Author says Christians need to find God's agenda
March 29 2001 by Bill Boatwright , BSC Communications

Author says Christians need to find God's agenda | Friday, March 30, 2001

Friday, March 30, 2001

Author says Christians need to find God's agenda

By Bill Boatwright BSC Communications CHARLOTTE - Christians need to find God's agenda rather than asking God to bless their agenda, a popular author told more than 1,000 people attending a semi-annual conference on prayer. Henry Blackaby, author of the Experiencing God materials and former staff member of the North America Mission Board (NAMB) and LifeWay Christian Resources, was the featured speaker at the conference March 16-17. The event at Carmel Baptist Church near Charlotte was co-sponsored by the Baptist State Convention and NAMB.

More than 1,000 people crowded into the church to learn more about deepening their personal prayer life and to hear practical suggestions on expanding and improving the prayer ministry of their congregations. The mostly young adult to middle-aged participants, about equally divided between men and women, came primarily from churches in the Charlotte area including several non-Baptist congregations.

The focus of the weekend was to challenge participants to see prayer from a fresh perspective, moving away from praying only out of their circumstances and feelings.

"Prayer must begin with the awareness of the heart of God," Blackaby said in one of his messages. "Too often, our prayers are strictly self-centered rather than God-centered. We need to find God's agenda and proceed, not ask God to bless our agenda."

In addition to the two general sessions lead by Blackaby, conference participants selected from 20 small groups with such topics as teaching children to pray and equipping every church member to share Jesus with every person in the community. Several of the small groups overflowed into the hallways with standing room only.

One series of small group conferences - "Taking Prayer to the Streets," an expansion of the idea of prayer walking - was offered in six different languages: Spanish, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and English.

Topics in each language-group included how to involve believers in on-site prayer through field and support teams and implementing the program into a church's overall prayer ministry.

Other small group topics included mobilizing young people to pray, prayer and spiritual warfare, prayer and holiness, prayer in the African-American congregation, and managing time to pray.

Each general session featured special music led by Ron and Patricia Owens of NAMB. Chris Schofield, manager of NAMB's prayer evangelism unit, led the March 17 morning meeting with a "pray-through" of the Lord's Prayer, where those attending divided into smaller groups to pray together as the leader walked them through the various elements of the prayer.

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3/29/2001 11:00:00 PM by Bill Boatwright , BSC Communications | with 0 comments
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