Annual MBC legislative prayer service set for Jan. 7
By Allen Palmeri
JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Baptist Convention’s (MBC) Fifth Annual Legislative Prayer Service Jan. 7 at Concord Baptist Church will be noteworthy because it will occur during a time of transition for the governor’s office.
Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican who attended the first service in 2005 as Governor-elect, is now concluding his term in office. Ready to replace him in mid-January is Gov.-elect Jay Nixon, a Democrat who has also attended the event in the past.
“We really cannot underestimate the importance of an event like this,” said Phil Gloyer, chairman of the MBC’s Christian Life Commission (CLC). “Like it or not, every government official is an agent of God, and prayer is the most effective way of reminding our public servants that they report to a higher power than the electorate. We will recognize their position of God-given authority, we will pray for them, and we will encourage them to do what is right.
“With the political divisions we have observed in our state, our votes are certainly important, but it is only the Holy Spirit of God that inclines the hearts of His servants toward justice, honor, and love,” Gloyer said.
The prayer/dedication service, which has been sponsored all five years by The Pathway, the CLC, and the host church, begins at 9 a.m. in the sanctuary. The public is invited. Lawmakers will be on a tight schedule as the beginning of the five-month legislative session is scheduled for noon.
The pattern of the service is music, prayer and a message, all designed to be wrapped up in an hour or less.
This year’s speaker is Bruce McCoy, MBC president and pastor of Canaan Baptist Church in St. Louis. He will continue a tradition of a top Missouri Baptist leader giving the charge to the General Assembly.
Prayers are spoken for various branches of state government. Executive, judicial and legislative leaders are prayed for from the pulpit, with various state agency heads and other officials in attendance also being acknowledged. Pastors are among those scheduled to pray.
Musical numbers in the prelude and postlude will be played by Concord Pianist Debbie Poire, with MBC Worship Specialist John Francis joining in at select times during the service. Shane Steck, a Concord pianist whose style is reminiscent of the anointed Christian artist Dino, will perform one of his special inspirational pieces for the government officials.
“In Exodus 18, we read how Moses was to select leaders who were capable of service, feared God, loved truth, and hated dishonest gain,” Gloyer said. “We need to recapture that same emphasis on a concern for character in our public servants, and the Legislative Prayer Service is an important step in the right direction.
“I am hopeful and confident that the service will be recognized as a valuable opportunity for political adversaries to come together under God for the sake of His glory as well as for liberty and justice for our state.”