With thousands of Southern Baptists meeting together each year at their annual meeting, it can seem difficult for people to hear themselves think – and to find a quiet place to meet with God.
But once again, at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in Dallas, attendees can retreat to a prayer room and are invited to volunteer 15 minutes of their time to lift up concerns to God.
Every year the prayer room provides participants with an opportunity to focus on God and to follow His Spirit, said Ted Elmore, pastor/church relations associate and prayer strategist for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.
“As we look at our culture,” he noted, “we find that prayer is crucial now more than ever, and we hope through the prayer guides that we give to messengers [they will] pray for Dallas.”
All attendees will receive a prayer card with the option to fill out prayer requests and place them on a prayer board for others to pray over.
Those who participate in the prayer room will also receive a guided prayer booklet and the opportunity to talk with a prayer leader.
“God draws us into His purpose through prayer,” Elmore said. “This is a time to let go of the ‘baggage’ we bring into the room, whether it be from home, the hotel room or the convention floor.”
Elmore encourages everyone to participate and use the prayer room as often as time allows them.
Rick Shepherd, prayer strategist for the 2010 Orlando annual meeting, said many have found the prayer room to be a place they can cry out to God and hear Him speak to them and show His presence.
He said many “take what they hear and feel from God back home to their families, churches and local communities.”
“Every year we see things happen that wouldn’t have if people wouldn’t have prayed,” he noted.
Many people, Shepherd said, are living with a “me first” selfish attitude and must go to the Lord to lay down these sins, burdens and shame for peace and direction.
“The answer to our dilemmas will never be through men and women, it is always through the Lord,” he said. “We must go to the Lord for redirection and guidance, for there is nothing selfish or tainted through the Holy Spirit.”
The prayer room is located in the back of Hall F in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and is open from Sunday, June 10, at 6 p.m. through Wednesday, June 13, at 5 p.m. More information about the prayer room can be found on the SBC website sbtexas.com/pastorchurch-relations/prayer/.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Morgan Collier, who will be a senior at Lamar University, is a summer intern with Baptist Press.)