HOUSTON – Texas Hope 2010 is possible, but not without God’s people spending ample time on their knees, said Paul Powell, dean emeritus of George W. Truett Seminary in Waco, during a workshop at the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.
Texas Baptists are focused on Texas Hope 2010, an effort to share the hope of Christ with every Texan by Easter 2010 through praying for the lost, caring for the hurting and hungry and sharing the gospel in ways and languages where all Texans can relate and respond.
“There never comes a great awakening or spiritual revival unless people hunger for more,” he said. “And that desire will soon concentrate itself in prayer. Out of dissatisfaction, we will be driven to our knees. And we will never be able to do Texas Hope 2010 unless we are on our knees.”
He called Texas Baptists to action, saying they must pray, step out of the church walls and be active in sharing their faith.
“The time is upon us that we need to get serious with sharing the gospel with everybody before Easter,” Powell said. “And there are ways of doing that, but prayer is basic, fundamental to all we do.”
As Powell stressed the importance of prayer being the basis of everything done by believers, he mentioned that great leaders of faith like John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, Charles G. Finney, D.L. Moody, and Charles Spurgeon all began their ministries of seeing thousands come to Christ on their knees.
“These men were able to make a difference because they had a salvation experience with God, believed the Bible, had a passion for souls and were a people of prayer,” he said.
Not only do individuals need to embrace a higher level of prayer like these great leaders but churches need to as well.
“The prayer meetings are the Cinderella of the church – unloved and un-wooed by the church,” Powell said. “It is very difficult to get people to pray today. And when we do pray, we usually only pray for sick people. When was the last time that you were in a prayer meeting where you earnestly prayed for lost people?”
As people begin to pray, many make a mistake just praying for people to find Christ, Powell said. Prayers need to include so much more.
“We don’t need to pray for the average Joe and Mary to be saved,” Powell said. “What we need to pray is for God to open a door of opportunity for you to share with Joe or Mary. Then when that door is open, pray that you will have the courage to share with Joe or Mary and that their hearts will be receptive.”
Pray that makes a difference is consistent, not only the basis of ministry but the activity that guides personal life.
“You will do well to make prayer the first thing you do every day,” he said. “You don’t ever forget to brush your teeth or comb your hair or dress or eat. Well, don’t forget to pray and make it the first thing you do every day. And that is the way we will reach Texas for Christ.”
By Kaitlin Chapman, Texas Hope Communications