A Call To Prayer

ctopray250As the word goes out that Baptists will be gathering in Atlanta January 30-February 1, God willing, to affirm a New Baptist Covenant it is clear that all that goes into the preparation for the meeting and all that happens in the meeting should be covered by prayer.

The theme of the meeting comes directly out of the pivotal words of Jesus as he is invited to read the Scripture in his home town synagogue. He could have chosen any text, but he chose Isaiah 61:1-2. He had come to the certain conviction that God had called him to be the messiah spoken of in Isaiah. So he reads: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor….” After rolling up the scroll, he looked at them and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” Luke 4:21.

If we were not so used to thinking of Jesus as the Messiah, this bold assertion would shock us as much as it did them. By the time he finished his message they were ready to push him over the cliff in their fury. He had dared to point out that God loved and cared for everyone and not just for them. What gave him the right?

Jesus had set forth his agenda. He would say later that he had come to seek and to save the lost, to give his life as a ransom for many, that we might have life abundantly. (Luke 19:10, Matthew 20:28; John 10:10) As he moved among the people he paid attention to those others ignored; he welcomed the children; he gave sight to the blind and strength to the lame; he preached the good news of God’s love and salvation to the poor; he brought freedom and light to those oppressed and in prison; he taught those who would follow him to pray, forgive, and love their enemies; he expected them to feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, visit those who were sick and in prison. (Matthew 4:23; Luke 7:22; John 3:16-17; Matthew 25:31-46).

Many people will never love Jesus because he confronts us with our self-centeredness, our lusts, our preoccupation with our own comfort, our desire to live life according to our will and not God’s. Many others, however, will love and follow Jesus because even in our failures we find him calling us ever forward, forgiving, and renewing us. And deep within us we want to be what he believes we can become.

With an agenda like that, we know we have to pray!

Take the following prayer reminders and use them as a guide for your intercession on behalf of the New Baptist Covenant.

Take the following prayer reminders and use them as a guide for your intercession on behalf of the New Baptist Covenant.