Please pray for our convention
October 25 2002 by Jim Royston , BSC Executive Director-treasurer

Please pray for our convention | Friday, Oct. 25, 2002

Friday, Oct. 25, 2002

Please pray for our convention

By Jim Royston BSC Executive Director-treasurer

There has probably never been a more "prayed for" Baptist State Convention meeting than the one scheduled this month in Winston-Salem. Our convention program committee developed the "40 Days of Prayer" emphasis, which was printed in the Sept. 28th Biblical Recorder and listed on our Web site. Bob Lowman, director of the Metrolina Prayer Network in Charlotte, has written a special prayer guide, which will be included in every messenger packet at the annual meeting. In addition, we have prayed specifically for the annual convention during many of our other regular meetings throughout the year.

Prayer, in my opinion, is probably one of the most talked-about, but least practiced, of all the gifts we possess as Christians. Too often, we "use" prayer as a last-ditch effort to change the outcome of something critical in our lives. Our most fervent prayers, for example, are reserved for those who are terminally ill, recently bereaved, unemployed or facing other major catastrophies of life. Although we generally sprinkle our prayers with statements of praise and adoration, most of our prayers dwell primarily on crisis needs rather than personal renewal.

So, when I ask you to pray earnestly for our Baptist State Convention meeting this month, I have no specific issue in mind. Actually, I'm asking you to be in a "spirit of prayer" as we come together to discuss the challenges and opportunities that face our convention in the months and years ahead. I'm asking you to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17) and "always to pray" (Luke 18:1).

One of the best definitions of this understanding of prayer comes from Gene Garrison in a message he gave recently to our Baptist Building staff. He defined prayer as an act of submission by which God is allowed and invited to become active in accomplishing His will through our lives. Prayer is all about seeking God's will (Matt. 6:10) - nothing more, nothing less. Too often our prayers simply ask God to "add His blessing" to our planned programs and ministries.

I am not sure how many of us pray seeking God's will as our primary focus. Many people who come to our convention have a very clear and definite idea about what ought to happen. We all come with our priorities and agenda more than with an open mind and heart truly seeking the leadership of our Lord. We are much better at voicing our concerns than inviting God into our lives.

Prayer is serious business. Too often, prayer is used something like bookends, a way to begin and end a meeting (invocation and benediction), rather than literally undergirding the entire proceedings. Or sometimes, we use prayer to help us get over an impasse or avoid an unpleasant discussion. We only "seek the mind of God" when we cannot seem to agree within our own minds.

I'm praying for God's will, not my will or your will, to be done at our state convention this month. I'm praying for everyone to come with open minds and open hearts, truly seeking God's guidance, because what we try to do together is simply too important to follow any other path.

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10/25/2002 12:00:00 AM by Jim Royston , BSC Executive Director-treasurer | with 0 comments
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