FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – In preparation for the upcoming presidential election, the Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission (ERLC) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) have teamed up to sponsor a 40/40 Prayer Vigil. The partnership hopes the vigil—designed to last 40 days and slated to begin Sept. 26—will encourage nationwide prayer for individual and national revival and for God’s hand of mercy on America and its leaders.
Southwestern Seminary plans to participate by encouraging it students, staff, faculty and friends to join the prayer force.
“Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is participating in the 40/40 Prayer Vigil because our very best is totally inadequate for this day,” President Paige Patterson said. “Unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain who build it. We seek God’s face because He alone is able to effect a great revival in our day.”
The 40-day vigil will cover the nation in concentrated prayer through Election Day on Nov. 4. A prayer guide for the vigil explains the vision organizers have for the effort.
“The battle for our nation’s soul is not about voting booths,” the vigil guide reads. “This is first and foremost a spiritual contest. A spiritual battle is being waged across our nation, and it must be met first of all with spiritual weapons. God’s people must pray for a great outpouring of God’s Spirit on them, the churches and the nation.”
The guide echoes what the LORD told Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14, saying, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
In an article posted on the prayer vigil website, author and Bible study teacher Susie Hawkins says Christians are called to be vigilant in prayer for a crisis-stricken America.
“The 40/40 Prayer Vigil is intended to move us out of spiritual apathy and into the battle,” Hawkins wrote in the article originally published by Baptist Press. “Let us faithfully pray for an outpouring of God’s spirit within our families, that we might truly be salt and light in our world and a witness to the power of the Gospel.”
Those interested can sign up by visiting and by clicking on the “Join the Vigil” tab. A downloadable prayer guide for each day or hour is available at the website.