Posted on : Monday August 6, 2012

By Bob Simpson, BCM/D Associate Executive Director and Editor of BaptistLIFE

Some birthdays seem to have more significance than others. I once asked my paternal grandfather, who was in his late eighties at the time, “Pop, do you mind getting old?” He quipped, “No, considering the alternative!” Birthdays are important (especially that they keep coming). We often tease each other by asking, “Is this the big one?” or “Is this the big 40 (or 50, or 60, etc.?).”

But some milestones of age are very noteworthy. As I write this today it is July 4, 2012. If you do the math, our country is 236 years old. I believe that this particular birthday of America may be one of the “big ones!” I say that because our country is certainly in a mess. Things are chaotic in the economy, in politics, in culture, and, too often, even in our churches.

Yes, this is an election year.  Dr. Fred Luter, our newly elected SBC president, has recently said, “I am convinced that the downward moral decline in America will not change because of who is in the White House. I truly believe the moral decline will only change because of who is in God’s House!”

After the death of Moses, the Lord spoke to his successor, Joshua. It was a highly momentous time. The Lord said, “Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.”

I highly commend to you the “40/40 Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal.” (Read more about it on page 14 in this issue). It can be used by an individual, a small group, an entire church, or even a larger group of churches. Here’s how:  First, decide to use the “40/40 Prayer Vigil” as a personal guide and pray for 40 days from any starting point. Secondly, decide to use the Guide as a call to prayer leading up to the election on Nov. 4. You can  choose either the ‘40 days’ (praying each day between Sept. 26 and Nov. 4) or the ‘40 hours’ (praying for 40 hours between 4 p.m. on Nov. 2 until 8 a.m. on Nov. 4). Thirdly, you can create a sign-up list and ask others to join you in the prayer time.  And fourthly, you can register your commitment to join the vigil at the 40/40 Prayer Vigil web site ( to let others know you are joining the national movement to seek God for personal spiritual revival and national renewal.

Can a ‘re-birth’ day be as significant as a ‘birth’ day? Let’s find out as we commit to pray for ourselves, our families, our churches, and for our great nation!