Seventh-day Adventist believers worldwide will soon begin praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the upcoming General Conference session as part of a call to spiritual renewal and preparation for the coming of Jesus.
The 100 Days of Prayer program, which starts on March 25, aims to fulfill a plan that Adventist Church cofounder Ellen G. White said God was unable to realize for the church at the 1901 General Conference session in Battle Creek, Michigan.
God had planned to carry out a deep spiritual renewal and to change lives as attendees were reconciled through humility and the confession of sins at the 1901 session, White said after wakening from a vision known as “What Might Have Been.”
Read Ellen White's description of "What Might Have Been"
But the breakthrough did not happen because hardhearted participants prevented the unity that God had intended, she said.
“Deeply disappointed, she understood that the Lord could have come back in the lifetime of those members, but His people would not respond to the Holy Spirit’s moving as they should have,” the General Conference’s Ministerial Association, which is organizing the 100 Days of Prayer, said in a statement.
Watch a new Adventist Church-produced film about "What Might Have Been"
The 100 Days of Prayer invites Adventist believers to spend some time every day praying for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, for church leaders, and for the decisions that will be made at the 2015 General Conference session, the quinquennial business meeting of the world church. The prayer initiative runs through July 11, the end of the 2015 session in San Antonio, Texas.
People can sign up to receive a daily e-mail, starting on March 25, from the Ministerial Association’s 100DaysofPrayer.org website. The e-mail will include practical, real-life devotional messages, a revolving list of names of church leaders to hold up in prayer, and significant needs to remember in prayer as preparations are made for the 2015 General Conference session. Participants can enroll as individuals, churches, small groups, or schools.
Sign up for the daily e-mail here
Jerry Page, head of the Ministerial Association, said he was praying for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit — similar to what Jesus’ disciples experienced in the upper room in Acts 2 — during the General Conference session.
“We realize that major decisions need to be made and different opinions need to be heard,” Page said. “We are praying that these vital meetings will be a time when God breaks through in the hearts of individuals and, as in the book of Acts, ignites a passion for sharing the good news with everyone in the world.”
But church leaders’ biggest hope is that the 2015 session will not repeat 1901 — and Jesus will come quickly.