Church of God General Overseer Mark Williams has urged Church of God congregations to consider joining the interdenominational prayer effort, “40 Days of Prayer to Change the Heart of a Nation!” The forty-day prayer emphasis takes place from September 28 to November 6, 2012. Tens of thousands of other congregations will participate in the joint prayer venture.
Williams noted, “While there is an obvious urgency for prayer here in the United States, this theme can be applied to any nation! And yet, our situation is particularly acute, and it affects the globe – financial crisis, the lack of repentance, unchecked sin and greed, national disunity, a disregard for all things sacred. We need a ‘great awakening.” Materials to assist with the ’40 Days of Prayer’ beginning on September 28, can be downloaded at www.40daysofprayer.net, and www.40daystosaveamerica.com.
Doug Small, coordinator of Prayer Ministries for the Church of God, noted that this effort is being led by the National Prayer Committee and the National Day of Prayer leadership team. A prayer guide is available on-line. In addition, both Dave Butts and Greg Frizzell have produced excellent resources. The first is available at www.prayershop.org and the second, through David Gosnell’s office, who leads Church of God Men’s Discipleship Ministries.
Here are some ways congregations can be involved in the 40 Days of Prayer effort:
1. Observe the Great Day of Prayer, early in the 40 day period – October, 7.
2. Plan additional corporate prayer meetings.
3. During this period, forgo the typical topics of prayer and focus on the nation.
4. Pick a day or week in which you will do a prayer-chain, 24-7 prayer, one day, as a minimum, to pray 24 hours. Or, for one 7 day period, engage in a concentrated season of prayer.
5. Set a room aside at the Church where people can come and pray. Better yet, open the sanctuary. Turn on the music. Dim the lights. Make it reflective and prayerful. Keep it accessible. Establish prayer stations. Lay out prayer helps with a focus on the nation.
6. Create a chart, divide the day into 24 one-hour or 48 thirty minute segments. Keep someone in the sanctuary praying for a day – or a week.
7. Do a fasting chain. Have people sign up to fast one meal, and another the next – until you fill up a week. People are then asked to pray at that time and around that period.
8. Join with other churches your community. Set up a schedule so that one church prays this week – and it is open, and another the next week. Unity and prayer must be partners. Seven churches can cover the period of prayer, one per week. And 40 churches, can each take a day.
The first ‘Great Day of Prayer,’ on October 7, will be a part of this solemn call to pray for the nation, beginning with our own need for repentance and re-dedication to God. Church of God Prayer Ministries has produced support materials for this Sunday. They can be downloaded at www.praycog.org.