African American Southern Baptists Keep the Focus on Prayer at 2015 Black Church Leadership & Family Conference

2015 Black Church Leadership & Family Conference

A God-initiated prayer movement among Southern Baptists spurred a major focus on prayer at Black Church Leadership & Family Conference July 20-24 in Ridgecrest, N.C., prayer mobilizer Gary Frost told Baptist Press.

Frost, North American Mission Board vice president for the Midwest Region and Prayer, led conference organizers to devote to prayer the July 28 conference-wide Bible study, including corporate, small-group and altar prayers among the 600 gathered at 11 a.m. in Spilman Auditorium.

Recognizing the focus on prayer and spiritual awakening by Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd since his 2014 election, Frost noted revival is not about the work of any one individual.

“The history of revival is when you attach it to a person, it can begin to fizzle,” Frost said. “It’s like a spontaneous movement and it uses various leaders at different times. And so we want to make sure we keep Christ as our focal point and no individual’s revival.”

The service was based on the prayer of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, and included teachings from Nehemiah 1, Psalm 51, Ephesians 1 and Romans 12.

“When the Moabites, the Ammonites (and) Mount Seir were coming against the children of Israel, [Jehoshaphat] didn’t try to figure out a strategy; he didn’t try to get resources, he simply acknowledged the reality, ‘Lord we don’t know what to do. Our eyes are on you,'” Frost told Baptist Press in explaining the prayer emphasis. “And right now, many times in denominational life when things become difficult, or as the world gets darker, we think we need more strategies, more money or whatever. And God uses strategies or money, but we need to know what God wants us to do. We have to stop acting as if we have the answers.”

Corporate prayer leaders during the service were K. Marshall Williams, president of the National African American Fellowship of the SBC; James McCarroll, pastor of First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Rickie Bradshaw, pastor of First Southwest Baptist Church in Houston,; and Kim Hardy, an author, teacher and wife of Dexter Hardy, teaching pastor of LifePoint@Eastside, a mission of Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga.

The leaders directed worshippers into groups of three or four each for audible prayers, drew them to the altar, and also offered Scriptural insight.

“The Bible says we wrestle not against flesh and blood,” Williams told worshippers. “It’s not moral combat, it’s spiritual wickedness in high places. We want to pray, ‘Lord, show us the condition of the walls [Nehemiah 1] today and Lord show what would Thou have us to do, that we might be sensitive to the needs of others, that we might look beyond others’ faults and see the need, that we might love the sinner but hate the sin.'”

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Diana Chandler


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