Personal Reflections Concerning Praying Across Alabama

Praying Across Alabama was an exciting adventure for me personally. I know that may sound like an overstatement. After all, the effort was simple in strategy: Go to all counties in the state and, in some instances, more than one venue, and hold a prayer gathering. What can be so exciting or adventurous about that?

From my vantage point, and I believe I speak for other state missionaries, having a prayer gathering among Alabama Baptists was unique in that we have never done a prayer event this way before this endeavor was launched. It was a first for us. We did not know what to expect. How many people would participate? Would local authorities allow us to meet on or near the courthouse areas in each county?

All of these questions and others were answered in the resounding affirmative. The local officials not only allowed us to meet at the courthouses, but many of them chose to be involved themselves. This was a bit of a surprise to me. The crowds were good in number, despite some terribly windy and cold weather in various places. The spirit of the people was positive and expectant.

I am so appreciative for our associational missionaries/directors of missions for handling the local planning and logistical details. This was a genuine partnership between the State Board of Missions and local associations. That was indeed a blessing to my life personally. I love and appreciate our associational leaders. They are the best of partners.

The local church pastor and minister participation was an important part of the effort. In every venue, pastors and other local church leaders were present with some of their people. There is no way for me to say thank you enough for their commitment to the cause of prayer.

For those of us who have been Christians a long time, prayer can become routine and regimented. We can make it a daily part of our lives without sensing the rich rewards prayer brings to our walk with Christ. Praying Across Alabama was a reminder that prayer is essential in our lives individually and corporately. Prayer is indeed oxygen for the soul.

Thank you, Alabama Baptists, for making this a memorable experience. Thanks for gathering to pray in the various gatherings. Thanks for using the Prayer Guides for the 60 Days of Prayer. Now, we can put some feet to our prayers. We learn to love like Jesus and minister more effectively in His name. We continue to pray for a personal spiritual awakening which can bless our churches, cities, counties, state, nation and the entire world.

An outgrowth of this prayer movement is planned for college campuses on August 5-10. Praying Across Alabama Campuses is an effort to organize prayer movements on all our college campuses in our state, including community colleges. Since we have almost 300,000 collegians in Alabama, this is an appropriate application of the prayer emphasis. Please help with the organizing of the prayer events on the campuses near you. Pray for the campus ministers, DOMs, pastors and other church leaders as they participate in this much needed effort.

Executive Director of Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

State Missionary Rick Lance was elected in June of 1998 to serve as executive director of the State Board of Missions and treasurer of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Rick leads state missions efforts and facilitates Great Commission Ministries for the Convention's 3,200+ churches and more than one million Alabama Baptists.

Rick and his wife, Pam, are members at First Baptist Church, Montgomery. They have two daughters.

Any requests for Rick Lance to speak in or visit your church should be directed to Billie Davis at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 253 or (334) 613-2253, bdavis@alsbom.org.

For questions about Dr. Lance's Facebook and Twitter accounts or his blog site, you may contact his social media assistant, Keith Hinson, at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 289 or (334) 613-2289, khinson@alsbom.org.