A call to prayer

On a Monday night 25 years ago, something happened to me that changed the trajectory of my life and calling. I was 17 and attending a night of worship with our student ministry. It was on that night in that worship service that the Lord began dealing with my heart about becoming a person of passionate prayer. Immediately after the service, I asked our student minister if I could begin a student-led prayer gathering each week. 

Every Tuesday evening, students would gather and cry out to God for our families, friends, and schools. We didn’t exactly have the manual on how to pray, nor did we have a highly organized prayer service. We simply had a heart for God to move among us, and we believed one of the keys to that was to be on our knees together praying.

As I transitioned to college, I wanted to serve. I approached our campus ministry and asked where they needed someone to serve or lead. As you can imagine, there was no one to lead the prayer ministry. I was elated to give new leadership to this group of college students in praying. 

My love and passion for prayer transitioned with me into the pastorate. In my last church, we took prayer seriously. The turning point for our church came when we had a prayer summit that became a launching pad for our people to make prayer a priority. We would have people fill out prayer requests and leave them on the altar anytime during the service.

I told our church we would never end the invitation until every card was picked up and someone committed to pray for that request for the next seven days. We never had to wait, and our church became such a praying church that as soon as we opened the invitation, prayer warriors would rush down and pick up the cards.

“In my last church, we took prayer seriously. The turning point for our church came when we had a prayer summit that became a launching pad for our people to make prayer a priority.”

At our annual meeting in November, I challenged Southern Baptists of Texas Convention churches to begin a prayer gathering at every church. While I am no longer a pastor of a church, I still have a burning desire to see God move among us. One of the ways I firmly believe this can happen is if we are praying.

If you are at a church that doesn’t hold some type of consistent prayer gathering, can I encourage you to commit to starting one in 2023? Our team at the SBTC would be happy to walk with you as you design what that prayer gathering could look like for your church. While I certainly challenge all 2,700-plus SBTC churches to begin prayer gatherings, wouldn’t it be incredible if we had even 500 of our churches with consistent prayer gatherings calling out to God to move among them?

If you already have a prayer gathering at your church, I praise God for that! I would love to know about it. Would you please email me at nlorick@sbtexas.com and let me know what church you are a part of and when your prayer gathering is? I want to pray for you as you call out to the Lord together. 

If you currently do not have a prayer gathering but will commit to beginning one in 2023, I would love to know so I can pray for you as well. Again, please email me and let me know of your commitment to begin. We want to come alongside you and be a resource as you pray. 

I am so excited about what God is doing through the churches of the SBTC. Let’s lead the way for other states and be a network known for our passion for prayer. I believe God will bless our efforts. I am thankful for you. I am honored to serve you. I am in your corner. I am praying for you!

Executive Director
Nathan Lorick
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
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