Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Feb. 14 – Day of prayer for student missions

February 9, 2010

On Feb. 12-14, more than 200 college students and leaders from every corner of Texas will gather at First Baptist Church in Midlothian for Go Now Missions Discovery Weekend, a time for students to worship, learn about God’s heart for the nations, minister to the local community and seek the Lord about serving on summer or semester missions this year.  

As this weekend takes place, the Go Now Missions prayer team is asking that churches and individuals dedicate Feb. 14 as the Day of Prayer for Student Missions, covering the students and leaders in prayer as they spend time seeking God and discovering ways they can accept and fulfill the call to take the gospel to all peoples and nations.  

“Committing to pray on Sunday morning when the students are making their last decision about serving in positions can only help and really begin to free up and enlighten the leadership team as they put assignments together, knowing that not only the people in that room are praying but also people at every corner of Texas,” said Ben Edfeldt, director of the Baptist Student Ministry at Midwestern State University and Go Now Missions prayer team leader. 

To get involved with the day of prayer, click through the links below. Prayer requests from students participating in Discovery Weekend will be posted throughout the weekend on the Go Now Missions prayer Web site.  

 

The power of prayer

July 23, 2009

First Baptist Church in Grapevine recently completed 168 uninterrupted hours of prayer. Pastor Mike Mowery shares his thoughts on the experience here on his blog.

Prayer guide impacts Austin

May 21, 2009

The Texas Hope 2010 prayer guide recently made an appearance at a gathering of the joint House and Senate Oversight Committee of Criminal Justice in Austin. This note comes from Patricia Presley through Suzii Paynter:

I testified to a Joint House and Senate Oversight Committee of Criminal Justice.  It was the first time I had ever testified before a legislative group.  The Committee was hearing testimony on pilot programs designed to keep juvenile offenders at home and using Texas Youth Commission juvenile detention centers as a last resort.  The meeting started late and was running towards 7 p.m. before I was called to testify.  Why was I there to speak?  The speakers before me had been a judge Chief Probation Officers for several counties, Executive Directors of TYC and TJPD, advocacy groups with statistics goals and objectives, timelines for completing or complying with legislation passed in 2007.  Who was I to before this panel in between all these experts?  Who was I speaking for before this panel? 

I had done Bible mediation while waiting for the hearing to begin and my eyes found BGCT’s HOPE 2010 booklet and Day 7 had a quote from Coretta Scott King.  She was recalling the burden her husband felt during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  After a threatening and abusive phone call he had gone to the kitchen and prayed, returning from prayer, he told her he had heard a voice saying :”Stand up for righteousness; stand up for truth; and God will be at our side forever.” I do not claim an epiphany like Dr. King, but I who I was speaking before this committee and for whom I spoke.  I spoke for Joshua who was committed to TYC in 2005 and had been transferred to West Texas State School (one of the units at the center of the horrible physical and sexual cases) for disciplinary reasons.  Joshua was a Child Protective Services placement by the very judge who had testified earlier in the hearing.  Joshua had many of the issues children in the system, acting out, and lying in hopes of being returned to his mother.

  1. Would the 250 question assessment tool, used by Greater Houston, have helped in identifying Joshua’s health problems? Would his ADHD have been clearly defined to help him succeed in an education setting?  Could a Master’s level counselor availability to the entire family help prevent access to drugs from his biological father?  Some many what if’s and so late!

I wonder about the 5 year old who told his pastor he knew his name was another name for Jesus, the 13 year old trying for his Eagle Scout and graduating from high school and going to college instead of a state jail facility.  A damaged boy caught in a scandal ridden system that failed him, that missed saying goodbye to his great-grandmother and his grandmother’s funeral, he was who I was speaking for before this committee.  I spoke not for a number or static, but a young man who still loves and hopes for better times.  I spoke for Joshua, my great-nephew.

Patricia Presley

Who prays?

May 7, 2009

The Pew Research Center has posted a demographic breakdown of who prays at least once a day. The information is from a 2007 survey, but the results are interesting.

Among the findings:

  • Evangelicals are slightly more likely to pray once a day than Muslims, but less likely to pray than Mormons. On the whole, Evangelicals seemed more likely to pray than most groups.
  • The more money you make, the less likely you are to pray daily.
  • The older you are, the more likely you are to pray regularly.
  • Women are more likely to pray daily than men.

What do you make of the data, particularly the last two bullet points?

Walk for hope

May 6, 2009

img_2648The employees who work at the Baptist Building often see the Hope 2010 efforts of Texas Baptists from a distance.  We’ve created websites and hunted down resources; some of us have even had an opportunity to walk alongside you and pray with you as Hope 2010 has been becoming reality in your neighborhoods and communities.  But as your Executive Board Staff, we often only know second-hand the way God uses our efforts.  You are the ones on the frontlines being the presence of Christ to our state.

So after hearing how God is already reaching Texas through your praying, sharing, and caring, we decided we wanted to get a firsthand taste of what God is going to do through Texas Hope 2010. So, we took a walk. 

 A prayer-walk.

 To pray for the individuals and neighbors who live, work, and go to school right here around your Baptist Building and by extension, for all of your neighbors.  With a little nervousness and even fear, with weary bodies and aching feet, we weren’t really sure what we would find. But we have already been surprised by the amazing individuals we met…

 One team met an individual who was terribly ill and was able to pray for him as they called an ambulance and waited for it to arrive.

 Another prayed for a woman and her son who had been in the hospital.  They had lots of needs, but most specifically to find a way to get legal status to work.  This team was able to connect them with our ISAAC ministry in order to get help.

 One individual told me, “The saddest of all scenes was walking by a business with their garage door open, looking in and seeing ‘God is Gutless, a Merciless Lord’ written on the wall.  This was just a block from our convention offices.”

 Our prayers were not just for those in our neighborhood, they were for you as well. This is a note from another of your staff members, “It was really meaningful to pray for people we saw and did not see, in beautifully restored old homes or run-down apartments; in medical centers or liquor stores.  It made me think of how massive Texas Hope 2010 is – this was a small part of one neighborhood in such a gigantic state.  I prayed for God to draw the lost in those homes and apartments and businesses to Him, and to do the same thing all over the state. “

 Who have you met as you’ve prayed for individuals in your community?

A call to pray April 15

April 13, 2009

From Randel Everett, BGCT executive director:

Greetings,

Danny Sinquefield, president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention has challenged all the state convention presidents to issue a call to prayer to our churches for April 15. David Lowrie has done this in his blog and now I want to join him with this request. I apologize for getting this to you at this late date, but perhaps it is something you can still lead your church to do this Wednesday night.

April 15 is a significant day for American tax payers. Even though this is a time I typically gripe and begrudgingly send in my taxes, it should also be a time when I thank God for our country. Few folks in history have had the opportunities and privileges we have in the United States.

Danny has encouraged us to use Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to the Lord and He will show us great and mighty things.” Danny suggests five items for our focus:

  • Families facing financial struggles as a result of job loss and cut-backs
  • Churches to respond with sensitivity and compassion to those in need
  • Local, state and national elected officials to use wisdom in leadership
  • Opportunities to share the good news of Jesus clearly and effectively; and
  • Humility, repentance and true spiritual awakening in our nation

Please join other Baptist churches across our nation in prayer this Wednesday, April 15.

***

I hope you are getting good participation in your county with churches becoming involved in planning for the multimedia CD distribution. I encourage you to begin recruiting key business leaders who will help raise the $1 per CD. This is an exciting way to share the hope of Christ with everyone in the ministry area of your church. We will be sharing some more thoughts for raising the funds for this project and also want to hear your ideas.

Prayer can’t be contained in a closet

April 9, 2009

In an earlier post, I briefly argued that prayer should be more of a priority for Baptist churches. In short, prayer should undergird and guide everything a church does.

But before we get too far down the road, let me suggest we may need to redefine the way we do prayer ministries in our congregations. Too often churches start prayer ministries where people gather once a week or can come to a prayer room. I understand that. These are good efforts. There are times where this model needs to be followed. At times in Christ’s ministry, we see Him go off by Himself to pray. Much like in our prayer meetings or prayer rooms, Christ would spend time alone with God.

But prayer simply can’t be contained in rooms and meetings.

Let me suggest what was once suggested to me by a minister I respect tremendously — Texas Baptists, like Christians everywhere, need to be people of prayer. What does that mean? What does that look like? Quite simply, it’s a lot like life as you most likely are currently living it. It’s noticing things throughout your day. It’s visiting with your friends. It’s building new relationships with others. It’s rejoicing in life’s highs and grieving when life is hard.

But throughout all that, people of prayer are talking to God — praising God for the good and petitioning Him for those things that concern us or others.

It’s here in the conversation between us and God that everything changes. It’s through these dialogues that we begin to see people as God sees them. We see opportunities to care for them. We see opportunities to pray for them. We see opportunities to share the hope of Christ with them. We love a little better. In short, hopefully we learn to be a little more like Christ.

When God changes the way we see the world, He changes the way we interact with it. Children’s ministries, evangelism opportunities and discipleship efforts happen naturally as we reach out to others according to God’s calling in our lives. Kingdom growth becomes natural, organic.

I’ll be honest, if I were a pastor or minister at a church, this model might on the surface scare me. How do you evaluate something like this? How do I know if people are praying if they aren’t signing up to pray at a certain time or coming to a prayer meeting? As a leader, I would want to make sure we are effectively encouraging people to have active prayer lives.

The evaluation of a congregation’s prayer life in my view is actually quite simple. Are lives being changed? Are church members sharing their faith regularly? Does God appear to be working through your congregation? If you can answer those questions affirmatively, my suspicion is your congregation has a healthy prayer life. They are sensing God calling them to do certain things, and they are following through.

Do we have it upside down?

April 8, 2009

Yesterday Rand linked to a blog post from Ed Stetzer where Ed noted what pastors believe to be the most important ministries of their churches. Ed’s findings weren’t groundbreaking — children’s ministry, evangelism, Sunday School are considered the most important. And there’s no doubt that those things are important to expanding God’s kingdom.

But as I read the findings, I felt years of teaching well up inside me. Is it possible that we have things upside down?

Years of Sunday School teachers and numerous sermons have taught me that prayer lays the groundwork for all ministry. If that’s true, then why do only 5 percent of the pastors surveyed list prayer groups and ministries as the most ministry in their churches? Through prayer, we learn the heart of God and how He wants us to follow Him in expanding His kingdom. Prayer provides the conduit of God’s strength that magnifies all ministry.

Now I’m not suggesting Baptists need to stop all these other things to do prayer. That would be ridiculous. For years, Baptists have had powerful outreach efforts, evangelism intiatives and children’s ministries. Many people have come to know the Lord through these ministries. Lives have been changed. I just wonder how much more effective these efforts would have been had they been thoroughly undergirded by prayer. Is it too much to think the results would have gone from wonderful to amazing?

Is it too much to think my personal efforts to minister to others would be more effective if I prayed more faithfully?

What do you think? Since Rand posted the link, this has gotten under my skin a bit. In the next few days, I want to dwell here for a while. Next, we’ll talk about what I think an effective prayer ministry might look like. I’m by no means an expert, but I am one who is willing to think out loud and listen to the perspectives of others.

PRAY: Go Now Missions Discovery Weekend

January 29, 2009

I’m a little behind on getting through some of my emails, but got to this one today from Brenda Sanders. What a priviledge we have to pray for the Texas Baptist students that will be a part of Go Now this year.

One of my favorite times of year here at the BGCT is when the Go Now poster comes out with all of the faces of the students serving for that year.

We have a chance to pray for the students that will be on that poster this year. Here are the details.

Discovery Weekend for Go Now Missions student applicants is a month away!

In just a few weeks, hundreds of university students from across Texas will interview to be student missionaries through Go Now Missions. These interviews will take place during Discovery Weekend, February 20 & 21, at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene and at First Baptist Church in Bryan.

From Jan. 25-Feb. 25 we invite you to pray along with us as we pray for all of the details for Discovery Weekend and for each place we will send students. Click on the link below to get the prayer calendar. Please feel free to copy it and share with your church, BSM, family and friends.

Click here to view the Prayer Calendar.

If you are interested in being a part of the 24 Hour Prayer Chain during Discovery Weekend, please click here to sign up.  This will be updated at least once a day as people sign up to pray. We will also send you more information on the schedule of Discovery Weekend so you may be able to pray in specific ways.

1 Corinthians 2 : 1 – 5 says, “When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with eloquence or superior wisdom as proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” Now is the time to pray for students to go, knowing nothing but Christ!

Praying with you,
Brenda Sanders
Student Missions Consultant

P.S. It is not too late to apply! Application deadline is February 4, 2009. Go to www.GoNowMissions.com for more information.

Praying for the lost and the hungry

October 20, 2008

In order to share the gospel and reach each person in Texas, Christians must be praying for the people around them. Jane Wilson, who co-chairs the Texas Hope 2010 prayer team, says it excellently when she describes the relationship between prayer and evangelism:

“We learn from Scripture that apart from vital union with Christ we can do nothing of eternal significance. Great movements of God are always the result of individuals, churches and cities being saturated with prayer. Texas will know Christ when Texans seek His face.”

To undergird Texas Hope 2010, an initiative to share the gospel with every non-Christian in the state by Easter 2010, the Baptist General Convention of Texas is attempt to recruit at least 100,000 people who will pray daily at noon for the hungry and the lost in the state.

To join the prayer team, visit www.texashope2010.com/prayer. Together, we can reach the state for Christ, according to Gus Reyes, the other co-chair of the Texas Hope 2010 prayer team.

“We are attempting to rally 100,000 people to pray every day at noon for the lost and the hungry. Scripture teaches that prayer lays the foundation for evangelism. It opens avenues for us as believers to boldly share our faith. By pulling together Christians across the state in prayer, we hope to lay the groundwork for revival in the state by Easter 2010.”


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.