Prayer movement expands to SBC; Online event scheduled for May 5

by Tess Schoonhoven, posted Thursday, April 30, 2020 (27 days ago)

NASHVILLE (BP) -- In conjunction with "Praying on the Mountain" -- a nationwide, remote prayer gathering for spiritual awakening and revival Tuesday, May 5 -- Ronnie Floyd, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, will host an online call at sbc.net/pray with the pastors and leaders who initiated the prayer movement.

Floyd will be joined at 3 p.m. Eastern by Fred Lunsford, Greg Mathis and David Horton. Lunsford, 95, is the retired pastor and revivalist who started the prayer movement. Mathis is pastor of Mud Creek Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. Horton is president of Fruitland Baptist Bible College, also in Hendersonville.

Mathis and Horton joined with Lunsford several months ago in envisioning the day-long commitment to prayer. Fruitland professors J.D. Grant and Michael Horton will also participate on the call, as well as others involved in the effort to gather churches together to pray for a spiritual awakening.

Floyd said after learning of the prayer movement, he watched a sermon message in which Mathis announced the May 5 gathering and called Christians to pray. He said he is eager to partner with the pastors in a unique, focused, prayer mission.

"As soon as I watched the message on America by Dr. Greg Mathis as well as his compelling interview with 95-year old Pastor Fred Lunsford, I joined the team to pray on May 5th for spiritual awakening in America," Floyd said.

The online call will feature an account of how Lunsford initially felt God speaking to him, telling him to pray for revival, and of how Mathis, Horton and others caught the vision, too, leading to the call for all Christians to pray together with Lunsford May 5. Floyd will also lead a time of specific prayer for spiritual awakening.

"Anyone who knows me realizes that for years we have been praying for and calling out to God for spiritual awakening," Floyd said. "Never have I seen a greater moment for this to occur in America than today."

Mathis said he is amazed at the energy and attention Lunsford's call to prayer is drawing. The online call is set purposefully at 3 p.m. Eastern in order to give people the opportunity to spend considerable time in prayer.

"This is going to be a time that we can dialogue and share among each other what's happening," Mathis said. "It will be an opportunity for people to tune in to hear firsthand what has happened and how this has come about."

Horton said he is excited to engage in strategic, focused prayer, adding that his expectations for the event, "Praying on the Mountain," have been far surpassed. The original idea was for 100 pastors -- which soon became 200 -- to gather to pray with Lunsford atop "Lighthouse Mountain" on property owned by Lunsford. Those plans changed with the COVID-19 pandemic, which prevented an in-person meeting, but have only accelerated with the move online, with pastors committing to lead thousands from their churches to pray May 5.

"I can see the fingerprints of God on this from the very beginning, and I can connect the dots and see how God has brought us to a very strategic point to pray for revival and spiritual awakening," Horton said. "I believe that He has even used the impact of the coronavirus to bring us to a place of desperation where we've probably not been in a long time."

Lunsford said it is a blessing to have more leaders and pastors join in on the prayer call.

"It's amazing, and I really thank God from the depths of my heart," Lunsford said. "We know that we need spiritual awakening, we know we need the healing of our land. I am so in awe about it and at the same time, I'm thankful and grateful for all the people involved. It's beyond my words to describe."

Floyd added: "The need is great. The hour is late. Now is the time to pray with great urgency for the next great movement of God in America."

Tess Schoonhoven is a Baptist Press staff writer.
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