JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptists prayed for state and national leaders during an annual prayer service at Concord Baptist Church here, Jan. 5.
The church welcomed Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson, as well as other state officials, to the event.
During the service, Pastor Eddie Bumpers of Crossway Baptist Church, Springfield, challenged elected officials with biblical wisdom for leaders from Exodus 18.
First, Bumpers encouraged them to “develop a heart of gratitude” and rejoice for all God has done – just as, in Exodus 18, Moses’ father-in-law Jethro rejoiced when he heard that God had freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
“Now we know the Book of Exodus is one of those great books that reminds us of the redemption we have in Jesus Christ,” Bumpers said, “The truth is, we’re all born in slavery to sin, and we’re born in bondage to our own flesh and our own nature, and we’re all underneath the condemnation of God. We live underneath the bondage of a greater Pharaoh than the pharaoh in the Bible [that is, sin], … and we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.”
This redemption is a great cause for gratitude, Bumpers said. But leaders should also be grateful for their marriages, for their jobs and income, and for all the gifts God provides. “Gratitude,” he said, “is one of the most essential” attributes of a leader.
Second, Bumpers called elected officials to focus on their responsibilities and priorities – especially, communing with God in prayer and in reading His Word.
“If we’re going to see our nation impacted, people in places of leadership must get back to believing this Book is the Word of God,” Bumpers said, holding up his Bible. “It doesn’t change. We need to learn this Book. We need to obey this Book. We need to teach this Book, and we need to stand on this Book, as people of the Word.”
Finally, Bumpers encouraged elected officials to “recruit the right people to help you” – just as Moses, following his father-in-law’s counsel, found godly people to help him lead the nation of Israel in Exodus 18.
After Bumpers’ charge to elected officials, participants joined in prayer for state and national leaders. Missouri Baptist Convention President Jon Nelson, pastor of SOMA Community Church, Jefferson City, prayed for elected officials; Ron Fitzwater, Jefferson City Councilman (Ward 4) and member of Concord Baptist Church, prayed for Missouri communities; Heather Nelson, an educator and wife to MBC President Jon Nelson, prayed for Missouri children; Lisa Smith, administrator at River Oak Christian Academy, Jefferson City, prayed for the state and nation’s educational system; and Monte Shinkle, recently retired pastor from Concord Baptist Church, prayed for the spirit of America.
The prayer event is held annually, based on the writing of the Apostle Paul to Timothy in 1 Tim. 2:1-3,“First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.”
The prayer service is co-sponsored by Concord Baptist Church and the Missouri Baptist Convention’s Christian Life Commission.