In preparation for the 77th Church of God International General Assembly July 30 – August 3, there will be an expanded prayer emphasis. The first event in this initiative is a 40-day call to prayer and fasting from April 22 through May 31, 2018. The event will be titled, Praying for Pentecost.
General Overseer Dr. Tim Hill unveiled the Praying for Pentecost initiative during a Facebook Live session on April 12. He has announced several items, opportunities, and events surrounding the period.
“I purposely chose these dates to coincide, not only with Pentecost Sunday (May 20), but also with the International Executive Council as we convene during the week of April 22,” Hill stated. “This meeting of the Council will be our last before the Assembly, and it is also when we finalize the all-important International General Council Agenda.”
Hill announced there will be an opportunity for those wishing to participate in Praying for Pentecost to go online and sign up. An electronic form is located on the Church of God website (www.churchofgod.org) and clicking on the dedicated graphic.
“We want to know how many are joining us in this as we prepare spiritually for the General Assembly,” Hill continued. “While we are encouraging everyone to participate, I want to stress we are not recommending just one option for either prayer or fasting. Fasting includes various types and levels, such as one day, several days, one meal, even fasting certain type of foods, such as sweets or meats. Everyone who participates should decide within his or her own heart as the Lord directs.”
Another component of the Praying for Pentecost initiative is a daily (Monday through Friday) five-minute prayer time. Starting promptly at 12:00 noon EST, church leaders will appear on the Church of God Facebook page (COGHQ) to offer a five-minute time of prayer, broadcast via Facebook Live. The live events will begin on Monday, April 23 and continue every weekday until Thursday, May 31.
Praying for Pentecost will be a preview of the prayer emphasis at the General Assembly. For the last several years, there has been an on-site, pre-Assembly prayer event to help set the tone and offer a prayer covering for the business and worship of the Assembly. In the past, special speakers have been invited to this event, including Times Square Church Pastor Carter Conlon and former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. There has also – and will be this year – a designated prayer chamber for prayer throughout the week set for July 30 – August 3, 2018.
“As large as our constituency is around the globe, in 184 countries and more than 15 million adherents, the chain of fasting and prayer will be unbroken for the entire 40 days,” Hill emphasized. “With this kind of dedication, I am anticipating a great spiritual anointing at the General Assembly.”