Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Need to Return to Serious Intentional Prayer

Our January associational SUMMIT (which I was not able to attend because of sickness) focused on the issues of prayer and spiritual renewal. This is the first of several monthly articles concerning prayer and spiritual renewal/spiritual awakening that David Franklin and I, with the help of some of YOU, will be writing in the near future.

My association is in Illinois, across the great Mississippi River from St. Louis Missouri. We just received some new stats: the St. Louis Metro area is now estimated to be 85% unreached. I am guessing the percentage of lostness is on the rise in your area too. The Southern Baptist Convention, the greatest evangelical denomination in the United States, has been sleeping. It is time to awaken the sleeping giant.

If you have read any of my previous articles, you may recall that it is my firm conviction that we all live in a dysfunctional church culture. Even more, over the past 100+ years we have even been taught things that are not really scriptural, all of which has caused us to lose the spiritual fervor that our forefathers once had for reaching the lost for Christ.

I see many churches marginalizing prayer. We have been taught to rely on our own initiative and our own intellect to conduct church growth activities that will reach the world for Christ. Well, it hasn’t worked. I know; I participated in the church growth movement. My churches, where I was on staff, grew, but, we never saw New Testament kinds of results. I long to see 3000 people saved as told in the NT. It is time that we get beyond marginalizing prayer and make it a central part of our lives, both in our churches and in our daily individual lives as we redevelop a renewed relationship with the Lord.

David Franklin had a great idea. Let’s set aside the first Friday of every month for serious intentional prayer for DoM’s in America. On that day let us, as a group of DoM’s in the USA, pray and fast for each other as we lead our churches to intentional prayer and renewal. In addition, I want to recommend a small book to you that will help us refocus on prayer. I am reading it now and I highly recommend it to you. The book is Walking With God by John Franklin. It is a 30-day training in serious, intentional prayer. It can be ordered from

By the way, if you want to be a part of a group to help think through the ways NoBA can assist DoM’s as we try to facilitate revival and spiritual renewal in our churches, send me a note and your e-mail address and we will begin a dialogue to develop a strategy for renewal for our churches (it won’t be easy and it will require serious, intentional prayer).

Dr. Larry Richmond, Director of Ministries
Gateway Baptist Association
Granite City, Illinois

1 comment:

Mike Pennington said...

I am on board. I've made a commitment to be a catalyst for Revival and Spiritual Awakening in my assnociation (as Henry Blackaby challenged). We are beginning to mobilize prayer. I will join the Friday prayer and fasting you referenced in your blog.