By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
SHREVEPORT – Nearly 600 members of the Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association’s 118 churches closed out the month of January by coming together to seek God during the local fellowship’s fourth annual “Call to Prayer.”
Much like the association’s other Calls to Prayer, Moore said the gathering, Jan. 27, brought together Christians of various ages and ethnicities to pray for law enforcement, the persecuted church, missionaries serving around the world, pastors and other church leaders.
The 2019 event at Broadmoor Baptist Church, Shreveport, was marked by prayer from the worship center stage, in small groups around the room, and by individuals even in the hallways outside, he described, adding that in the end, participants uniformly described a movement of the Holy Spirit in that place for revival were lifted up.
Shaun Armstrong urged others to come before God with broken hearts and turn from their sins. He said repentance is essential for salvation.
“Repentance is not a one-time act that occurs at the moment of your salvation never to be repeated again, but rather repentance is a way of life for somebody who truly knows God through Jesus Christ,” said Armstrong, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Bossier City. “Just as salvation must be on God’s terms, so too must worship be on God’s terms. And in order to worship God on his terms you must worship God with a repentant heart, with a broken heart.”
Armstrong said once a person repents, he or she will recognize sin is offensive to God and a rebellion against Him.
“Repentance is coming to see your sin as God sees you sin, as an evil and wretched thing,” he said. “Repentance is to mourn over your sin.”
He emphasized for true repentance to happen, a divorce between the sinner and sin must occur.
“Do you hate your sin,” he said. “Do you mourn over your sin?
“As Christians we hate what God hates and we love what God loves,” he said. “And God hates sin and he loves righteousness.”
NEED FOR CAPTIVATION
Tracy Graham said a main need of churches today is to be captivated by the glory of God.
Referencing Romans 1:24, Graham said Paul explains sin has a deep root problem that turns them away from experiencing God’s power.
He said many times God gives Christians great gifts to enjoy, but they turn those gifts into false gods.
“We fail to recognize the glory of the God who gave them to us and we pervert those gifts into our gods and we worship them,” he said. “And they never satisfy. And they leave us longing and wanting for more. And so we are enslaved by our false gods. And we bite and we devour because we cannot have satisfaction in those lesser gods. The things of this world will never satisfy.
“We must be captivated once again by our greatest need and that is our eyes being open to see and behold the glory of God,” he said. “We should be captivated by the God who has given us these gifts.”
ON FIRE FOR GOD
Brad Jurkovich, pastor of First Bossier, told the crowd he has seen God turn destruction into hearts on fire for Him. Since a December fire destroyed 75 percent of its facilities, First Bossier has seen God move in mighty ways through his members, Jurkovich noted.
He said God can move, and calls His people to seek Him through prayer and revival. Jurkovich said Christ-followers in America face a culture challenge where Satan is making an impact.
“We need God to move in a powerful way,” he said. “If we want to see God move in a mighty way in the hearts of our people, through America, throughout cities of America, then we must be passionate to see God move through our hearts tonight, in our churches tonight, in our cities tonight.”
Jurkovich challenged the crowd to pray for America and leaders in a time when this country needs a mighty movement of God.
“We ought to ask God to move in our hearts and in our region,” he said. “We need God to move in the hearts of our churches and pastors.
“God is calling his people to believe him in prayer, believe him in faith, to see His spirit burn in their hearts, and transform the culture around them,” he said. “God has called His people to believe Him again, to trust Him again, to turn from their wicked ways, and to do something fresh in their lives. When we do that, America will not be the same.”
NEED FOR PRAYER
Daniel Hernandez, Hispanic minister at Broadmoor Baptist Church, Shreveport, cautioned the crowd not to fall into the trap of a prayer of repetition but one that cries out to God that His will be done.
“The Lord Jesus Christ calls us to seek first His kingdom and not just look at things that are just temporal,” Hernandez said. “But many times when we pray, we are praying according to our own kingdom, about temporal things. We are looking at our own kingdoms. We want our will to be done instead of God’s will. If we are about to pray for the kingdom of God to come, we need to remember the kingdom of God is everywhere people are willing to submit to His authority.”
He said seeking God is not just a suggestion but a commandment.
“It should be a deepest desire that you long for,” he said. “We live in a country that is focused on materialism. We are focused on things of this earth.
“If we are going to continue praying, seeking the kingdom of God, we need to know what are God’s interests,” he said. “As we pray, seeking for the kingdom of God, we need to believe for the kingdom of God to come into our hearts of the people we need the work that comes from above.
“As children of God and members of his kingdom, let us stop pursuing our own agenda and start looking at God’s agenda,” he said. “Let us join our hearts and voices to seek God’s kingdom, praying for His will to be done in our individual lives and also in our churches.”