BALTIMORE, Md. – Southern Baptists must cry out to God in prayer as they seek revival in their churches and spiritual awakening across the nation, Pastor Eddie Bumpers of Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield said during a theme interpretation at the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) annual meeting in Baltimore, June 10.
Bumpers delivered the first of three interpretations based on the annual meeting’s theme, “Restoration and Revival through Prayer.” He said that most Southern Baptists recognize the need for a spiritual revival that will result in the increase of Christian love and fervent evangelism.
“We know this morning that we are living in a land that is sin sick, and we need spiritual healing,” Bumpers said. “And I hope that we all believe that God is able to restore and to revive. We stand in a time when I believe there is great opportunity to reach people for the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. So the question in my mind would be why we’re not seeing more accomplished. I think somehow we’ve allowed our flesh to convince us our plans, our programs, our buildings and our budgets can reach this generation for the gospel of Jesus Christ. And clearly they cannot. What we need today only God can do. We need revival.”
For this reason, Southern Baptists must “commit to the priority of prayer,” Bumpers said.
“The link between our weakness and God’s power is prayer,” he said. Citing stories that span the pages of Scripture, he reminded messengers that every great move of God is accompanied by the humble, earnest prayer of the righteous. Such prayer is a “privilege that is bought with the precious blood of Jesus,” and it comes with the promise that God will hear.
Bumpers concluded his message with a challenge from the late Adrian Rogers: “For many Christians, the greatest failure in their life is the failure to pray. There is no sin in your life that proper prayer cannot avoid. And there is no need in your life that proper prayer cannot supply. Nothing lies outside the reach of prayer, except what lies outside the will of God. What fools we are if we do not learn how to pray.”
During the Wednesday afternoon session of the 2014 SBC annual meeting, messengers elected Bumpers to preach the convention sermon during the 2015 annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Bumpers was nominated by Ron Crow, a member of the SBC committee on the order of business and pastor of First Baptist Church, Diamond.
The last Missourian to preach the convention sermon was Pastor John Marshall of Second Baptist, Springfield, during the 2009 annual meeting in Louisville, Ky.