Weeks prior to the start of the 61st General Conference (GC) Session in St. Louis, the Seventh-day Adventist World church initiated 40 Days of Prayer which began May 3rd, 2022. Spearheaded by the Revival and Reformation Initiative, the 40 Days of Prayer drew to a close on the last day of session, June 11th, 2022. During six weeks, the global church focused on a revival for mission, fitting this year’s session theme, “I Will Go.”
During the last quinquennium, the World Church and its members have faced much hardship. From the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, financial difficulties, armed conflict, natural crises, and more, the need for dedicated and fervent prayer is vital. “Throughout the ages, Christians have found that in times of uncertainty and turmoil, peace can be found in the presence of God.”1 Consequently, it is no surprise that long-term prayer has been emphasized prefacing GC sessions since 2015, “where the church prayed together for 100 days leading up to GC Session in San Antonio, Texas.”2
During the six weeks of the 40 Days of Prayer, participants across the globe prayed through different themes including revival and reformation, the Word, Christ’s Our Righteousness, the Holy Spirit, the Three Angels’ Message, and our mission. The materials for this initiative were developed by many church leaders and lay members, including Mark Finley, Ted Wilson, Frank Fournier, and others.
All throughout this year’s session, prayer was at the forefront. Session began with a impactful collaborative sermon entitled, “Seeking the Holy Spirit Together in Prayer, Music and the Word” by Former Host and Director of It is Written, Mark Finley, 62nd Chaplain of the United States Senate, Barry Black, and Senior Pastor of Pioneer Memorial Church, Dwight Nelson.
Finley said, “The outpouring of the Holy Spirit … is always linked to a praying people. It’s always linked to a people who recognize their utter humility and dependance on God.” He added that only prayer can help us complete “God’s mission on earth.” Daily segments were also dedicated for individual, partner, and group prayer inviting God to be present throughout Session. The on-site prayer room also obtained many visitors who sought to draw near to the Lord in prayer.
Although the 40 Days of Prayer have come to an end, believers around the world can still come together for 24 hour prayer through the 24/7 United Prayer initiative. Now more than ever, we are in need of constant connection to the Lord. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit is integral to fulfilling His commission for mission. As we seek to be involved and committed to Total Member Involvement, may we continue to seek Christ through prayer, depending solely on His Spirit and power to guide us as we reach those who have yet to hear of His message of salvation.