Prayer is news at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Indianapolis.
INDIANAPOLIS (BP) – Prayer is news at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Indianapolis.
A chaplains’ luncheon and a Missional Network discussion also may yield a few lines of ink.
This year’s prayer emphasis at the Southern Baptist Convention has been boosted by the efforts of Indianapolis-area pastors who have caught a vision of what can happen when people spend more time praying.
At last year’s meeting of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, a first-of-its-kind prayer room featured videos, maps and other visual aids along with Bible verses, specific requests and journals to facilitate prayer. The room was filled throughout the annual meeting, and the results were overwhelming, Dale Eakes, this year’s SBC prayer team coordinator, told Baptist Press.
“Churches are discovering more creative and innovative ways to incorporate prayer into their congregations,” said Eakes, pastor of Warren Baptist Church in Indianapolis. “A local pastor shared with me that his church knew what worship was and that they were good at it, but prayer was not something practiced very much together.
“He has changed his services so that now instead of worshipping 95 percent and praying only 5 percent or less, they have sought to include prayer in at least 50 percent of their service. The results: New converts and a greater sense of the need to do something great in the name of Jesus is sweeping over the congregation,” Eakes added.
Indianapolis churches are realizing a passion for church planting and evangelism on a level that has not been seen in a long time, the prayer coordinator said.
“The great part is that the leaders of these ministries are local pastors who understand the need for prayer and have taken that passion to their local churches,” Eakes said. “The local association is on fire to see something great happen in the name and grace of Jesus.”
At the SBC annual meeting, messengers are urged to pray throughout the hall during the hour preceding each session, and they’re asked to visit the prayer room to ask God to direct the decisions being made during the proceedings.
“The prayer room at the SBC is a national ministry, but it will be driven by the passion of the local prayer warriors,” Eakes said.