Do our churches and the Southern Baptist Convention talk more about evangelism and prayer than practice evangelism and prayer? Our annual statistics show this is definitely true about evangelism. Yet, prayer itself does not have the same type of visible scoreboard of evaluation as evangelism.
The Bible says this about Jesus Christ: “… He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.” (Matthew 14:23) If Jesus Himself sensed the deep need to pray and fellowship with God, how much more we need to pray!
A nod or a necessity
Our churches and Southern Baptist Convention give an acknowledging nod regarding prayer. It is rare to see a meeting begin without a brief prayer. We believe in it, yet our convictions regarding prayer seem to deepen in actual priority and practice only when the diagnosis is bad, the problem is overwhelming, or the crisis seems to lead to great loss.
Prayer deserves much more than a simple nod because prayer is an absolute necessity. Not just in our personal lives and church worship services, but also in our Southern Baptist Convention. The greatest action we can take is to pray.
Prayer does not eliminate other actions. If a person needs a job, we do not simply pray for a job, we also take the action of trying to find a job. But prayer must become a matter of priority and prominence in your life, your church and in our Southern Baptist Convention.
Bringing prayer back into our churches and our Southern Baptist Convention
Christians want prayer back in the schools; however, we ought to first bring prayer back into the worship services of our churches and into our Southern Baptist Convention! Most churches spend more time promoting the ministries of the church than praying in their worship services. Many Baptist gatherings I have been involved in follow this same pattern. It injects a sense of “let’s move on to more important things” rather than taking prayer seriously like it is the necessary air we breathe in order to live and thrive.
Yet, Jesus wants His church to be a house of prayer for all the nations! When is the last time you experienced an entire Sunday morning worship service dedicated to prayer? Has this ever occurred? Has prayer received more than a small focus in any worship service you have attended recently?
If not, why? If we are not filling God’s churches with passionate prayers that are focused with purpose, what are we filling our worship services with? Could it be that we are not seeing that our greatest need is for the power of God to intervene in our lives, our church, our convention and our nation? Could it be that we do not connect the deep need for prayer with the church’s greatest mission — to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the nations?
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SOURCE: Baptist Press