By Baptist Message staff
SHREVEPORT, La. (LBM) – More than 250 members of the Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association’s churches came together to cry out to God to bring revival during the fellowship’s 7th annual “Call to Prayer.”
Hosted by Woodridge Baptist Church, Shreveport, the Jan. 30 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.
As in previous gatherings, this event was marked by prayer in multiple formats: 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.
Thirty pastors either shared a message or prayed for a variety of needs. The event also included a special designed time of prayer for area schools, teachers and students. The “Dads On Duty” from Southwood High School in Shreveport were present for a time of corporate prayer. These men recently were featured in national news reports for their efforts to have a strong male presence through daily visits to the school as a means to curb violence.
Lane Moore, NLBA director of missions, reminded the crowd of the need for revival.
“Revival either prepares us for the hope of the future of what God’s going to do or it may sometimes prepare us for the tribulation that may be coming our way,” he said. “I’m sure many think that they would like to see a revival but I’m not sure all of us would like to know that we’ve got to go through what we’re going to go through if revival happens. Many times revival will upend what God is going to do through us.”
PREPARE OUR HEARTS
Chuck McInturf, pastor of Woodridge Baptist, reminded the crowd that from biblical times until the present God longs for His children to abide in Him. Drawing from Psalm 22:3, McInturf said that “abiding in Him” starts with each believer preparing his or her own heart.
“God’s presence is the best when we are most focused upon him,” McInturf said. “Let’s tonight remember we have a God who wants to be with us. And we want to be with Him.”
PREPARE OUR CHURCHES
Thomas Myles, pastor of New Birth Baptist Church, Shreveport, encouraged unity among believers who are part of the Church.
“God is in the building business,” said Myles, drawing from 1 Corinthians 3:16. “He’s not concerned about specific architectural styles or floor plans, but rather He is concerned about constructing great things in His people and building great things by His people.
“God’s church, His temple, is not a building or a movement or an organization,” he continued. “It is the sum-total of all believers and what we call Church is a local expression of the greater reality. True followers of Jesus Christ together are the Church, God’s temple and His temple is holy. We are God’s temple, His sanctuary and the Spirit of the living God has His permanent dwelling in us.”
TO ENGAGE THE CULTURE
Heath Peloquin, pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church, Shreveport, said Christ followers should follow the example of Paul and Barnabas who, in Acts 14, effectively engaged the culture.
Doing so requires boldness, fleeing from sin and sharing the Gospel, he said.
“The Church of Jesus Christ exists today to engage the culture by preaching the Gospel,” said Peloquin. “We have no other news but Jesus Christ crucified and risen again. And He is alive. And we need to live in such a way where they know who He is.”
TO MINISTER TO THE BROKEN
Dennis Sims, pastor of Ellerbe Road Baptist Church, Shreveport, speaking from Luke 4:18-21, asked the crowd to be more aware about those who are hurting in their communities.
“There are a lot of problems and we can make them so much more complex than sometimes they really are … because Jesus says the Gospel, simple kindness, acts of love, sacrifice, justice and compassion, they’re really not that complicated,” he said. “It’s just that we have to have that burden. We have to have that vision. And we have to have that strength that the Lord God almighty has for the hurting, the oppressed, those that are in difficult and hopeless situations. May God prepare our hearts to minister to the hurting.”