The foundation for Texas Hope 2010 always has been prayer. I am unfamiliar with any noteworthy awakening that was not preceded by a significant commitment to prayer by God’s people.
In Luke 11:5-13, we find two stories Jesus uses to illustrate God’s eagerness to answer our prayers. God is not like the grumpy neighbor who reluctantly responds to his friend’s request for bread—parable of contrast. But instead, God is like the father who knows how to give good gifts to his children—parable of comparison.
We find the powerful promise in the middle of these stories, where Jesus says, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Jesus prompts us in John 16:24, “Until now you have asked for nothing in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”
If more than 11 million Texans who are unchurched respond to Christ, it will be because God troubles their hearts until they repent, and because our churches are awakened by God’s Spirit so that we announce this good news.
We can feed the hungry, and we must. We can hand out multimedia gospel CDs, and we can.
But all of our efforts will be to no avail unless they are bathed in prayer.
Resurrection Sunday is soon, April 4. On Jan. 31, we are asking all of our congregations to take some time in the worship service, as well as utilizing other venues like Sunday school, and pray for Texas Hope 2010.
Churches and individuals should use this day to:
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• Pray for ways to share the hope that Christ offers.
• Pray for God to give boldness to His people as we seek to share the good news to everyone in Texas.
• Pray for God to prepare the way for those who will be receiving the message of the hope of Christ.
• Pray for God to be honored through all we do in Texas Hope 2010.
Texas Hope 2010 prayer guides are available in both English and Spanish and can be downloaded at www.texashope2010.com. Names of county leaders, information about praying at noon each day for the hurting and hungry, and other resources for the Day of Hope and Prayer can be found on the same site.
An additional prayer guide for the international people groups in Texas, produced by Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas and Texas Baptists Intercultural Ministries, can be ordered by calling (888) 244-9400. Texas WMU is requesting a voluntary $1 donation per booklet to help with printing costs.
God declares, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Randel Everett is executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board.