This week marks the Associational Week of Prayer in Baptist Life. As I was thinking about this particular week, I began thinking of things that I would ask people to begin praying for when they think of the local association. Our baptist association is made up of 35 like minded and like faith and practice churches that in the Laurel county area that make up the Laurel River Baptist Association. Although our churches are autonomous meaning that there is not a governing body that oversees the church, we find great value in working together for similar ideals for Kingdom expansion. But if I’m pressed, there are things that I greatly wish for our association. Here are 10 areas that you can pray for your association.
1. Pray for the Director: Perhaps too often, I don’t ask this enough, but I am today. Pray that I will lead well, and that I will love our pastors through the difficulties they are facing. Pray for my family as they adjust to my new normal of visiting churches on Sunday’s without them. Pray that they embrace the mission of serving churches.
2. Pray for our churches without pastors: Currently their are 6 churches without a pastor. Although I do think one church is getting closer in calling one. I learned of another that will lose its pastor at the end of the month. Pray for their unity in their search process.
3. Pray for our pastors: This should be a good month for our pastors because Fall attendance picks up, Pastor appreciation has lifted their spirits during October. However 2020 has been different, our pastor’s are tired and often times are second guessing their leadership decisions. Pray they stay faithful to the task and their congregation. Pray that they continue to preach with boldness and conviction.
4. Pray for unity as an association: I recognize that people want to live in the past, and can often get distracted from what the mission is. Pray that leaders who had differences in the past will put those aside for the sake of unity.
5. Pray that the Gospel will continue to spread: Our association has an opportunity to spread the Gospel more so now than any other time in history with the Gospel to Every Home campaign.
6. Pray that the association will continue to trust God with finances. Our ministry is only possible because of the good faith effort from our churches who out of their generous hearts support the Associational ministries. Pray that churches will value the work of the association and continue to be faithful in their gifts.
7. Pray that our leaders model integrity in all that they do. This prayer request transcends the director only but is also a prayer for those pastor and lay leaders who are associated with us. Pray that they have a good reputation in and outside our churches.
8. Pray that God will raise up church planters: The needs are great in Laurel county and more churches are needed to penetrate the lostness of our area. Pray that God will send church planters to Laurel co.
9. Pray for collabration and networking: I desire to see our pastors network better, Pray that we can foster environments that fuel each other’s ministry.
10. Pray most of all for a faithfulness of study and preaching. I pray that our preachers won’t rely on their own giftedness but upon the power of the spirit to be strong expositors of God’s Word. If we really believe that the Word of God transforms then we must believe that when we are diligent in study, His word will change the hearts of the people who hear. Pray that our pastors will seek to be faithful preachers.