Edwards calls for focused, continual prayer
Commissioner David Edwards, territorial commander, has announced a territorial call to prayer, to be held during the weekend of September 22-23.
“From a number of quarters and for a number of reasons, we have heard suggestions from officers that this is a time to call the territory to prayer. It seems the Enemy is besetting us on every side. We are certainly being sorely tried during these days, and we face some very difficult decisions ahead,” said Edwards in a letter to command heads and cabinet.
“Focused prayer across the territory is greatly needed at this time and humbling ourselves before God in prayer as a people, across the entire territory, will renew our spirits, clear our minds, and give us some of the wisdom and courage we need for the days ahead. I am fully in support of this prayer initiative.”
Edwards has asked for 24 hours of continuous prayer in each corps. Suggestions for incorporating prayer include starting at mid-day on Saturday, praying through the rest of that day and the night, with prayer concluding in the Holiness meeting. The praying could take place in the corps chapel or individuals could sign up to pray during a particular hour in that 24-hour span, wherever they are. If a corps had specific plans for that particular weekend or Sunday, they could elect to do this on any other day before or after the designated dates.
The prayer could follow the format of: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication (A.C.T.S.)
The Adoration section would focus on God–who he is, the Trinity, his love, his holiness, etc; what he has done for us in Christ; his continuing, abiding presence with us through the Holy Spirit; his gift of the Church, the Body of Christ, and that part of it in which we are privileged to serve (the Army); etc.
The Confession section would provide opportunity for the confession of sins (individual and corporate), persistent faults and failings, our settling for the lesser rather than the best, and then conclude with assurance of and gratitude for pardon.
The Thanksgiving section would explore the ways in which God has blessed us individually; has blessed the corps, the Army, and his Church. This would be a time to claim, and thank God for, the gifts, strengths, and multiple blessings he has bestowed upon us.
The Supplication section would be divided into petition and intercession. The petitions, of course, would focus on our individual needs, as well as the needs of our corps. The corps may want to divide the petitions into three helpful sections:
HEAL: Prayers that divisions that may exist in our fellowship will be healed and the Body of Christ restored to health. Prayers for individual healing for fellow Salvationists and others for whom we are concerned.
HELP: Prayers that wisdom will be given to those making crucial decisions with respect to the Army’s mission and its future. Prayer for help in dealing with matters impacting the spirit and unity of officers and soldiers, including matters relating to the direction our church needs to be taking in the future. Prayer for help with all of our needs: personnel, candidates, local officers, financial and other resources, etc.
HASTEN: Prayers that a revival will bring fresh power to the vision and mission of our Army throughout the territory and in our particular corps.
The Intercession would focus on those both within and outside our Army. There would be a time to pray for territorial, divisional, and local leadership. Certainly there would be a time to pray for those whom we are seeking to reach in mission. There would also be opportunity to pray for specific issues we are facing, particularly extended benefits.
Some Salvationists might like to include fasting with their prayer. Those who need guidance in this matter can consult their corps officer.