southern Baptist Convention and beyond would want their people to engage in preparing weekly for the worship services of their church. Just imagine the power that would be upon God’s preachers and the power that would come upon worship services around the world if the church consistently prepared for these moments spiritually. It would be God-sized!
Consider letting the sunset on Saturdays or the sunrises on Sundays serve as a reminder that it is time to pray for your church for 3 minutes or 180 seconds, as referenced in Pleading With Southern Baptists. There is nothing holy or biblical about three minutes of concentrated prayer, but it is an attainable goal for every Christ-follower I know. It does not matter where you are or whom you may be with. 3 minutes to slip away and pray for your church should be possible most weeks, if not all. You could set a 3-minute timer on your cell phone, and pray until the alarm goes off. This will help increase your focus in prayer.
Issue the Challenge to Your People Soon
I believe these 3 minutes at sunrise or sunset can turn your church around. Yesterday in our worship services, we began issuing the challenge to our people to let the sunset on each Saturday or the sunrise on each Sunday remind them it is time to draw aside and pray for 3 minutes for our church.
Last week, I released a 16-page e-book entitled PLEADING WITH SOUTHERN BAPTISTS. In this easily readable book, I asked every Southern Baptist pastor and church to participate in this challenge. How can we expect our churches, from smallest to largest, from oldest to newest, to see God use us mightily if we do not pray? We will never see dead churches come to life, lukewarm churches get hot for God, discipleship become a culture, evangelism occur, and the Gospel advanced to the nations if we do not pray.
What do we Challenge Our Churches to Pray For in These 3 Minutes?
Let me suggest that we keep this very simple not only for attainability, but also for the sake of communication.
Challenge your church and one another to pause either at sunset on Saturday evening or sunrise on Sunday morning to pray for 3 minutes for these two things:
1. For the anointing of God’s Spirit to be upon your pastor as he proclaims God’s Word to God’s people on Sunday.
Pastors would love to know that their people paused for 3 minutes to pray for them specifically to be anointed with God’s powerful Holy Spirit to proclaim the Word of God. In fact, text your pastor or get a message to him sometime to let him know that you are praying for him like this weekly. It will ignite his faith and encourage him greatly. Dead preachers will come to life in their preaching when people pray for them!
2. For the anointing of God’s Spirit to be upon the worship services of your church.
I am convinced that singing would move from half-heartedness or disengagement to whole-hearted worshipping of our Lord when we pray for our worship services. When we pray for our worship services, expectation will replace boredom and passion will replace apathy.
These 180 Seconds of Focused Prayer Will Soon Begin a 180-Degree Change in Our Churches
Yes, 180 seconds of weekly, focused prayer can help turn your church around. Prayer can change the culture of any church, which will lead us to change, not only spiritually, but also strategically.
God will lead our churches to strategic change when we are praying weekly. We will begin to rise up more than ever; ready to do whatever God wants us to do strategically to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ regionally, nationally, and internationally.
If you have not yet downloaded this free 16-page e-book, please do so today. You can print from your download or contact our ministry if you desire printed copies.
Yours for the Great Commission,
Ronnie W. FloydSenior Pastor, Cross Church President, Southern Baptist Convention
Dr. Ronnie Floyd is currently serving as the President of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.7 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide.
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