State Evangelism Conference must be covered in prayer
By Allen Palmeri
December 27, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – The first three weeks of 2006 will be a prayer emphasis for Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) State Evangelism Director Bob Caldwell as preparations continue for the Jan. 23-24 State Evangelism Conference at Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Springfield.
Caldwell said he would like this conference to be an extension of last year’s in that God would answer the prayers of His Missouri Baptist people.
“We felt like it was a definite movement of God last year,” he said. “We saw God’s power demonstrated, and the only thing that I can point back to is the amount of people that have been praying.”
Each Missouri Baptist pastor has received a packet containing six prayer cards for the State Evangelism Conference with six specific requests.
The first request is that God’s spirit will move at Ridgecrest.
“We also pray that God’s spirit would move upon people whenever they go home and still be impacting their lives six weeks later, six months later, and six years later,” Caldwell said.
Secondly, Caldwell is praying for people to receive a burden for the lost.
“The Bible says that they who sow tears reap joy,” he said. “I believe that we need to pray and ask God to place a burden.”
The third request is that all speakers and worship leaders would be “tapped into the role that the Holy Spirit wants them to play in this movement of God. It’s always incredible at the end of the conference to think back about what one speaker preached on, another preacher preached on, what the worship leader sang, and how God just tied it all together in this incredible, concise direction. We want to pray for them, that they’re clearly hearing from God.”
Revival and spiritual awakening are at the core of Caldwell’s prayer emphasis. The fourth request is for thousands to come to Christ across Missouri.
“The center of population of the United States of America is just outside of Cuba, Missouri,” he said. “We have over 2,000 Missouri Baptist churches that are placed perhaps in the most strategic place to be, in the heart of the most powerful nation in the world. I believe with all of my heart whatever happens here will have a rippling effect from north to south and coast to coast in the United States.”
Because the conference takes place every year in January, prayers for good weather are always in order.
“There is an incredible opportunity for snow and ice, so we’re just praying to ask God to keep that stuff away,” Caldwell said.
A sixth request was added this year. Caldwell said he added a plea for traveling mercies for those attending after he got to thinking about all of the potential hazards and pitfalls that may be lurking along the highways.
“Probably one of the greatest miracles that we see every day, and we just take it for granted, is that we meet hundreds of cars if we drive across the state,” he said. “We’re meeting and passing one another about three or four feet apart with a little yellow stripe in between us. Each car is going about 55 miles an hour. You never know how many of those people might be driving under the influence, and car breakdowns can happen.
“We’re praying that we have over 2,000 people this year, and to think that over 2,000 people could travel from all over a state into a place and everybody make it there safely and travel back home safely, that’s huge. We’re not going to take it for granted, and we pray it does happen.”
Johnny Hunt, pastor, First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga., is scheduled to give two messages on the second day of the conference. Other preachers include: John Avant, vice president of evangelization, North American Mission Board; Robert Coleman, distinguished professor of discipleship and evangelism, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, South Hamilton, Mass.; and Randy Singer, chief counsel and special assistant at the North American Mission Board.