EL DORADO, Ark. – Though distant, Arkansas Baptist pastors and ministers were still able to unite and connect together through a virtual option for this year’s annual statewide prayer gathering. Jonathan Kelley, the Senior Pastor at First Baptist Church in El Dorado, hosted one of the live stream group gatherings at their church.
“I wish I was in Little Rock, but because of circumstances, this was a great idea,” Kelley said. “Even though it’s just a small group of us, we’re still one heart with guys around the state and it’s been a great experience. You can just tell in the room, people are focused on prayer and focused on seeking the face of God and His Kingdom coming on earth just through worship and prayer.” Eric Burton, Associate Pastor of Student Ministries at First Baptist El Dorado, said, “It was a great experience here to hang out with guys from here that we can build relationships with and serve with.”
With virtual options available, venues all across the state tuned in to the live stream hosted from the Little Rock event. This allowed pastors and ministers to choose locations closest to them, where they could still gather safely and attend the gathering. God moved in the hearts of those who attended as they prayed for big things to happen in the state, the nation, and the world.
During the gathering, facilitators from around the state led in a progression of prayer topics designed to build one upon the other, beginning with brokenness over sin and desperation for cleansing. Participants were guided to see this season as the hand of God to bring us to the end of ourselves so that we will desperately seek Him. Men and women spent time in prayer based on I John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Pastors were encouraged to lead their congregations to extraordinary, fervent, intense prayer recognizing the urgency of the hour. Pray-ers were reminded of the need for God to raise up strong, prophetic voices in our churches to speak the truth and call our nation to repentance. As the stage was set to pray for voices to be raised Kyle Reno of Little Rock, referred to Joshua 24:15, saying that “every generation needs some of God’s generals to stand before them and say, ‘Here’s the choice.’”
The song, How Great Thou Art, set the stage for Tuesday morning’s session of worship followed by a time of prayer for revival in the church that would lead to an explosion of every believer sharing Christ as early believers did in Acts chapter two. Tarvoris Uzoigwe, Campus Minister at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff shared examples of students coming to Jesus on the campus, reminding attendees that“if you expect a harvest you have to plow the field and scatter the seed.”
“I think the biggest thing for me that has come out of this personally, has been the call to personal discipleship. It’s one thing for me to encourage my adult leaders and interns to do that if I’m not doing it personally. I’m taking steps to step up my game in that area,” Burton said. “But also the call to, with what [Tarvoris Uzoigwe] shared with us, about just personal evangelism, talking to people about Jesus. That’s where God has really been at work in my heart. Of all the things, yes we need to pray but I need to be praying for those specific opportunities where I can share faith, directly with people.”
Facilitators continued to lead in prayer that Christ will be exalted and that a massive movement of spiritual awakening and harvest will occur, ushering millions into the kingdom. The morning came to a close as participants were challenged to continue to lead their congregations in 21 days of prayer in January 2021. More information about this time will be posted at absc.org/prayer. If you missed this inspiring time of prayer you may experience it at this link.