Does Douglas, Georgia, mean anything to you? It probably doesn’t, but it should. By the time you finish reading, our prayer is that you will take what is happening in Douglas to your own city and state, asking God to use it to send nationwide revival.
Shep Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Douglas, and his congregation have a desire to experience genuine and biblical revival. This desire has spread to other churches and ministers in the community, and they are praying that it ignites across the state.
“The members of our local Coffee County Ministerial Association share in the same burden. We believe there is no hope for America apart from Christ,” Pastor Johnson said.
On August 10, 80 churches and about 1200 people gathered at the Coffee County Courthouse to read Scripture, sing, and intercede on behalf of the community, state, and nation. The purpose of this candlelight prayer walk was for the community to pour their hearts out before God in such a way that only God received glory.
“We cannot say we experienced revival, but we did recognize the need for it, and we did have a ‘foretaste of glory divine.’”
Prior to the candlelight walk, several churches were meeting together every Monday night at First Baptist to pray, and they are still continuing to meet.
Several things triggered this sudden sense of urgency for community prayer, Pastor Johnson said: the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, the apparent erosion of our religious freedom, the weakening of our nation’s families, and most of all, the spiritual decline of our nation’s churches.
“We hosted a community-wide prayer time on Monday following the announcement of the Supreme Court decision. At the end of that time, the people said we needed to gather again on Tuesday evening, so we did. At the end of that prayer time, we decided to meet every Monday evening for prayer. And we have been meeting faithfully since.”
There have been several times of “seeking God as a community” for Douglas, Georgia, but this time was different because it wasn’t focused solely on preaching, but more on prayer.
“The focus has been participation by all in Scripture reading, prayer, and singing. On earlier occasions there was an emphasis on preaching. We think there is great value in people actively participating and jointly seeking the face of God.”
Although the crowd represents many different denominations and ethnicities, they wholeheartedly agree on five principles:
- United We Stand in Christ to Declare That Jesus Is Our Only Hope.
- United We Stand in Christ to Pray for Revival in America’s Churches.
- United We Stand in Christ to Defend Biblical Marriage.
- United We Stand in Christ to Build Biblical Families.
- United We Stand in Christ to Protect Our First Amendment Rights.
So what’s next for Douglas, Georgia? On October 8, 2015, from noon to 2:00 p.m., they are inviting Christians from all across Georgia to join Coffee County for Scripture reading, prayer, and singing at the State Capitol and Liberty Plaza in Atlanta. They will conclude this time with a prayer walk around the Capitol, where they will pray for the state and national leaders.
They are also praying about a national event to meet at the Mall in Washington, DC, where they will do the same thing (read Scripture, pray, and sing songs of praise) and conclude with a candlelight prayer walk.
You may be thinking how much you would love to see this happen in your own community, but don’t have any idea where to begin. Pastor Johnson has some ideas to prompt you:
- Pray for God to show you how to pray for your community, state, and nation.
- Start praying, and keep praying: Praise, Repent, Ask, Yield.
- Pray from Scripture.
- Use social media and word of mouth to inform your community about your prayer gatherings.
- Don’t seek a formula from man, but seek the face of God.
- Seek only God’s glory.
- Expect God to do great things.
“God stirred a nation in the days of Josiah; we believe He can do it again.”