MBC leader: Prayer key to evangelism
By Allen Palmeri
May 17, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Prayer is the key to everything that Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) State Evangelism Director Bob Caldwell is trying to accomplish through his office.
His goal is to see God raise up 10,000 Missouri Baptist prayer warriors who will daily intercede for revival, spiritual awakening and 26,000 baptisms in Missouri by the end of the year.
“If that doesn’t happen in the year 2005, we’re going to continue to pray for that,” Caldwell said.
“I believe that the foundation of everything that we do has to be prayer. I believe that we’ll never see the power of God move across this state until we have thousands of people praying, asking God to move. Prayer, first and foremost, sends personal revival to the person who is praying. You just can’t spend much time on your knees, alone with God, without God dealing with the stuff in your own life that you need to get right.”
The American church can learn a few things about prayer from God’s people on other continents, Caldwell said.
“In the Third World countries that my wife and I have had the privilege to serve in, we’ve found that they don’t have the hurdles to clear that we have,” he said. “They don’t have the ability to develop a program and finance it. They don’t have the ability to put a pencil to a piece of paper and figure out how they’re going to build the next building. Some people might go, ‘You call that a hindrance?’ Well, it really has become a hindrance in the United States.
“All those people have in Third World countries are their knees. That’s it. They just get on their faces before God and cry out, because they have nothing, and you know what? It’s working. We’ve gotten so used to the gift that God’s given us that we don’t depend upon Him anymore.”
Caldwell said the MBC evangelism department is not where it wants to be this year in terms of achieving its prayer goals.
“We do have a slow start on the prayer, as far as trying to watch God raise up 10,000 and having churches contact us, but I don’t want to put a negative spin on this, because I know there are a lot of churches out there praying that I’m not aware of,” he said.
Prayer vigils around the state are scheduled for October. Caldwell would like to see at least 200 Missouri Baptist churches participating.
“That’s approximately one out of every 10 of our Missouri Baptist churches praying in the same 24-hour prayer frame, asking God for revival and spiritual awakening in this state,” he said. “I believe it could strike a match that only God could strike.”