“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13).
I love February. This month gives me a chance to use my love language. I am a gift giver, and it is a joy for me to buy a gift for my wife, daughters and son-in-law. I know I don’t always have to buy something; it could be a note or a planned evening, or I could cook a meal. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion; it could be on the spur of the moment. Sometimes it is just being there, being present, being involved.
I can think of no greater way to give to Texas Baptist work and be involved than to give myself in prayer. Scripture tells us to love one another just like God loves us.
February is a great time for us to love one another by praying for the many ways Texas Baptists are reaching out and doing ministry throughout our state. Pray for our churches as they seek to share the gospel in their communities. Pray for the pastors as they strive to preach the gospel and lead a strong and healthy ministry. Pray for the many Texas Baptist churches that are seeking a shepherd to come and lead their congregations.
Something very important to me: Pray for the many Hispanic congregations reaching out to the great number of Hispanic families across our state who need the hope of Jesus. My dad was a pastor of a Texas Baptist Hispanic congregation 28 years, and he loved the church and always was trying to reach the neighborhood around his church.
Texas Baptists, I ask you to show no greater love than to lay down your life in prayer from Feb. 1 through March 1. This is 30 days to pray for the amazing work God has given Texas Baptists. What a wonderful way to show your love and care for our convention by giving the gift of prayer for 30 days.
Maybe you can ask God to bless the work of the churches in your association. Pray for a list of pastors or ministers. Pray for the mission work going on throughout our state. Pray for your neighbors and the outreach your church has to love our neighbors. Pray for the many ethnic groups and languages that have been open to us as Texas Baptists. Pray for our executive director, David Hardage, his health and safety, and the strategic decisions he makes daily.
Texas Baptists, I am asking you to pray—pray for 30 days. Commit yourself and your church to prayer, to loving one another, to surrendering your lives in prayer for Texas Baptist work.
Loving One Another: Feb. 1-March 1—30 days of prayer. Take this month to show your love, his love, through prayer.
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I would love to hear from you if you plan to take up this prayer challenge. Please email me at email@example.com.
René Maciel is president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas and president of Baptist University of the Américas in San Antonio.