Week of Prayer – English

September 16-23, 2018
Day 1: Philadelphia Baptist, Horseshoe

ASK God to continue his great work at Philadelphia at Horseshoe Drive.

ASK God to use the funds given through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering to revitalize other churches that are struggling across our state.

PRAY for Clay Fuqua, campus pastor of Philadelphia Church at Horseshoe Drive.

[Please note: On Day 1 of the Prayer Guide we incorrectly referenced Elijah when it should be Ezekiel. We have corrected this here and on the downloadable versions. We apologize to you (and both prophets) for this error.]

“Can these dry bones live?” This was the question God asked Ezekiel over 2,500 years ago. Ezekiel replied, “Sovereign Lord, only you know.” God has a passionate desire to breathe life into places where His Spirit moved mightily in past years.

Imagine a church so packed in the ‘70s that, in order to accommodate the crowds, chairs had to be placed in the aisles. This was Horseshoe Drive Baptist Church in the ‘70s. This church knew how to think big.

This didn’t last though. As the years went by, Horseshoe experienced a steady decline. But a small group of members, grieved by the state of their church, surrendered to do whatever it would take to see God breathe life into a once thriving faith community.

With the leadership of Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville and some funds provided by the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, Horseshoe Drive is once again growing and impacting their community. New visitors are showing up at their doors and the waters of the baptistry are stirring.

These faithful members asked, “Can these dry bones live again?” God answered with a resounding, “YES.” What does God want to resurrect in your life and church? Remember, it’s not over when God is in it.

What is God doing in your heart to bring dead things to life?

Day 2: Missions Education

ASK God to raise up future missionaries and church planters as kids learn about the Great Commission in our churches.

PRAY for the children in your own church and those who lead important programs to foster spiritual growth.

ASK Him to provide the funds that are needed to create dynamic events and experiences for kids.

How important is it to reach children with the Gospel? It’s eternally important. Statistics tell the story. 85% of people who come to know Jesus do so before the age of 18.

Anna Lee Alford, missions leader at First, Kentwood, knows the power of missions education in her church and even in her home. A longtime member and WMU leader, she continues to lead missions groups like Children in Action and Acteens. Anna Lee’s daughter even felt God’s call into missions and is now serving in the Czech Republic.

Recently she and other leaders took a group of kids to M-JAM, an event sponsored by generous gifts from churches to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering. The children heard a dynamic presentation of the Gospel. Later that month, First, Kentwood celebrated as six kids made their public profession of faith.

Every year over 700 children and sponsors participate in an M-JAM event. Over the next year, lives will be changed and destinies will be settled because of your prayers and gifts to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering.

Your gifts and faithfulness to serve inspires future preachers and missionaries today!

Day 3: Here for You

ASK God to protect and nourish the seeds scattered in hearts and homes through Here for You.

ASK Him to provide the resources needed for Here for You to air statewide on a daily basis beginning in 2019.

We use the word “big” in many ways:

  • We’re going to the “big” city.
  • I’ve got a “big” surprise for you.
  • The Tigers showed up “big” time.

Sometimes we need help thinking “big.” We’ve grown accustomed to small things so it’s often difficult to think big. Jesus challenged His followers to “think big.” When He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” (Mt 28:19) – that’s big!

If we’re going to impact Louisiana for Christ, we’ve got to think big.

Incremental thinking may dictate our next steps, but thinking big fuels the vision.

Here for You, Louisiana Baptists’ multi-media evangelism effort, is designed to give every person in Louisiana the opportunity to say, “Yes” to Jesus. That’s big!

Using current media platforms we want to seed the truth of God’s word inside every heart and every home almost every day – that’s big!

Your gifts through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering help fuel this “big” effort.

During the Super Bowl last February, your gifts enabled a Here for You spot to be shown in every market across the state. This translates to more than 849,000 people seeing the spot two or more times on TV and another 300,000 were engaged via social media – that’s big!

Remember, “A lot of seeds produce a big harvest,” so scatter generously and “Think Big!”

Day 4: Disaster Relief

PRAY for Disaster Relief teams in Louisiana. Chances are, there are DR teams going or preparing to go as you are praying.

PRAY that lives will not only be changed but eternally saved.

ASK God how much you should contribute through this important offering so that more lives will be changed.

How far can you reach? That’s an interesting, open-ended question. Some people have arms that reach farther than others, but together the reach of Louisiana Baptists is mind-boggling!

On May 15th, 2018, an EF1 tornado with estimated peak winds of 100 mph moved along a four-mile path near Southbury, Connecticut. A Disaster Relief team trained and equipped, thanks to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, headed north to offer relief, assistance, hard work, and ultimately the Gospel.

Fred Hart from First, Livingston and his team from the Eastern Association cut up and removed the trees that had fallen on homes in this New England town. In the midst of all the damage and loss, Louisiana Baptists were there, not only to put their chainsaws, hammers and trucks to work, but also to share the Gospel. Two of the victims’ lives were changed eternally when Howard Turner and Fred Hart led them to Christ.

In the midst of all the mess, they shared the message – and that’s made all the difference.

Often when we think of disaster relief, we think about hurricanes, and when we think of the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, we think of Louisiana. But together our reach is astounding.

Day 5: Unity One Church, Franklin

ASK God to continue to bring a great harvest at Unity One Church.

PRAY for Darrell Guy as he disciples new believers and shepherds this new congregation.

ASK the Lord to give you a vision for your community as you pray for Franklin, Louisiana.

When the Lord calls you to do something, He doesn’t always give you all the details. This is a truth Darrell Guy, an African-American pastor, lived out recently.

God called him to go back to his hometown of Franklin, Louisiana, to begin a new work. He had no job, just a vision and a family. While he knew there would be many financial challenges, he took that bold leap of faith that God blesses. God once again proved himself faithful. The mayor of Franklin called him unexpectedly with a job and the ministry began in a storefront in town.

At the same time Bobby Hodnett, an Anglo pastor, had a similar vision. He longed to see his church transition into a new work focused on reaching the African-American population that was ripe for a harvest.

God connected the lives of two diverse ministers and ministries to create something beautiful. However, there was resistance and another threat was looming on the horizon – Pastor Bobby was ill. He passed away, but God’s work still grew.

Today, Darrell Guy shepherds this dynamic church – Unity One. In the same place Bobby preached the gospel, now Darrell leads a thriving work that has more baptisms than any other new church plant in Louisiana.

Both of these men embodied the call to “Think Big!” What vision do you have for your community?

Day 6: The Covenant Church, Benton

ASK God to ignite the fire of the Gospel in the disconnected generations of our state.

PRAY for courage, enthusiasm and providence in Luke and Weston’s church.

PRAY for the resources they need to foster this new work in the Shreveport area.

The vast majority of people in Louisiana are either disconnected from church or have never even taken the first step toward God. These are the ones The Covenant Church in Benton aims to reach.

Luke and Ashley Allen moved to Bossier City to start The Covenant Church, fulfilling a years-long dream of their hearts.

Luke serves as the lead pastor, overseeing the preaching and the vision of Covenant. He says, “Our heart is for The Covenant Church to be as diverse as the city we have planted in and to create an environment where people can be honest about their doubts and struggles. In doing life together, we hold fast to the call of reminding each other of the hope we have in the Gospel.”

The Covenant Church’s goal is to reach people in the Shreveport area who have never or rarely attended church throughout their lives, as well as those who grew up in church but now see church as irrelevant to their lives.

God sent Weston Brown to partner with Luke. Also a young family man, he carries out administrative and worship responsibilities in the church. When speaking about his call and the church’s mission he said that he has a heart to see the body of Christ living life together on mission in their local context.

Day 7: Jefferson en Español

ASK God to continue to strengthen the work of Jefferson en Español.

PRAY for Miguel Flores as he pioneers a new church to reach others.

PRAY that God will impress on others the need to reach Louisiana’s growing Hispanic population.

God paints stories of salvation on a wide canvas with a variety of tools, but each one is a masterpiece. One such tool has been an ESL (English as a Second Language) class at Jefferson Baptist Church.

It’s all about connecting. The need to learn English connects people groups who wouldn’t normally intersect. There are thousands of internationals in the Baton Rouge area. Many of them need to learn English, so Jefferson Baptist Church started an ESL ministry.

A new Hispanic church plant grew out of those classes. Miguel Flores, a participant of the class and devoted Christ-follower who was born in Mexico, felt the call to begin this new work: Jefferson en Español.

Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, along with churches all over Louisiana through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, made this dream a reality. Every week you’ll discover around 100 Spanish-speaking people hearing the message of God’s amazing grace. That’s BIG!

The formula is simple yet unpredictable: a cultural need brings connection and connection brings shared faith. There are many churches in Louisiana who incorporate this formula into their ministry strategies, but not nearly enough. Could God use your church to assist those with critical social needs like learning English?

There’s no telling what God will do if we all think out of the box and if we would all “Think Big.”

Day 8: Kingdom Life Fellowship, Houma

ASK God to empower the efforts of Mechanicville Emmanuel and Kingdom Life Fellowship to engage the young men He has put on their hearts.

ASK God to protect church members as they reach out in an often dangerous area.

ASK God for the churches to have the resources needed to fuel these efforts.

“We’re not trying to be ethnically diverse, we want to be culturally diverse.”

With that direction on his heart Clifton Arnold, pastor of Mechanicville Emmanuel in Houma, led his recently revitalized congregation to plant an “incubator” church named Kingdom Life Fellowship – a church designed to engage young, African-American males.

Pastor Arnold defines an “incubator” church as a church birthed within an existing church. Its needs are provided by the mother church, if you will, as the new church is given the opportunity to grow and mature.

Kingdom Life is a Gospel Hip Hop church birthed in June 2017. They meet on the first Thursday of each month for community outreach and a worship service.

Mechanicville Emmanuel/Kingdom Life Fellowship’s regular outreach strategy includes connecting to the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux. Together, they found early success.

Pastor Arnold doesn’t believe you have to be a mega church to plant a church. He believes when you begin to run more than 100, it’s time to plant another church.

Mechanicville is a challenging area for ministry, but Pastor Arnold and the people of Emmanuel are praying hard and thinking big as they intentionally engage the young men living in their community.

Audio files are still being uploaded, but go ahead and listen to what’s already available!