Southern Baptists will meet in Phoenix for the 2017 annual convention on June 13-14. A citywide evangelistic outreach known as Crossover is organized every year before the convention. This year, on Sunday night, June 11, evangelist Greg Laurie with Harvest America will be preaching the Gospel at the University of Phoenix Stadium, the home of the Arizona Cardinals football team.
Crossover Arizona is a wonderful opportunity, even now, for us to begin praying for the thousands of people who will gather to hear the life-transforming message of Christ in Phoenix and streamed around the world. Our prayers along with the proclamation of the Gospel have tremendous power to advance God’s Kingdom.
It has been said that prayer without evangelism lends itself to mysticism, and evangelism without prayer lends itself to presumption. Prayer without Gospel proclamation and Gospel proclamation without prayer is akin to a boxer trying to fight with one hand tied behind his back. Two hands working in harmony are so much more effective.
Prayer by itself packs a powerful punch. The Gospel by itself is powerful as well. But God desires these two spiritual weapons to function simultaneously. Prayer and Gospel proclamation unleashed together on the battlefield for men’s souls is a divinely volatile mix, capable of “demolishing arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
I had the privilege of witnessing the one-two punch of prayer and the Gospel in Argentina during a weeklong evangelistic campaign. The evangelist preached on an elevated platform, about 10 feet high. This made the preacher more visible to the vast crowd. But there was a more important reason for the elevated platform. Underneath, more than 100 intercessors were raising their voices to God.
Well before the first worship song, and all the way through to the altar call, we prayed for the salvation of those who heard the message. We were invisible to the crowd but very visible to God. I’ll never forget the palpable presence of God under that platform and in the lives of those who responded to the Gospel — many hundreds gave their lives to Christ.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Ralph Tone, online at http://www.ralphtone.com, is a writer and former missionary living in Phoenix.