Welcome to 40 Days of Prayer where we will pray as a church for the Central Campus Worship Center Renovation and for God to move through His church and use this new worship center for His glory to reach people for Christ!  To receive a daily reminder to pray, download the Central Baptist Church App and enable notifications for a daily push notification!  We start our 40 Days of Prayer on Tuesday, July 6, 2021!

Each day God will take us, at Central, through our own worship experience and this guide will be simple and to the point, allowing us to pray together over a small passage. If you do not have a system of a quiet time, I would suggest the following:

  • Adoration - (3-5 Minutes) Praising and worshipping God by giving honor for who His is: Father, Lord, Savior, Healer, Provider, Comforter, etc. Ps. 95:8
  • Confession – Ask God to search your heart and bring to mind any sin in your life. Whatever comes to mind, confess it and repent of it. I John 1:9
  • Thanksgiving –(3-5 Minutes) Thank God for what He has done in your life, family & church. Ps 100:4
  • Supplication – Pray for the things God brings to mind and the following prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer Outline found in Matt. 6:9-15
Tuesday, July 6, 2021    Worship Him
“Thus, I have seen You in the sanctuary, To see Your power and Your glory. Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.” Ps. 63:2-3

I have great memories of worship in our sanctuary at Central. All of us, together, worshipping the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We have seen spontaneous baptisms, heard great preaching, celebrated Him in great mission conferences, and sent out missionaries all over the world – He has done great things! Oh, in Him and in His lovingkindness, we have a future and I can’t wait to worship together with you in our new freshly renovated Worship Center on August 15! Let’s prepare spiritually in these 40 days as the worship center is being prepared for our gathering.

  • Ask God to give you an uninterrupted worship time today wherever you are.
  • The flooring people are way behind –Pray that they be finished by July 12 .
Wednesday, July 7, 2021    Thirst for God
“O God, you are my God, I shall seek you earnestly; my soul thirsts for you, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Ps. 63:1 NASB

In these hot dry days of July in Arkansas, a refreshing rain is so welcome! it is not hard to imagine a dry and thirsty land without rain. Likewise, we, the people of God,  need a fresh spiritual rain, as our spirits cry out thirstily for a new encounter with the Living God! Would you memorize and pray this scripture back to God all week long with me? (Don’t be scared – I’ll only ask you to memorize one verse a week)

  • Ask God to make you thirsty for Him and keep on asking Him until it happens!
  • The seating arrives July 12 and installers start laying out the grid on top of the floor that must be finished. Pray that all flooring and grid work be done on time.
Thursday, July 8, 2021    Longing for the Word
“Your words were found and I ate them. And your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jer. 15:16

In these summer days, let’s ask God for a personal and cooperate revival. As we read the Word of God there will be verses that jump out at you that are for you at that moment. Whatever that word says is God’s personal invitation for you to immediately obey. Jeremiah must have been a good Arkansan! He put applying the word in a good colloquialism of  the day – “I ate ‘em!” When we devour God’s Word it becomes a delight and your hungry soul is fed. If you do not have a Bible reading plan, go to the Central Baptist App and click on the Bible at the bottom of the screen to follow the prompts and read along with a bunch of folks at CBC and feast on the Word of God.

  • Ask God to grace you with a hunger for the Word and desire to obey Him.
  • Ask God to bring a member to mind that you haven’t seen in a while. Pray for them and give them a call.
Friday, July 9,2021    The Battle is Real
“And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread,’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” Matt.4:3-4

Do you sense that you are in a battle spiritually? Jesus knew the battle is real and life is not easy. Jesus knew that the Word of God was living, active, and powerful. He knew He must have the Word of God in his mind to do battle at the moment of temptation.  I remember Pastor Josh preaching about this recently and saying that most of us do not wield a sword of the Word in a spiritual battle but a tiny pocket knife. Are you struggling to remember scriptures in your daily battle with the enemy? Take memorization seriously and begin today. Putting together a building is not easy either. The battle is constant coordinating sub-contractors, meeting deadlines, and making sure things work. As we remember to pray for Pastor Bill in supervising this great work, let’s ask God to refresh our spiritual building in the Word of God.

  • Join me in asking God to stir our heart to memorize the Word and be good soldiers.
  • Pray for audio visual to be installed by August 1. Need 2 weeks for testing and calibrating. Very Critical for lighting and sound in first service.
Saturday, July 10, 2021    Are You Thirsty?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” Matt. 5:6

As God creates this spiritual hunger in our lives, there begins to be a hunger spiritually to obey everything you read and hear from the Word of God. You begin to savor that Word. My wife can tell you how much I love to eat good things. My garden is coming in and the tomatoes are so juicy and good. As a young boy, I learned how good it was to slop mayonnaise on two slices of bread, add a slice of bologna with a liberal slice of a vine ripened tomato. I would bite into it and just let it sit of my tongue savoring that blessed taste. You’ve been there - right? Oh, how God wants us to savor His Word and let it sit in our hearts until that Word is ripened into a changed heart.

  • Pray that you will stop and savor the Word of God that you are reading today. Take a deep drink of that Word and satisfy your thirst.
  • Keep praying for the flooring to be finished by the 12th!
Sunday, July 11, 2021     Be Ready 
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.” I Pet. 3:15

When we tuck the Word of God into  our hearts, we set Christ in our hearts. We prepare daily for the people God will place in our path who need to hear an accurate and powerful account of the hope that is in us - the wonderful Gospel! So be ready with a full heart. Now let’s get ready and encourage everyone in your house to go to church this morning. I know we are scattered in the Family Life Center, the Loft, and in the Special Events Room. God has someone for you to meet today and encourage or be encouraged by. Pastor Archie has been before the Lord and has a Word from Him to share with us. It will help ready us for the days ahead.

  • Pray for the Spirit of God to use Pastor Archie as He delivers what He has heard from God.
  • Pray for the Life Group Leaders as they facilitate their Groups to learn and encourage each other.
Monday, July 12, 2021    The First Love
“But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Rev.2:4

I remember it like yesterday. It was so clear and so pure. I felt deep conviction of lostness as a 9-year-old in a 2-week revival. The conviction was so heavy on this small boy’s heart. The Spirit of God gave me the courage to take one step then two steps to go talk to the preacher. There in front of that small church I accepted Jesus into my heart and peace and love flooded my soul. In those hot dusty days of August 1957, after lunch I would go sit in the swing under the trees, tune my Truetone Transistor Radio to KSUD West Memphis, and listen to Gospel Music. I would sit and sing those songs along with the radio and worship the Lord. Just me and God for hours. I need a revival of loving God like I did at first. What about you?

  • Ask God to reveal to your heart where you are in worshipping Him. Do you need revival?
  • Today is a big day for contractors to begin laying out the grid for the seats. Pray that they will sense the presence of the Lord as they work.
Tuesday, July 13, 2021    A Love Revival
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the prophets.” Matt. 22:36-40

Imagine with me a church full of people that loved God so much that it spilled over into the neighborhoods until it filled the whole city! Are you sensing like I am that we need a love revival? It begins by letting the Spirit of the Lord examine you and me until our love for God lets him manage our days. In these 40 days of prayer let’s seek Him with all our hearts. Take time today to get alone with God and love on Him.

  • Ask God to raise us up in refreshed love for Him and our neighbors.
  • As God refreshes us pray that all goes well in placing the seating, audio, lighting, and finishing touches.
Wednesday, July 14, 2021    His Spirit Calls
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Eph. 5:22-23

As the Spirit of God moves upon our hearts in these days, the love of God takes its rightful place in our lives. Notice in the fruit of the Spirit, love is first. When our love relationship with God is first, then we will find that joy comes rushing back with awesome peace. Yes, peace in the storms of life we are facing with unbelievable patience and kindness. The goodness of God will overflow us and we will see his faithfulness, and gentleness will be our approach to others with godly self-control. This will become His Story acted out in our lives through the Person of the Holy Spirit. Oh, how God is getting us ready for awesome days of revival!

  • Pray for yourself, your spouse, and your family to have a love revival of God.
  • As God accomplishes your day through you, pray for those you encounter.
Thursday, July 15, 2021     And They Fasted
“While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting…” Acts 13 2a

Ministering to God and fasting seem a remote or non-existent practice of the church in general in the United States. I trust it is not so at Central, but I think you would agree that we need to get serious in areas of our faith in the days that we live. In the early church, ministering to God and fasting was the norm. Would you agree with me that we need a revival in our church that would affect spiritual awakening in our community?  As I have read about great revivals, they began with fasting and prayer. In the book of Acts, a revived church prayed and fasted and the first missionaries were sent out. Let’s get before God and repent of not ministering to Him in fasting and prayer. He has so much he wants to accomplish through us. Let’s not miss it.

  • Ask God to show you how He wants you to fast and minister to Him.
  • Take a few minutes this week and drive by the church plant - pray for the workers to experience His love as they complete the work in a timely way. You may come in and prayer walk around the halls of the worship center.
Friday, July 16, 2021   First Place or No Place
“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” I John 2:15

I love to fish and I love to travel and see the beautiful world God has created. As I grow older, the travel bug seems to wane. But when the love of these things and even people overshadow the love of God, then we have a very serious problem. Dear people, God takes first place or no place. It’s that simple. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we need to seriously ask do I love the world and the things in the world more than Him. Are you a workaholic? Then your God is your work. The love of God is not in you. Are you in love with a person or the things you have more than God? If so the love of God is not in you. This is hard talk but that is what God said. The only choice we have is to repent.

  • Pray to the Lord to seriously deal with you heart and reveal the truth to you and repent.
  • Ask God to let your focus be on worshiping God, not on the beautiful worship Center.
Saturday, July 17, 2021    The Big Three
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lust; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” I John 2;16-17

Dearly beloved, when a Christian loves the things of the world or a person more than God, they are in a very dangerous place. There is only lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life in the world. When God begins a work in you, He will complete it, even when severe discipline is necessary. He loves perfectly. If any activity, thing, or person takes you away from God being first and your worship of Him, then repent of it  We are in the world but not of it.

  • Pray and ask God to examine your heart of where your love is concentrated. If anything or any person is higher than God then repent
  • Pray for the seating, lighting, sound and audio-visual be installed properly and timely.
Sunday, July 18, 2021    A Bad Habit
“…and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Heb. 10:24-25

Our pastors have concluded that we have developed a “stay at home” culture to watch the services online. We are most thankful for our incredible media department to make streaming possible. However, now is the time to reassemble. Let me ask you, how can you stimulate another believer that God has arranged for you to encourage if you are AWOL? How can you relate to someone sitting alone at the coffee bar who may be lost and God wanted to use you to witness because your testimony would identify with that person, but you were not there? Plus, it’s a command, not a suggestion. Come on! Kick the habit and let’s get back in the game! “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind.” II Tim. 1;7

  • Pray for Bro. Archie as he preaches and God’s Spirit be free to convict people to return to Him. Doing that in person on site is powerful, because the Spirit makes you sensitive to the needs around you!
  • Pray that the excitement builds to be back in the Worship Center on August 15.
Monday, July 19, 2021    Love Check
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” I John 4:7-8

As a saved kid, I just loved to go to church and be with God’s people. That has never changed because love was born in my heart. I love to sing, pray, and study the Word. I just love God and everything His is in. I am not perfect by a long shot as my wife can tell you, but like the song goes, “God’s still working on me…” But a love check is something we all need to examine. Dearly beloved, there are members of Central who are not saved. They don’t know God or the love of God. They miss more than they attend. They love the world and all it contains more than God. The hardest person to win in America is not the Muslim or the Mormon. It is the one who  thinks he is saved but is not – the unsaved “Christian”. The word “Christian” has morphed in today’s vocabulary to church membership, an identity with grandma, a philosophy of living, and others…  Check out your love of God and His People.

  • Pray for those on our church rolls that are lost to fall under conviction and be saved.
  • Pray for all workers and contractors in our renovation to have an opportunity to receive Jesus!
Tuesday, July 20, 2021    A Love Challenge

“You have heard it said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt. 5:43-44

Maybe your anger level topped out in the recent election, the media’s handling of the situation, and the decisions that seem to rock your boat. Mine did. Then, memorizing the above verses did a number on me. I would suggest you memorize them. These words come from Jesus. As far as I know, He never voted (probably they didn’t vote then), never signed a petition, or  never protested the government. Matter of fact, His sternest words were not against the government but against the religious leaders. Who are you angry at? Your enemies are just acting like the pagans they are. We are to pray for them, as Paul did after being beaten wrongly in the Philippian Jail. Note: that action opened the door of the gospel to the enemy and the Jailer was saved. Come on folks, let’s get our thinking right. Jesus related to sinners! I was one.

  • Take time right now to pray for our national, state and local leadership and ask God to work saving love through you and repent of hate.
  • Seating arrived on the 15th. It will take 14-16 days to install, so pray that all is done with seating by the end of the month.
Wednesday, July 21, 2021    Brrr! It’s Cold in July
“Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.” Matt 24:12-13

As I write this, we got a reprieve from the muggy heat of the mid-south. Can it be cold in July? Maybe not temperature wise, but love can grow cold. Lawlessness is becoming rampant, even in our own city. It seems like we are having a rash of murders, sex crimes, and thievery. Nationwide our cities are being trashed and burned, so love is waning and respect for each other decreasing. Another crisis is even worse and that is people departing the faith. Endurance of the believer is a must. Endurance in prayer, fellowship with one another, witnessing in tough situations, with total dependence on God. Our only hope is a major revival of the church in this land, that produces a spiritual awakening -  the heat of God to chase the cold spiritual lethargy from our presence. Get ready – revival is coming!

  • Pray for a mighty revival of Central Baptist Church and the Bible Believing Churches of Jonesboro.
  • Pray that our Worship Center will be filled to capacity of people repenting and seeking God.
Thursday, July 22, 2021    Blessed be the Name!
“Now I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, ‘For the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’” Rev. 12:10

In my quiet time with the Father this morning, I was using a hymnal and singing to Him the praise song of ‘Blessed Be the Name”,  written by Charles Wesley in 1739.  The third verse begins this way, “He breaks the power of canceled sin, Blessed be the name of the Lord! His blood can make the foulest clean, Blessed be the name of the Lord!”. Wesley knew that simply because you have confessed your foul sin and God has forgiven you, doesn’t mean that the enemy won’t accuse you of it before the Lord. BUT, the kingdom of Jesus Christ has come with all the authority of the Father to cause you to stand firm in the power of His blood. Wesley knew that he could claim the blood of Jesus over the first-person thoughts that the accuser puts in your head like, “I’m not good enough to pray or to talk to God because of _______________ (you fill in the blank). You may have applied 1 John 1:9, but the thought keeps coming back and you tend to believe it, because it comes in the first person of “I”. Charles Wesley faced these dark thoughts with the power of the blood over canceled sin. Stand up and bless the name of Jesus and the power of His blood. Believer, when you confess your sin, He is faithful  and just and will forgive your sin and cleanse you from all unrighteousness! Believe it, because God can’t lie!

  • Now bless the name of Jesus and sing “I never shall forget that day, Blessed be the name of the Lord! When Jesus washed my sin away, Blessed be the name of the Lord”. (words, Charles Wesley, 1739, alt; Refrain, Ralph E. Hudson, 1887)
  • Ask God to forgive your sin of prayerlessness because you think your prayers aren’t answered because of the past. It’s a trick of the enemy. Confess it and get on the firing line. Pray!!!
Friday, July 23, 2021    Saturday is Coming!
For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” Heb. 4:10-11

Everyone looks forward to Friday so you can get to Saturday – a day of leisure to recharge your physical and spiritual batteries. I fear we, as believers, have fallen into a worldly view of rest. In these verses, rest is defined as ‘self is dead and Christ is alive in us’, directing and empowering our lives, which is His life now lived through us. The first verse of this chapter is stunning, “…let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.” (4:1)  When God’s Word speaks to you and you that see your life path needs changing, most of us make an internal resolve to fix the problem. Then you find yourself repeating the same sin. This is not rest. What you should be saying is, “Oh God, You are right and I am wrong, would you grace me with the desire and power to see the change in my life and join You in accomplishing this change.” (Phil 2:13)  God not only saves you; He also sanctifies you. Enter His rest by agreeing with Him that you can’t change yourself, but this sin is not like Him and not like you want to be. By His grace, repent and ask, “Please work change in me.” Let us enter His rest so everyday can be a spiritual Saturday.

  • Ask God to point out the repetitive sins in your life and agree with Him that you need His desire and power to repent of it.
  • Pray for tired hands and worn out bodies to be strengthened so that the seating and Audio Visual are finished by August 1 – Just 9 days from now!
Saturday, July 24, 2021     “Stand at Ease!”
“If You, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with You, that you may be feared. I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.” Ps. 130:3-6
In the grueling training of Army Officer Candidate School, I loved to hear the commanding officer yell, “Stand at ease!” That meant I could put my hands behind my back, look around a bit, and move my left foot to the left in a rest position. To be at rest was an order, and if one did not do it, you heard, “Soldier, I said ‘Stand at Ease!’”. Confession of our sin is an order,  and joining God in letting Him give us desire and power to accomplish departure from that sin, begins an “At ease” or spiritual rest in our lives. Welcome to Saturday – a rest from your work to correct yourself but allowing God to do it through you. Isn’t it great that God does not keep a record of our sin? If He did, not one of us could stand. He wants us to realize the great power He has so that we might have an awesome reverence of Him. You soul is so designed by God to anticipate the wonderful Word of God to speak peace and hope in the new morning of forgiveness. Then, people around you will see God at work in your life and not you at work. Oh, watch for the morning – the new beginnings of believers at rest in the reality of new relationship with our Father, through Jesus the only Mediator, in the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit!

  • Thank God for His release from all iniquity in your life! Rejoice with Him in your favorite praise songs today.
  • Pray for workers on the construction site to hear about Jesus and be saved!
Sunday, July 25, 2021     Open Ears!
“He opens their ear to instruction, and commands that they return from evil.” Job 36:10

Elihu was imperfect in his counsel to Job in that he did not know what had taken place conversationally in the heavenlies between God and Satan, but he nailed it in this passage.  Believers, it is God who opens spiritual ears to His instructions and commands. Our pastor has spent hours in prayer and study and he had to pray, “Lord open my ears to your Word for the people.” He has been faithful to obey God and is ready to proclaim that truth to us today. Now, it is our responsibility to ask God to open the ears of our hearts to hear and apply the Word. As we hear  a message from God’s Word, it is good to pray,  “Lord, open my spiritual ears to your instruction. I agree with You that this Word is from You and I need to adjust by __________________ (you fill in the blank). Give me the desire and power to accomplish this in my life.” We want to have open ears to the Lord all of our lives – right? Ok, now let’s worship in Spirit and Truth -  Who is a Person!!!

  • Pray for Pastor Archie to preach in power and boldness to deliver God’s Word to us, that we have spiritual ears to hear and hearts to obey what God tells us individually.
  • Pray for the Worship Team  as they focus us on praising God.
Monday, July 26, 2021    Purpose in Suffering
“Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else, and that most of the brethren, trusting in the Lord because of my imprisonment, have far more courage to speak the word of God without fear.” Phil. 1:12-14

Honestly, the past week I have been stumped on what to write next, but clearly the Lord spoke to me to go to the book of Philippians. Dear saints in the Lord, we are about to go through some suffering. You may personally hear and experience some terrible things in the days to come. Oddly enough, suffering of the saints brings about boldness among the brethren to speak the gospel boldly. I trust you are sensing a unique boldness to speak for Christ everywhere you find yourself? Love for those you see perishing everyday around you and, on the news, should cause prayer from our hearts for their salvation! The bad are only going to get worse without Jesus. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good news of Good things!”. ( Romans 10:15b) We have very good news to the lost. Paul looked beyond the suffering to the glory that would be revealed in him through the Lord.

  • Be alert and prayerful for His purpose to be fulfilled in you!
  • Pray for workers as they lay out the grid for the seating. Both the seating and the audio/visual must be complete by August 1.
  • Pray for each believer that comes in contact with the workers to pray with them and for them, looking for opportunities to share the gospel.
Tuesday, July 27, 2021    The Insanity of Suffering
“Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you…’”  John 15:20a)

Nik and Ruth Ripken were appointed as missionaries by the IMB to Malawi, then South Africa, and finally Somalia. They worked out of Kenya due to the Somalian War. Under the duress of war, famine, and Muslim extremism Nik and Ruth faithfully ministered to the Somalians. Over time they were able to lead over150 Somalian Muslims to Jesus. In 1992, through the IMB news releases, CBC learned of the brave and consistent work of the Ripkens. So, one Sunday Night, our pastor led Central to unanimously give $100,000, earmarked to purchase a new organ, to the outreach in Somalia to be managed by the Ripkens. They were thrilled and Central had a part in seeing these Muslims come to Jesus. To the Ripken’s dismay, all but 4 of these Somalian believers were martyred for their belief in Jesus and one since has died to disease. Greatly discouraged, they came home on furlough. Through much prayer and healing, the trilogy of  The Insanity of God, The Insanity of Sacrifice, and The Insanity of Obedience, was penned from their experiences and from interviewing believers of the persecuted church throughout the world.

  • Pray that we will be prepared in our suffering to glorify God in His way, no matter the circumstances.
  • Rejoice that we will be counted worthy to suffer for the name of Jesus!
Wednesday, July 28, 2021    Preparation of Discipline
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My People…” II Chronicles 7:13

God does not leave His people to their own devices for long. It is obvious that God’s People, yes, you and me, are head strong in continuing in our prayerlessness, our negligence of obeying the Word of God, negligence in gathering to worship together, to witness, and to bear the fruit of the Spirit. So, He will send discipline. Our missionaries in Washington State tell us that they are experiencing a heat wave in a state where the summers are usually mild.  Lake Mead, at Hoover Dam,  is at an all-time low, and water rationing is a must in Nevada and Southern California. The church is under attack in many places in our land. Many teachers in schools and universities are teaching unethical thinking, racism, and moral corruption to your children under WOKE and CRT (Critical Race Theory)  ideologies. Oh, dearly beloved, please wake up! We are in the hands of a loving God who insists that we return to godly living, devouring the Word of God, and walking with Him in prayer. We want to enter our newly renovated worship center as a revived, effective people.

  • Get alone with God today with your Bible in Hand and ask God to reveal to you how you need to repent and align with the plumb line of God. If you do not know where to read, go to Galatians 5:16-26.
  • Pray for the Spirit of God to hover over our renovation project to see that flooring, seating, and audio-visual are done timely and correctly.
Thursday, July 29, 2021     A Name Sake
“…and My People who are called by My name…” II Chronicles 7:l14a

One day when I was about 7 or 8 years old, my Dad said something to me that made a profound impact on my life. He said something like, “Son, don’t ever forget that you are my boy and you have got a good name. Don’t disappoint me or lie to me.”  I had a deep respect for my dad and I never wanted to disappoint Him. A year or so later, I became a follower of Jesus and that deep respect and yearning began to spill over as well, to never wanting to disappoint Jesus, who had given me a name, “My Child”. Unfortunately, like us all, I have disappointed Him, which grieved my spirit, brought me to repentance, and forgiveness. One of the aspects of our relationship with God is that we take on a kinship and a name. “My People” is a name, a relationship that everyone around you knows. He has other names for us like followers, disciples, friends, saints, ambassadors, some apostles, teachers, evangelists, pastors, servants, deacons and others. We carry His Name. The question today is, “Do you reflect the name that God has bestowed upon you as His Children… “My People?” If  you sense that you haven’t honorably worn the name that He has given you, ask Him to reveal to you how you have disappointed Him.  Our God doesn’t hold grudges or hold back forgiveness.

  • Then, very sincerely ask Him to forgive you and restore you. He can’t lie, He forgives!
    • “I will get up and go to my Father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.’ So, he got up and came to his father, But while he was still a long way of, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:8-20
  • Pray for wisdom for our staff and contractors in all the decisions to be made today on the building renovation.
Friday, July 30, 2021     Humbling
“…and (if) My people who are called by My name humble themselves …”

The word “humble” means to “have or show a modest or  low estimate of one’s own importance.” Even though we have a name given to us as God’s children, when we have departed from Him in self dependency and sin, we must humble ourselves before God. Maybe you have already humbled yourself in these days of discipline and repentance. Then, would you begin to intercede for other believers who have not humbled themselves before God in deep sorrow? “A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Ps, 51:17b I get the message that God, our Father, is dead set on disciplining us until He measures that our whole heart has returned to Him. Then, He lifts us up and there is joy in the morning! Keep your eye on that goal of restoration and great joy. There is one word in the segment of scripture that we just read that scares me. It is the word “if”. There is no doubt that we are under discipline as a nation. Will we turn to Him with our whole heart?

  • Pray for yourself first, then other believers that God brings to mind to experience the job of humbling ourselves before the mighty hand of God. Let’s bend our spirits before Him!
  • Pray that all seating and audio-visual sub-contractors be diligent to persevere and get everything installed properly.
Saturday, July 31, 2021    Lift Your Eyes 
“…pray and seek my face…” II Chronicles:7:14b

Remember growing up when you had done something wrong, and you ducked your head in embarrassment of getting caught?  I’m afraid I remember several occasions like that. One day, I misbehaved and my mother was scolding me; I guess she thought she wasn’t getting through. She put both a hand on each side of my face and lifted it up where she could look straight into my eyes, face-to face. Our Heavenly Father is like that. He looks us straight in the eyes and desires that we seek His face so that we will see our need to reflect Him. Haven’t you noticed that in most of our prayer times, it is seeking God’s hands? We want something from Him like a new job, healing from a sickness, or passing a college exam, etc. Nothing wrong with seeking God’s hands, but rarely is it about seeking the reflection of God in our lives. God gives a vivid picture of the church in latter times In Revelation chapters 2 & 3. Lets honestly seek God’s face today and pray through a few of the things found in these passages. Remember, we are praying through a process of peeling the onion – layer after layer.

  • Ask God to bring to your mind where you might be convicted of some of the following and also pray for fellow believers. Pray …
    • that believers realize where they have fallen from God and repent
    • that they return to their first love
    • that they awake from spiritual sleep and rise to the knowledge of God
    • that they become faithful to death
    • that they be strong in persecution
    • that they embrace sound teaching
    • that they refrain from immorality
    • that they allow the Holy Spirit to search their hearts and repent of hidden things
    • that they be alert to the coming of the Lord and live daily a sacrifice to Him
    • Revelations 2&3
Sunday, August 1, 2021     And Pray
Jesus said, “Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed by your name. Your kingdom come. You will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”  Matthew 6:9-10
Remember, we are to first seek God’s face and not His hands. Jesus directed all of His prayers to His Father. He instructs us today like this “Pray, then, in this way.” Jesus wanted us to see that all spiritual activity was addressed to the Father, Who is the Great Initiator. Jesus had emptied Himself according to Philippians 2:7, not only to pay for our salvation, but to role model our relationship to the Father. We should be totally dependent  upon our Father. Then we praise Him for Who He is by hallowing and magnifying His name. His name reveals Who He is like,  El-Elyon or The Most-High. Secondly, He brings us to Kingdom Activity. The Father’s will is carried out in an instant and perfectly done in Heaven. As we join the Father in Kingdom Activity, He wants us to know His will and how it is to be done on earth. Let’s join Him in prayer today. Remember, we first seek His face and not His hand.

  • Praise Him for Who He is. Here are some names to get you started: The Holy One, Justifier, Sanctifier, Peace, Presence, Healer, Provider, Shepherd, Joy, Love, etc.
  • That the Father’s Kingdom Come. Pray things that you know will bring in the Kingdom. Pray that…
    • The lost be saved in our services
    • That you be active in sharing the gospel to  bring in the kingdom of God
    • That you be sensitive to His will and obey immediately
Monday, August 2, 2021    U Turn Ahead
“…and turn from their wicked ways…” II Chronicles 7:14d
Maybe I am the only one who finds myself doing U-turns lately. I have a breakfast group that meets at Eggsellent Café on Caraway Road on Tuesday mornings. When I leave my home north of Hilltop, my mental remote control takes over. You see, I spent 27 years driving from there to my CBC office and I’m mentally programmed to go to Harrisburg Road. Well, rather than remembering to turn on the short cut on Stallings Lane, I found myself on Red Wolf almost to Race Street before I sensed I had messed up. Hey, I’m getting better; last week I made it to Highland Drive before I remembered I messed up. Sometimes we are so programmed in our thinking that we don’t realize some things are sins and we need to do a U-turn. The people in Malachi’s day didn’t even know they had moved from God, and He shockingly had to tell them “You have robbed me”, related to tithes and offerings. He further shared with them that they had been dabbling in the occult, new age thinking (repackaged paganism), adulterers, lying,  holding back promotions and raises to employees, ignoring widows & orphans, etc.  Dearly beloved, I don’t think we have a clue how far we have departed. I’m going to propose an extra-curricular activity for the serious of heart - who want to make a serious U-turn in their life. Go to onecry.com/TheRevivalJourney  and click on the ”Personal” journey. It is a 7-day journey that will help you make the U Turn and will not take much more time than reading this devotion. Hey, we are in a serious situation with God. We need to get our eyes open and take the time necessary to adjust to Him.

  • Pray that we will have the desire and power to be diligent to take the time and follow through this spiritual pilgrimage.
  • Pray for a fresh Monday morning start with all our sub-contractors to have energy and minds fixed to enter the final phase of the renovation of the worship Center. Adjustments and calibrations of sound & lighting begins.
Tuesday, August 3, 2021   A Sign
“…then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place.”  II Chronicles 7:14d,15

Have you ever been traveling on an unfamiliar road, wondering where you are, with no cell tower to check your position? There is deep concern and certainly a sense of lostness. That happened, several years ago, when Sheila and I got lost in the turkey woods of South Alabama, at dusk with no phone, trying to find the house of our missionary friends.  Then all of a sudden, you see a directional sign to the very town you are traveling to. How do you know when you are revived? There are two sign posts in this passage. One is that you know you have been honest with God, forgiven, and tremendous peace comes; and second, you are praying and getting heard. Wow! You thought it would be complicated, didn’t you? Oh, to have God’s eyes on you, His ears attentive to your prayers! What can be better? I hope and pray that you are at this point spiritually. If not, God loves you and is tenderly calling you home. Listen to the lyrics of a hymn used in invitations long ago:
“Jesus is tenderly calling thee home, Calling today, calling today;
Why from the Sunshine of love wilt thou roam farther and farther away?
Jesus is calling the weary to rest, Calling today, calling today;
Bring him thy burden and thou shalt be blessed; He will not turn you away.
Jesus is waiting; O come to Him now, waiting today, waiting today;
Come with thy sins; at his feet lowly bow; Come, and no longer delay.
Jesus is pleading; O list to his voice, hear Him today, Hear Him today;
They who believe on his name shall rejoice; quickly arise and away.
Calling today, calling today; Jesus is calling, is tenderly calling today.”
The dear blind (but seeing) Fanny Crosby wrote these lyrics.

  • Pray that there is deep desire in ourselves and in our church family to respond to the loving calls of Jesus to let Him have His way with us.
  • Ask God to lift the new surge of the C-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, August 4, 2021   Healing?
“…then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14d
If you noticed, I skipped this part of the verse from August 3 and there was a reason. We can receive personal forgiveness and personal revival, but discipline may remain on the nation. As I have read the revival histories of the last 200 years, corporate revival was what changed a nation. In other words, whole churches were revived. In the beginning, revival came to a small group of people within a church. One began in a corporate church prayer group; then, the church had revival. Then, a spiritual awakening begin to spread to the community. In the Hebrides Revival, as the church was being revived, a group of about 600 people were found lying down is a pasture weeping and crying out for God to save them. The whole community was affected as it went from town to town, and eventually it came to America. So, my prayer is, “Lord, let it begin here at CBC.” Why not? It would be our greatest contribution to the kingdom of God and the lost world. Remember, in all those revivals, a great sending of missionaries resulted and lost people converted! Bars were closed, healing came to the communities, and good laws enacted. It’s the best gift we could give to Jonesboro. I don’t know what America will look like when revival comes to the church, but it will come.

  • Pray that as the Pandemic rages, we will see the importance of personal and corporate revival at CBC.
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if that on August 15, we not only worship in a refreshed worship center, but the altar would be full of praying and repenting people!
Thursday, August 5, 2021   Fill up!
“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” Eph. 5:18-20
I don’t know about you, but much refreshing has come to my heart in these days of seeking the Lord, and letting Him do an in-depth examination of my heart. Dr. Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade For Christ emphasized confession of sin is like breathing out sin from our life. But if you just breath out, we begin to suffocate. So, we must breathe in as well. That is what the Lord is saying to us in this passage. We need to breathe in a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. He indwells us from salvation, but we need a fresh filling from time to time. There is nothing like the sweet Holy Spirit in total control of our lives. Scriptures come flooding back and we begin to hum or sing a song! I love it when I wake up and a song is going through my mind and heart. The psalmist put it this way, ”Sing to the Lord a new song; Sing to the Lord all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless His name;” Ps. 96:1-2a
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and guide you in all you do today. Ask Him to empower you as you proclaim Jesus!
  • Pray for tremendous harmony and peace among the workers on the job site today!
Friday, August 6, 2021   What’s Next
“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.” I Peter 4:12
The past few weeks, we have been examining personal sin, confession, and repentance. I trust that as best we know how, we have been obedient and have asked God to fill us with His Spirit. Now what?  Being revived ourselves, we continue to pray and seek His face in persistence for revival of the church. We must understand that in the meantime, we will suffer. One of the reasons Jesus emptied Himself was to role model for us the abundant life. Part of the abundant life is learning how to relate to persecution. Persecution may not only relate to pain, but it can also mean being overlooked in job promotions, shunned in school, ridiculed in public, or jailed as Peter was. These things are to be expected and spiritually prepared for. As Pastor Archie pointed out in a recent message, suffering can relate to our identity with the gospel of Jesus, or the fact that we simply live in a fallen world and our bodies are failing and pandemics rampant.  Or it can be for testing to see if we are real or not, or to purify what God has begun in us. Oh, how we need each other in the days ahead.

  • Ask God where you are in the spectrum of suffering? Talk to Him about it.
  • Who do you know that is suffering now? Ask God what He wants you to do to encourage this fellow believer, that they may continue to run the race with patience. Be obedient!
Saturday, August 7, 2021   Joy! Joy! Joy!
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” Col. 1:24
Recently, I had the occasion to visit some dear friends in the hospital. I have known this couple for more than 50 years and they are faithful members of Central. I have seen their children and their grandchildren grow up in our church. From the moment I met them, I saw true joy overflowing out of their lives! Over the years, I have observed them in successes, trials, testing, suffering, and great joy!  For the past 10 years, they have been in and out of hospitals but never uttered a discouraging word. They laugh at life, because they know their Redeemer lives! I commented to them that I believe one of the reasons they are going through so much is, that we need a current role model of someone in our midst who  rejoices in the midst of suffering! I promise that you cannot be in their presence a minute without laughing and thanking God for them. So, what’s so bad about what you are going through? If you are a believer, whatever you are going through is temporary, and the things that God has prepared for you in heaven hasn’t entered the heart and mind of man! Look for the gold nuggets in the difficulties of life that Jesus has for you.

  • Take time to let God show you the nuggets of becoming like Him that he has for you. Then thank Him for them and His process to show them to you!
  • Pray that all workers on the Renovation Project redeem the time and coordinate their work, and  for the learning process as our media staff calibrates the AV system.
Sunday, August 8, 2021   Right Attitude
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Phil. 2:6-7
Preparing a mission team for service is difficult. Attitude is so important as we prepare for service in God’s Kingdom. Today we gather to worship God, which is our reasonable service to Him. Is your attitude right to worship in mind, body, and spirit today? Jesus was preparing for the greatest mission trip known to man, preparing to make the way possible for everyone that has ever been saved or will be saved to be done. He began role modeling for us the price it would cost. He emptied Himself! He left his Dear Father’s presence. He emptied Himself of His All Powerfulness, His All Knowing, and His All Presence. He now would be a weak baby, that would grow in mind, body, and spirit, and be contained in one place at one time. And He describes Himself as a bond servant. Emptying self is a great price to pay, but it is required of each of us to follow Him. So, He was totally dependent on His Father for everything.

  • Ask God right now, to work through you the desire and power to empty yourself of anything the Holy Spirit brings to mind, so that you may worship Him and obey Him.
  • Pray that God fills our Pastor with His Spirit like never before and pray that we will hear and obey.
  • One more week on construction for the renovation! Pray for everything to fall in place.
Monday, August 9, 2021    Purpose Statement 
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”  John10:10b
In the past 30 years companies, organizations, and churches have been identifying themselves to the public with short phrases that are easy to memorize and tells what they are about. Jesus identifies Who He is and what He is about in this very short purpose statement. Most of us get the life part pretty good, in that we know the basics of the gospel. If we desire to have eternal life, we must know and be known by the Savior through repentance and faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ. The latter part of the purpose statement we struggle with a good bit, and that is the abundant Life. How we begin this life is how we continue it. We begin by asking God, by faith, to save us because we can’t do it ourselves. In Life Abundant, we continue to ask God, by faith,  to do in and through us that we can’t do for ourselves and that is to live like Him. What has God recently asked you to do differently that would cause you to be more like Him? Whatever God has asked you to do, it is possible!

  • Respond to Him in prayer this way. “You are right, Lord. That is exactly like I want to be. I surrender to you to take me away from my past approach to life, to this new and exciting way that You have pointed out. Grace me now with the desire and power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish this through me. I’m all in through Jesus!”
  • The last week in our Worship Center renovation project.  Pray that the small final details will be completed.  And that all punch list items can be taken care of.
Tuesday, August 10, 2021   Focused
“Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.’” John 5:19-20
Jesus’s  total focus on earth was on the Father and what He was doing. Jesus did not initiate anything by Himself, but spent lots of time talking to His Father and was only involved in the things He saw His Father doing. So, if Jesus could do nothing of Himself, then how do we think we can do anything for God by ourselves? Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “…and all our acts are like filthy rags…” Now do you see why it is vitally important to spend uninterrupted time with the Father in prayer and study of the Word each morning? This sharpens us spiritually for the things we will run into during the day, so we will have the spiritual eyes and ears to see and hear what the Father wants to do in and through us. I guarantee it is anything but a passive way of life. God will work uniquely through you and get much glory through you. And you will have meaning like never before in your life! Plus, (yes, there is more), you won’t get robbed. You have the opportunity every day to lay up gold, silver, and precious gems in heaven, where it will not rust, and nobody, not even the guys in Washington, can get to it and steal it. What a deal!  Jesus called it the abundant life!

  • Ask God to give you a life changing approach to this life by walking daily with Him. He is ready!
  •  This week we will begin testing all the new AVL systems in the Worship Center.  Anytime you put in a new system, it takes a lot of troubleshooting and testing.  Pray for good diagnostic wisdom.
Wednesday, August 11, 2021   Be a Disciple
“If anyone, wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” Luke 9:23
I believe, without exception, that every football coach has played football somewhere. And they have had to be proficient to be listened to in coaching. Jesus was perfect in living the abundant life. Therefore, he can coach his disciples flawlessly and you can hang on every word He spoke. He lived out His word daily. Denial of self is one of the biggest parts of ourselves that we deal with. Self is so self-protected that it takes a daily act of crucifixion to bring it under control. Believers who have been successful in the abundant life have accomplished one fruit of the Spirit well, and that is self-control. Obedience in following Jesus become much easier when there is meticulous denial of self. Again, we can’t deny ourselves by ourselves. It’s a command, so we know it has already been initiated by the Father; all we have to do is join Him in this preapproved spiritual activity. Hey, there are no shortcuts to this – let’s get on with it! What part of yourself needs a good dose of spiritual death?

  • Ask the Lord to reveal to you what part of self needs to die. Ask the Holy Spirit in Jesus’s name to grace you with the desire and power to deny this part of yourself and reveal to you a scripture (the sword) that will help you accomplish this task.
  • Pray that our Central Staff will have a spirit of appreciation for all the workers involved in the Worship Center re-model project and show that appreciation to those workers.
Thursday, August 12, 2021    Clarification in Seclusion 
“In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went to a secluded place, and was praying there.” Mark 1:35
Circumstances can be confusing. Jesus had just finished a successful teaching session in the synagogue. He cast a demon out of a man in the synagogue, went to Peter’s house and healed his mother-in-law. Then the whole town shows up at the door with demon possessed people and sick folks who wanted to be healed. He healed many and cast out many demons until late at night. Knowing that His Father initiates His day, it is a must that Jesus to go to a secluded place and spend time in worship and conversation with Him. While this is going on, the crowd of people with many needs, began to gather at the door. What if this happened here? We would think revival had broken out and all we needed to do was what we did yesterday. Personally, I would think so, wouldn’t you? The disciples went looking for Jesus and found him in the secluded place. They said a phrase that I heard many times in my ministry. “Everyone is looking for you.” Then Jesus says something astounding. “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”  (Mark 1:38) Dearly Beloved, it was not about the people‘s faith that day. Father had moved on. What happened in the secluded place? Father reminded Jesus of His purpose statement and probably said. “Son, go other places and preach about life, they have heard it here.” Whenever you see Jesus doing something in scripture, ask the question, “What happened in the Secluded place that day with the Father.

  • Ask God to cause you to desire, more than life, to meet with Father in your secluded place. He has a lot to tell you about your direction!
  • The AVL contractor is working with our Media team to learn the new system.   As we do a “dress rehearsal” service, pray that all goes well and we learn how to run all the AVL equipment.
Friday, August 13, 2021    Desire To Be One
“I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:20-21
Prior to going into Gethsemane, Jesus prayed a most astounding prayer. It was a prayer to the Father that we would be so welded to Him in the Spirit that there would be incredible oneness in the activity of believers in the world! He was not only praying for the 11 disciples and others in the group that day, but He prayed it forward to cover you and me. Jesus wants us to be included in the thoughts and desires of the most powerful, mighty, incredible, magnificent, creator, and re-creator God! Do you realize how important you are to Jesus? Why in the world is that true? So that the world may believe that He sent Jesus. You see, if we have so adjusted our lives to be right with Him, self no longer matters. You see yourself crucified with Him, and you are so ready to follow! And follow you shall. People will see Jesus at work through you, and the world will be attracted to Him through you! Are you ready? He is waiting.

  • In your secret place, eagerly approach the God of all ages and lay your life bare before Him today. Pray, “Father, here am I, broken, undone, and sinful. My garments are stained. I’m ready to be cleaned up! Thank you for your faithful forgiveness. I so desire to be one with You in prayer and activity. I want to see people come to You through me. In Jesus’ name.”
  • The Worship Center is a beautiful place to worship.  But it is meaningless if God is not there.  Pray for the presence of the One True God as we come together Sunday.
Saturday, August 14, 2021   Spend It Wisely
“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years…So teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom. … Oh, satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.” Ps. 10, 12, 14 
I’ve heard it said from my youth, that the older you get, the faster days seem to fly by. I’ve figured out that one reason they seem to fly by is that you tend to sleep more. LOL The Psalmist encourages us in this song to make every day count with the Lord. At the end of our lives, we want to come to Him as being considered wise. We want to be able to present to Him our life as a gift of being one with Him and the Father. We want to present to Him deeds of gold, silver, and precious gems! We want to present to Him the reflection of joy and gladness that He placed in our hearts. We want to hear from Him, “ Well done, My faithful servant! You have been faithful over a few things, now I’ll make you ruler over many things! Enter into your rest.” So, it’s time to number your days and make them count for Him.

  • Ask the Lord to review how you use your time. Make needed changes together and ask Him to give you the desire and power to use your time wisely and lay up many precious deeds in heaven!
  • Tomorrow is the day!  Pray that God will give us the desire to be present with other believers in worship and Bible Study. Then, tomorrow at 5:00 p.m., come for a  Celebration/Prayer time together, all in the Worship Center!! See you there.