Christians Begin 40-Day Prayer Efforts for Election

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Believers across denominational lines are starting 40-day prayer and fasting
campaigns for the 2008 general election on Nov. 4.
Christians Begin 40-Day Prayer Efforts for 
[09.24.08] On Wednesday Christians representing a wide variety of denominations and church
organizations are beginning 40-day prayer and fasting initiatives.

“Together, we will make this the most prayed-for election in the nation’s
history,” said John Lind, president of the Presidential Prayer Team, a
nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to pray for national
leaders year-round.
In an effort called 40 Days to Pray the Vote, Presidential Prayer Team
participants are joining in online prayer forums. Each morning, team members
also are e-mailed a specific prayer topic that targets a vital aspect of the
election. It includes a related Bible verse, inspirational photo and written
Leaders of the initiative hope to join
believers nationwide in prayer for both the next president and for specific
political issues facing the United States. The prayer team has sponsored three
other 40-day prayer campaigns leading up to this year’s election. The initial
one was launched back in May.
Leaders say prayer and fasting campaigns are “crucial” to shape the course
of America’s future. “We must not only participate with active participation in
the vote but also prayer participation,” said LIFE Outreach International
founder James Robison, in an endorsement for the Pray the Vote initiative. “In
this critical point in human history we must have godly leaders. I’m asking you
to join us in prayer. That people will vote, vote their convictions based upon
principles, and vote for those who will uphold principles and not sell out to
political parties or partisan positions.”
In addition to Pray the Vote, San Diego pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church
is calling Christians to fast and pray for the next 40 days as part of his
Protect Marriage campaign. The initiative, launched after the California Supreme
Court legalized gay marriage in that state, is designed to generate support for
ballot initiatives in California, Florida and Arizona that, if passed, would
define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. 
“This is a spiritual battle; it must be won in prayer,” said TheCall
founder Lou Engle, who is calling on church leaders to participate in the 40-day
fast in the run-up to TheCall San Diego on Nov. 1. “We believe the pastors
across California and the nation need to lead the nation in these 40 days of
fasting and prayer. We need to take away the rights of the powers of darkness to
bring this kind of resolution forward because it’s a spiritual battle.”
Some organizations are not only praying and fasting until Nov. 2 but are
also conducting prayerful protests outside the nation’s abortion clinics.
Leaders of the prayer campaign 40 Days for Life are calling their
initiative the “largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in
history.” Approximately 170 cities in the U.S. and Canada will participate.
David Bereit, national campaign director of 40 Days for Life, says the
current economic situation has weakened the abortion industry and caused many
clinic doors to close. He added that his group hopes the 40 days of prayer will
help eliminate abortion completely.
“Abortion numbers have dropped so significantly that several states are now
down to only one or two remaining abortion centers,” Bereit said. “This fall’s
40 Days for Life campaign presents a great opportunity to finish the life-saving
work in these states, creating abortion-free zones and encouraging other states
to follow suit.”
The group also plans to host community abortion-education outreaches as the
election nears.
Wednesday also marked the beginning of the Southern Baptist Convention’s
(SBC) 40/40 Prayer Vigil. The denomination says participants can pray for
spiritual revival and national renewal for the duration of the 40-day campaign
and/or choose to pray for 40 hours during the initiative’s culminating
event, which begins Oct. 31.
The SBC is also providing prayer guides to aid those joining in the prayer
vigils, but church leaders said all Christians should commit to prayer for this
upcoming election.
“As Election Day approaches we as Christians know we need to be committed
to praying for the outcome and for those who lead us,” said Geoff Hammond,
president of the SBC’s North American Mission Board. “We must be united in our
prayer and acknowledge that God is the one who must do the work in and through
“When we pray we become more dependent on God,” he added, “more aligned
with His will, more fruitful in our works. And He says He chooses to demonstrate
His power through the prayers of His people.” —Felicia Mann
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