By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor
ALEXANDRIA – Little is said about it, though those who happen to be in the Baptist Building Wednesday mornings are invited to participate in the staff’s weekly prayer gathering.
If he’s in town, Louisiana Baptist Convention’s Music Leadership Strategist Randy Turner starts the 9:30 a.m. prayertime with a song. One recent week it was He is Jehovah, followed by All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.
[img_assist|nid=6124|title=Randy Turner LBC Music Strategist|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=79|height=100]Each week, in rotation, a different strategist leads the prayertime, and prayertime it is.
One of the state’s vocational evangelists is named each week – and prayed for. This week it was Jack Daniels, since he was attending the prayertime. Maybe this indicates if you feel the need of prayer, come to the Baptist Building on Wednesday mornings!
One of the Baptist Associations in Louisiana is named – it, its director of missions, and each of its churches, missions and ministries is prayed for. This week it was Delta Baptist Association of 17 churches, which functions without a director of missions. Special prayer was given to First Baptist Vidalia, which is between pastors.
One of the state’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries is named – it, its director, the campus, students and BCM members are prayed for. This week it was the BCM at Louisiana College, where Brandon Robin is director. The LC BCM has a 25-member leadership team; about 100 students participate in BCM, out of the 1,000 or more undergraduate students on campus.
The LC BCM plans a mission trip to Turkey over Easter break.
Then, specific needs are lifted up by state staffers – personal as well as needs they have heard of from their interaction with Southern Baptists all across Louisiana – and prayed for.
[img_assist|nid=6125|title=Jack Daniels President LACOSBE|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=74]Evangelist Jack Daniels – he’s also president of LACOSBE, the Louisiana Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists – was in the congregation meeting in the Baptist Building’s Memorial Room. He was in the building to meet with LBC’s Media Production Strategist, Danny Nations, and was invited to the prayertime.
Invited also to say a few words, Daniels preached for perhaps three power-packed minutes from Matthew 21:13 and Isaiah 56:7.
“Jesus said, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’” Daniels preached. Not a house of preaching; not a house of praise; not a house of personalities; and not a house of problems, Daniels added concisely, with illustration and explanation of each point. “God, said, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer.’”
You have to wonder how much Daniels can pack into a full 20- or 30-minute message.
The devotional speaker of the day was Guidestone’s Mike Harris, a senior relationship manager with Guidestone Financial Resources, the Southern Baptist pension fund manager. He was in Louisiana for his annual visit to talk personally with people about their retirement accounts. If you missed him, call 888.984.8433 for a telephone conversation that will be nearly as good as an onsite one.
“There’s always a little devotional” at prayertime, said Jo Lynn Chesser, administrative assistant in the LBC Pastoral Leadership department; she schedules the prayertime gatherings.
“Usually the strategist leads it, but Stacey [Morgan] knew Mike [Harris] was a former pastor, so he asked him to speak this week.”
Pastors don’t have it easy, Harris said. They are responsible to God for the care they give to the people God loves. Because of their greater responsibility, church members should revere and respect the pastor God has sent them.
“The [church] leaders will be personally judged by God Himself for how they tried to lead the people to fulfill God’s unique plan for that local Body of Christ,” Harris said. “The people are responsible for making their leaders’ stewardship of God’s will a joy and not a sorrow.”
In a time-honored tradition, the prayertime closed with fellowship: biscuits hot from the oven, with a side of breakfast meat.
“Everyone is welcome,” Chesser said. “The more we pray together, the closer we draw to each other and to God.”