JEFFERSON CITY – As autumn leaves begin to fall, prayers continue to rise across Missouri.
Throughout 2017 and 2018, the Missouri Baptist Convention’s “Pray Across Missouri” initiative is challenging Missouri Baptist churches to cooperate not only in missional giving, but also in expectant prayer.
During this prayer initiative, MBC Executive Director John Yeats and other MBC representatives are joining Missouri Baptists on the steps of each county court house for prayer.
Most recently, stops included Clay, Ray, Jackson, Lawrence, Polk, Dallas, Morgan, Henry, Howard, Cooper, and Moniteau counties. Pray Across Missouri focuses on prayer for elected officials, the need for spiritual revival, and issues that impact overall community health.
At each stop, the local host for the county recognizes elected officials who are present, and Yeats gives a brief message imploring elected officials to exercise godly leadership. The service is based upon Psalm 1:1-2, which highlights the blessings bestowed upon those who walk in the ways of the Lord.
Wally Long, Pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, helped to organize the stop for Lawrence County. Although meeting times vary from county to county, Long was pleased that 20 people showed up at the 8AM event. Attendees included the county Sheriff and the local state representative.
“We had the opportunity to pray for God’s guidance and protection over the city and county leaders,” Long said.
“We prayed for the families of the officials, and we also prayed specifically for the children in the community who are hurting due to abuse or dysfunctional family situations.”
Pray Across Missouri comes at a time when cultural tensions are running high, yet Long sees it as an opportunity for the entire community to come together. While the movement is sponsored and led by the Missouri Baptist Convention, Long believes it can help believers cross denominational lines to pray for issues that affect Christians and non-Christians alike.
“This is not a Southern Baptist thing. It is a community thing. Believers, regardless of denominational affiliation, must band together in prayer for our communities,” he said.
“We can disagree on doctrinal issues, but we can all agree that people need to experience the love God.”
Long’s hope is that the event will spark a fire and encourage believers to continuously lift up the needs of the community in prayer.
“People are hurting and need our help. I pray that we would see a movement of God through his church to reach out to hurting families.”
Pray Across Missouri will continue to swing through the state through October and into early November. Over 30 counties remain on the docket. To view the remaining schedule, visit https://mobaptist.org.