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Associated Press
New York – Southern Baptists are organizing a nationwide prayer campaign to accompany their values-voter registration drive, seeking spiritual renewal for families and churches, and God’s favor for public officials who are guided by the Bible.
Surveys have found that the majority of white evangelicals support the presumed Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain, but with less enthusiasm than they had for previous Republican candidates for the White House. Sen. Barack Obama, who will accept the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday in Denver, has been aggressively reaching out to religious voters.
The 40/40 Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal will run from Sept. 24 through Nov. 2, two days before the general election.
The daily prayers include requests for God’s guidance in voting, for the election of more “godly Christians,” for God to “help churches find ways to help Christians get to the polls” and for public officials to be protected “from the attacks of Satan.”
The effort is a companion program to the iVoteValues registration campaign, which began in 2004 and is jointly led this year by Southern Baptists, the largest Protestant group in the country, and the Family Research Council, a conservative Washington-based advocacy group.
The Rev. Richard Land, head of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the public policy arm of the 16.3 million-member Southern Baptist Convention, said Tuesday that more than 1,300 churches have signed up for the prayer campaign so far.
The drive is being promoted by the Southern Baptists’ North American Mission Board, through and conference calls with pastors. Land hopes that an upcoming promotional DVD can be shown at state Baptist meetings across the country this fall.
“Our vision statement is an American society that affirms and practices Judeo-Christian values rooted in biblical authority,” Land said. “America will be better off if people who are voting are seeking God’s guidance.”
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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