MBC in search of 10,000 prayer ‘warriors’
By Allen Palmeri
October 26, 2004
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) State Evangelism Director Bob Caldwell has his eye on one number as he thinks about 2005: 10,000.
Caldwell is issuing a call for 10,000 Missouri Baptists to pray daily for revival, spiritual awakening and 26,000 baptisms in 2005.
“There’s never been a great evangelistic movement that was not preceded by a great prayer movement,” Caldwell said.
Prayer is needed for Missouri Baptists to make progress in evangelism, Caldwell said. The last recorded annual total of baptisms in Missouri Baptist life was 13,000 in 2003. For that to double, Christians must be desperate about revival, Caldwell said.
“Revival is all about, of course, the sovereignty of God, but it’s also God’s people getting right with God,” he added.
From a starting point of pastors approaching people to ask them to pray so that “we’ll have a higher proficiency rate as far as people who will actually do it,” Caldwell is asking that each church appoint one person as prayer coordinator so that an email database can be built in the state evangelism office.
“I’d love to see a list of 2,000 people who are each responsible for themselves and four others, so whenever we wanted to have a special prayer request made, we’d write up a short email and push a button to have it go to those coordinators,” he said.
Once the church is revived, preparations can begin for the lost to come to Christ, Caldwell said. Missouri Baptists need to raise the sails so that when the wind (Holy Spirit) comes, the believers are ready to move, he said. This would be the time when thousands of Missourians would convert.
“They’re dead spiritually,” Caldwell said. “They wake up because the Holy Spirit draws their heart. That’s where we’ll see the harvest begin.”
Trusting the Lord for 26,000 baptisms in 2005 is Caldwell’s attempt “to walk hand in hand” with the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) goal of 1 million baptisms that is being promoted by SBC President Bobby Welch, pastor, First Baptist Church, Daytona Beach, Fla., and other SBC leaders.
“If we have revival and spiritual awakening, we’ll blow 26,000 souls being baptized out of the water,” Caldwell said. “But still, I feel like we need to have a number out there, and if God wants to by far exceed that, we’ll take it.”
Caldwell is promoting the idea of a 24-hour prayer vigil in the spring. For at least two nights in 2005, the first one being in April, he would like to see an organized, focused time of prayer in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals around the clock.
“I think it would be great if we had hundreds of our churches across the state, all going for 24 hours, on the same night all night long, having a prayer meeting in their place of worship,” he said.