Every church praying for lost people
GPS (God’s Plan for Sharing) is clearly a rallying cry that strikes a chord at the very heartbeat of who we are as Christians. Rooted in Scripture and forged on the anvil of commitment, the witness of scores of generations has become the benchmark for reaching the world for Christ. With it we embody the essence of Jesus who became for us not only a living sacrifice for sin, but also a living example of fleshing out God’s Plan for Sharing.
The writer of Hebrews draws us to this reality by saying, “. . . let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith . . .” (Heb. 12:1-2). Just as the Living Word became flesh for us, so too must we become living examples of God’s Word fleshed out for all the world to see.
Careful study of Christ’s life finds he made no wasted steps because he understood and remained in the will of the Father. The miracles he performed and the messages he preached were all a direct result of God’s power to transform lives, and every chapter of Christ’s life was prefaced by one unchanging and unchallenged element – prayer.
As GPS finds its way into the hearts of Alabama Baptists, the will of God will afford us the blessing of God and our journey will certainly realize A Decade to Make a Difference.
This journey of faith begins with the first step, prayer.
Prayer is the foundation and continuous undergirding for a successful missional strategy to reach our world. Without a lifestyle of prayer, our influence becomes limited to a style of life bound by human reason and void of divine resource.
It is a call for a spiritual awakening and a great movement of God among Alabama Baptists – a call for every church to pray for our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.
The Bible reminds us of three important reasons the call to pray must be answered:
1. Preparation Through Prayer
R.A. Torrey wrote, “Prayer is the quintessential ingredient in every Christian’s life.” Regular conversation with God nurtures and develops a personal relationship paramount to fulfilling the Great Commission. It prepares us to be on mission and, without prayer, our lives are devoid of the fruit of effective ministry.
C.H. Spurgeon admonishes us to this day with a powerful message not to neglect the fundamental element of prayer: “. . . The soul-winner must be a master of the art of prayer. You cannot bring souls to God if you go not to God yourself.” He goes on to say, “If you are much alone with Jesus, you will catch His Spirit; you will be fired with the flame that burned His breast, and consumed His life.” Prayer develops our potential and prepares us to prevail in the fight for hope.
• Promote personal holiness and preparation for prayer
• Encourage churches associations to appoint prayer coordinators
• Provide training in prayer
• Suggest resources for training and Bible studies about prayer
• Use technology for communication and to provide training/resources
2. Perception Through Prayer
Christians will only realize the will of God through careful examination of personal priorities and objectives. If our Savior’s objective was to “seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), then it follows that our passion should likewise be the same. Prayer penetrates the cloud of sinful human nature allowing us a clearer perspective of the need our world has for salvation. Prayer enables us to see the world through the eyes of Jesus.
• Conduct awareness events
• Conduct vision tours
• Provide demographic studies demonstrating lostness
• Highlight prayer needs at regularly scheduled events
• Use the Missionary Prayer Calendar in Missions Mosaic
• Use technology to highlight needs; i.e. free video downloads from IMB
3. Participation Through Prayer
Oswald Chambers wrote, “The reason prayer is so important is, first of all, because our Lord told us that prayer on the ground of His redemption is the most mighty factor He has put into our hands. Second, it is important because of the personal presence of the Holy Spirit in the day in which we live. . . God grant us that we may work His victories for Him by taking His way about it.” Jesus Himself said, “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth laborers into his harvest.” (Matt. 9:38)
Praying, engaging, sowing, going and harvesting will bring to fruition God’s Plan for Sharing. A lifestyle of prayer allows us the privilege to know the will of God, through the Word of God to advance in the way of God to the glory of Christ our Savior. It is exciting to consider the difference a decade will make through GPS and that the difference will be in you.
• Conduct prayer walks
• Conduct prayer events
• Establish church and associational prayer ministries
• Model healthy, Biblical prayer at regularly scheduled events
• Highlight prayer testimonies
• Use technology to share needs and requests