There have been some excellent Bible teachers over the last 100 years. Without reservation, I count the late Dr. Ron Dunn as one of them. He was filled with the Holy Spirit and anointed to teach like few men I have ever known. Every message articulated careful biblical exposition, clear illustrations and practical applications. He kept it real, relevant and preached with a compelling word from the Lord.
I was visiting Dr. Dunn and his wife, Kay, at their home in Dallas in early 1991. He gave me a signed copy of his then latest book, “Don’t Just Stand There Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer.” I will always remember that visit with the Dunns, and the title of the book has forever been etched on my mind.
The book is insightful and worth the read. We all talk about prayer, but Dr. Dunn was certainly a practitioner. He emphasizes that prayer can’t be just one thing we might do but that it has to be the main thing we do with passion.
Whatever challenges Satan throws at us, or whatever opportunities the Lord presents to us, must be the priority. I know this: In half a century as a Christ follower and over 40 years in vocational ministry as a pastor and ministry leader, every success the Lord has given me is because of prayer saturation. Likewise, every defeat is tied to my prayerlessness. It’s said that everything rises and falls on leadership. Same is true of Christian leaders. Everything eternal rises on humble, prayer-filled leadership.
I am convinced that prayer is the key to seeing real, Kingdom-focused change in the work of our vast Southern Baptist network of churches and not new methods or different men. We must have a new infusion of godliness, passion, and brokenness.
That doesn’t come about with the next great Bible conference or denominational gathering. However, desperate prayer seeking God’s favor will precipitate the change we so long for and desire, like in the area of evangelism and seeing thousands more coming to Christ annually.
As the Tennessee Baptist Convention, we have clarity in our Five Objectives.
If these impossible and impractical, yet imperative, objectives are to be met, we must give ourselves passionately to praying together in the unity of spirit through the bond of love.
In Paul’s loving letter to Timothy he said, “I urge, you first of all that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Timothy 2:1). The great apostle knew first-hand the priority of prayer. This is one reason we asked messengers to the recent Summit to bring the names of spiritually lost friends and neighbors to the altar and commit them to prayer. Prayer changes things. It isn’t a cliché when it is biblical truth.
J. Oswald Sanders wrote in his classic book “Spiritual Leadership” that, “Prayer is the most ancient, most universal, most intensive expression of the religious instinct. It touches infinite extremes, for it is at once the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try and the sublimest strains that reach the Majesty on high. It is indeed the Christian’s vital breath and native air.”
Let’s pray for a mighty revival across our communities and towns, cities and counties, our state and our country. The spiritually lost are all around us. The broken and addicted abound.
An entire generation in North America are at real risk of not knowing Jesus. And our Lord stands ready to supernaturally intervene and do what only He can do again and again. But this isn’t a spectator’s sport. Jesus expects us to get in the game.
So don’t just stand there … PRAY SOMETHING!