Broken Before the Throne
    July 24 2017 by Chad Austin, BSC Communications

    Chris Schofield is a student of revivals, awakenings and and great movements of God throughout history, and he says there’s a common thread that unites all of them.

    “Every awakening has started with God’s people recognizing their desperate need for Him and crying out to Him in heartfelt prayer,” says Schofield, who serves as director of the Office of Prayer for Evangelization and Spiritual Awakening with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC).
    Schofield, the Office of Prayer strategy team and other state convention leaders are urging fellow Baptists to join together at this year’s BSC annual meeting on Nov. 6-7 at the Joseph H. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro and cry out for God to move in our state, nation and world.
    On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the entire evening session will be devoted to a time of dedicated prayer for revival and spiritual awakening as part of the “Broken Before the Throne” prayer gathering.
    The prayer gathering aligns with the annual meeting’s theme of “Return to Me,” based on Zechariah 1:3.
    More information about annual meeting and the prayer gathering is available at
    “We’ve got to return to Him, and the first element of that is being broken over our sin before His throne,” Schofield said.
    While citing reports of spiritual apathy, declining church health, fewer conversions, as well as cultural, economic, political and social unrest, Schofield says he’s never seen a time in recent history where there has been a more desperate need for God to send revival to the church. He said the prayer gathering at annual meeting is an opportunity for God’s people to unite and humble themselves in brokenness, repentance and one-accord prayer. It will be a time to seek the Lord and call upon Him to move in a mighty and powerful way.
    “We need revival in the church and spiritual awakening in the culture,” Schofield said. “This prayer gathering is a call for God’s people to pray and seek the Lord. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge and confess to God that He is our only hope.”
    Acts 3:19 will serve as a guiding verse for the prayer gathering. It reads, “Therefore, repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (NASB).
    The prayer gathering will include seasons of worship intertwined with scripture readings, testimonies and directed seasons of individual and united prayer.
    “Our prayer is that the gathering will be an environment where God’s people can seek His face, turn from their wicked ways, pray and listen to the Lord,” Schofield said. “We are not having a designated speaker that night, except for the Lord.”
    N.C. Baptists can prepare their hearts for worship and prayer leading up to annual meeting with a 30-day devotional prayer guide that will be available by early fall.
    The devotional will correspond with the annual meeting theme of “Return to Me” taken from Zechariah 1:1-6.
    The prayer guide will feature 30 days’ worth of daily devotions, prayer points and reflection questions, and it is intended for use during the month of October.    
    Each N.C. Baptist church will receive one complimentary printed prayer guide, with additional copies available for purchase.
    A free electronic version and other related resources will be available for download at
    “We are also calling on pastors and churches to devote a portion of their worship service to prayer for revival and spiritual awakening on Sunday, Nov. 5, leading up to annual meeting and the Tuesday evening prayer gathering,” Schofield said.
    Schofield said he hopes the prayer gathering will encourage and challenge pastors and churches to unite and seek the Lord through extraordinary prayer.
    “I do think God wants to send revival and spiritual awakening to His church and to America” Schofield said. “But it must start with my broken heart and my desperate prayer.”

    7/24/2017 2:06:09 PM by Chad Austin, BSC Communications | with 1 comments
    Filed under: Annual Meeting 2017, Prayer

This is very exciting. The one thing I would suggest examining in terms of existing processes would be how the altar time is constructed, emphasized, administered, and understood. Throughout the years, possibly no other denomination has been more reliable regarding the altar call. I think an answer might be expanding on this tradition and working to build up a culture of spiritual engagement. One issue is the dynamic of how people understand it. Most think the altar call is just where you go when you want to get saved, rededicate your life, or when you have messed up and want to get back on track. This may be a reason why the prayer culture is failing. God wants so much more than this and this doesn't square with the personal . The congregations need to be educated beyond this paradigm to realize their role as, if I can say it, priests. Those powerful prayers we all hope they are praying at home need to be incorporated at the source for a new culture of engagement with God at the throne. Maybe they could come to pray at the altar just out of thankfulness. It would also be good to encourage praying together with people when they come up. Growing up, it was so affirming to have several members of the church kneel and pray with me.

The altar culture we want may be constricted by our attempts to regulate, control, and shape it. For instance, when I got saved as a young adult I showed up to my Baptist sunday school a wreck, crying and sobbing. I sat through the whole class and people just ignored me. No one prayed with me either during or even after class, and I knew everyone in there including the teacher lol. The teacher told me "maybe God will do something for you at the altar call". I cried all the way through church waiting for that altar call. When I finally got down there and got on my knees, an elder came over and got me up and asked me to come to another room so he could go over Roman's road with me. I love these people, but I needed to speak with God as all people do. For all the regular church attendance, a pastor would hope that his people could recognize someone coming in that needed prayer or who was looking for salvation. This is just an example to say that while there are many things we are doing well, it may be a good idea to check the recipe we are using in order to bring the results we really want. That may bring some cultural and traditional changes, but in the end it is really what everyone wants in terms of spiritual outcomes.
8/1/2017 12:12:23 PM

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