If you were unable to participate in our Annual Meeting last week, I want to make sure you know what took place. There were resolutions, reports, budgets, videos and votes. We experienced powerful times of preaching and singing and celebrating—all of it was important. But there are two aspects in particular I want to make sure you know.
First, on Tuesday evening, Oklahoma Baptists participated in a one-of-a-kind International Mission Board (IMB) Sending Celebration, in which we saw 29 people follow God’s call into international missions. Numbered among these were nine from Oklahoma, who will take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.
At the Sending Celebration, we were honored to host IMB President Paul Chitwood, who called Oklahoma Baptists a leading state convention among Southern Baptists in terms of our going and sending toward international missions. As Oklahoma Baptists took part in this significant time, we committed to send even more missionaries—20 percent more by the year 2025—to the field. With God’s help and with your prayers and focus, we will see even more laborers sent into the harvest.
Next, I want you to know we prayed together. On Monday evening of our Annual Meeting, I voiced a prayer based on the model of Jehoshaphat’s prayer in 2 Chronicles 20. We used this prayer to begin an extended time of corporate prayer where Oklahoma Baptists from all across our state gathered in one place standing, sitting and kneeling with eyes turned toward the Father.
Below is what I prayed. Please use this prayer as a guide when you pray for Oklahoma Baptists:
O LORD God, our Father, we bow before You, approaching Your holy presence at the prompting of Your Spirit and in the Name of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are You not the Eternal One, the Almighty King? No one can stand against You. You have all authority, Yours is the Kingdom and the power, the dominion forever and ever.
Did You not create us for Yourself? Have You not redeemed us as Your own? We are Your people, purchased with the precious blood of Your Son, our Savior, Jesus. Each church represented here tonight is Your beloved—the Bride and the Body of Christ. It is Your redemptive purpose to be glorified in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and in this generation. It is Your good pleasure to use the church to make disciples of all nations so that men and women from every tribe and tongue and nation will gather around Your throne.
But now, O Father, we are confronted by an enemy greater than all our plans and powers. We are in the midst of a battle beyond us; a battle that is not ultimately cultural, political, moral or practical, but spiritual. The enemy is destroying us from within with compromise, dissention, hypocrisy, distraction and apathy. He has sown seeds of racism, materialism and legalism. Oh Lord, we wrestle not with flesh and blood, and all our striving is but losing.
Father, will You not revive us again? Will You please intervene on our behalf as we humble ourselves before You? O Lord save us! Turn Your churches around—bring us a renewed purity, unity and vitality so that Your Gospel might advance through us and the Name of Jesus be glorified.
Father, here we stand vulnerable, exposed, weak and desperate. We have no power, nor do we know what to do, but, our eyes are on YOU!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.