By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
BLANCHARD, La. (LBM) – Nearly 400 members of the Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association’s 108 churches came together, Feb. 5, to cry out to God during the local fellowship’s eighth annual “Call to Prayer.”
Hosted by First Baptist Church, Blanchard, the gathering 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.
Just like the previous gatherings at NLBA churches, this event was marked by prayer from the worship center stage, in small groups around the room and by individuals who pleaded with God for revival in their community, state and nation.
URGENCY TO SEEK GOD
“We are in an uncertain hour all across this nation,” NLBA Director of Missions Lane Moore said in his opening remarks. “These last couple of years have been challenging in ministry. We are obviously living in a more wicked and fallen world every day. However, we also know from Scripture, that the Father has us in His hand. Let’s remind ourselves of that truth tonight.”
Clay Fuqua, pastor of FBC Blanchard, told the crowd to ask the Lord to search their hearts, as King David did in Psalm 139:23- 24. A spiritual cleansing will follow, he said.
“This could be your prayer for every day,” he said. “Search me, know me, look inside me. Search me introspectively.”
Mark Crook, pastor of Trees Baptist Church, Vivian, said Christ followers must stand strong. By doing so, they will experience His power.
Referencing Ephesians 6:10-13, Crook noted the importance of putting on the armor of God in the face of spiritual attacks.
“This is a spiritual warfare and the only agency on the face of the earth that is equipped to wage this spiritual war is the church,” he said. “We need a praying church. We need a Spirit-filled church, a soul-winning, disciple-making, sin-hating, Jesus-loving church. It’s time to take a stand. It’s time to be ‘the Church.’ It’s time to put on our armor, get out of the trenches, rush the gates of Hell, until we reach souls and pull them out of the fire.”
Brett Puckitt, pastor of First Baptist Church, Vivian, said courageous Christ-followers are needed in today’s culture.
Drawing from the books of Joshua and Acts, Puckitt cited Joshua and Caleb in the Old Testament and Peter and John in the New Testament as men who showed such courage.
“Courageous followers come from courageous leadership,” he said. “Our community is desperate for courageous leadership. Our churches are desperate for courageous leadership. Our state is desperate for courageous leadership. Our nation is desperate for courageous leadership. And courageous leadership comes from being with God and knowing that God is with you.”
Robert Green, pastor of Colquitt Baptist Church, Vivian, said Jesus can heal past hurts.
Much like He comforted the friends of Lazarus after his death in John 11, Jesus can do the same for others today, he said.
“The God that we serve, He’s ready to help us with our broken hearts and our problems,” he said. “Let God have that pain. Let him have your broken heart. He’s a heart fixer and He will fix your heart tonight if you will just let Him.”