The first statement in the Westminster Catechism reads: “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”
I appreciate that statement because it is a good reminder of our purpose in this life. God wants us to know Him and to experience much joy in our relationship with Him. Then, out of our love for God, we will want to serve Him and glorify Him.
You will love God more and enjoy Him more when you begin to understand who He is. I have learned that one of the best ways to do this is through prayer. When I pray, God speaks to my heart. He teaches me truth from His Word and teaches me about His desires and purposes. Prayer is how God unleashes His power into our lives.
As often as I can, whether through theses columns, sermons, special messages or just in conversations, I enjoy sharing with North Carolina Baptists the importance of prayer because prayer is such an important part of my life. I have experienced its great impact and seen God do many wonderful things as a result of prayer.
Prayer is the first of the Seven Pillars for Ministry, which includes seven biblical concepts I believe to be a Christ-centered vision for our Convention.
I believe these seven core values are to guide the work of our Convention for this time in my administration as your leader.
As important as the other six pillars are, I believe everything we do must begin with prayer. We cannot accomplish anything for the Kingdom if we do not first begin with prayer.
As you have noticed, this issue of the Biblical Recorder has a special emphasis on prayer. I am very encouraged to know that over the next few months the Biblical Recorder will focus one issue on each of the seven pillars.
I am encouraged because this means more North Carolina Baptists will have an opportunity to know the heart of our Convention. I appreciate the desire of editor Allan Blume to help share this vision with churches across our state.
I am firmly convinced that God gave me a vision statement I have shared with many of you: “By God’s grace, we will become the strongest force in the history of this Convention for reaching people with the message of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
I believe that as we continue to focus our prayers, our attention and our energies on the seven pillars, we are truly on our way to seeing this vision accomplished.
However, we must continue to be faithful in praying. As I have said before, and believe with all my heart, prayer is the “key indicator of the passion of a redeemed heart to worship God and work for His harvest.”
Let’s pray that we are known as people passionate about worshiping and serving God.
— 1 Peter 3:12
(EDITOR’S NOTE — This item is part of a package of stories highlighting prayer and prayer ministries across the state. The Biblical Recorder is focusing on the Seven Pillars for Christian Ministry adopted by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. For more stories on prayer or to find out about the entire package, please visit here.)