Current State of Prayer in Mississippi
Download a PDF of this article
Mississippi is my favorite place on earth. Though many cast aspersions on MS, it always pleases me to tell people from other states
that MS is number one in contributions.
Even though we have that distinction, and are right at the top in per capita church membership, 3 out of 4 Mississippians are
unchurched and probably lost.
Because of that, it behooves us to pray diligently for our beloved state. I was preparing to preach a stewardship sermon from Malachi
3 sometime ago and realized that it is really a revival passage. Malachi 3:7 “Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned
away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the LORD Almighty. (NIV)
I have been assigned the topic to talk about the current state of prayer among MS Baptists. Of course, that is an impossible
assignment for we cannot know about every MS Baptists’ prayer life.
However, I can share with you some things that we do know.
- Mississippi Baptist Convention
On the MBC level I will share some resources and then some actions.
There has been ongoing training for Associational Prayer Coordinators at the MBCB Associational Training Conferences.
MBC networks with SBC prayer lines:
Christian Women’s Job Corp: prayer advocates from each site.
Prayer Connection with specific areas of the world—MS WMU prayer Advocate Evelyn Williams (PAC Rim)
Each MBCB department has prayer resources available.
Each Associational WMU Director has received Prayer Strategy plans in the annual planning guide since 2004. These plans are
designed for the Associations and not just one program and/or department of work.
In speaking of actions: Prayer concerns received at the MBC are shared via e-mail.
Missions Mobilization and MS WMU in partnership with MBCB and IMB have entered into a prayer covenant with an unengaged
people group. Missions Mobilization is also enlisting pray-ers for these unreached people groups.
MBCB kicked off the Acts 1:8 Campaign in October of 2004 with the Acts 1:8 prayer guides by Dr. Kevin Meador and Kathy
Burns. These were mailed to all churches each month (October, 2004 through September, 2005)
The MS WMU produced another prayer guide in February, 2007 entitled “Praying to be ON call… in ALL Judea.”
School Prayerwalks/Prayer drives and Teacher Appreciation Sundays are conducted annually.
State Prayer Summits have been conducted in Grenada and Clinton.
- The Associations
Here are some of the things associated with prayer that are happening in the Associations:
National Baptist Women and Southern Baptist women praying together on World Day of Prayer.
An AMD prays for a different pastor and his special needs each day.
A prayer chain that includes all 30 churches in an Association (6 groups of 5). Also, there is a prayer ministry phone line
and prayer concerns are emailed daily.
Area-wide revivals are prayed for and there is a great movement of God in the counties.
There is a quarterly prayer rally. The Ministers’ meetings have become more prayer-oriented.
There is a prayer warrior from each church that prays for church revival and spiritual awakening in the churches, the
Association and in MS.
There is a Vision Team leader who is responsible for prayer for spiritual awakening and on the second Monday of each month
the ministers pray and share.
There is a 40 day prayer plan. Each church is asked to customize a plan for specificity and set aside 3 times per day for 40
Prayer coordinators meet monthly to pray and plan. There is a campus prayer walk, a prayer banquet and also a prayer chain.
There is a staff prayer time every morning.
There is a ministers’ prayer breakfast on Wednesdays.
Pastors and staff meet on Monday mornings. Each first Monday morning there is a prayer breakfast with prayers for revival
and church needs. Also there are prayer retreats and businessmen prayer meetings.
- The Churches
Here are some of the things happening in churches as reported by some of the Associations:
One church had a prayer conference last week. Another runs a continual prayer chain via e-mail.
There are several Watchmen Prayer ministries. A deacon prayer ministry was mentioned in one church. One church prays for a
different sister church each Wednesday. There is a prayer request box in one church and a ladies’ prayer chain in another.
One church prays for all who call-in requests. One church has an old-fashioned prayer meeting—all they do is pray and the
attendance continues to increase since they started this last August. Also, there is a person in the prayer room praying for
the pastor each time he preaches.
Churches have adopted schools to pray for and minister to. This includes prayer walking each school before school starts
As servants of God it is my hope that we each have family devotional times and personal devotional times.
My wife and I started with Open Windows 42 years ago and we still enjoy its recommended scriptures,
devotional thoughts and the missionary prayer list in our family devotions.
I deliberately changed from being a night person to a morning person 30 years ago. That was so that I could have my personal
devotional time in the early morning. I have never once regretted doing that. It significantly changed my time with the Lord
and allows for consistency without interruption. Having my Bible program and prayer list on my laptop has been such a blessing.
It is obvious that many prayers are being offered by MS Baptists. Because of that, we are a blessed people. However, we can be assured
that there is much more prayer that is needed if God’s will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven.