Archives For intercession

Intercessors spend a day lifting up the needs of the city

By Andrew Woodrow

Hillcrest-departing

“A bus tour is a good way to see the neighborhoods we’ll be praying for,” said Cheryl Dorsey, prayer coordinator for the Chicago Metro Baptist Association. “As we travel between churches, we will review the social and spiritual profile of the neighborhoods, praying en route for those communities.”

This was the fifth year Dorsey and fellow intercessor Phil Miglioratti have drawn together a band of people to pray for Chicagoland, but this was the first time the prayer meeting was mobile.

The group of 20 who braved sub-zero temperatures on January 26 visited four church locations scattered across the metro area. Throughout the trip, pastors shared concerns for their churches and communities while Dorsey and Miglioratti lead prayer using a Chicago neighborhood prayer guide by John Fuder.

Stop #1
Hillcrest Baptist Church
Country Club Hills

“We are praying for you and with you as you go out and pray for your brothers and sisters across the Chicagoland area,” Pastor Adron Robinson told the prayer team as they met at Hillcrest to start the day-long journey. “Pray for us as a church,” he said, to fulfill the Great  Commission. “And pray for Country Clubs Hills. There are about 16,000 people in our suburb and many who do not know the Lord,” he added.

As they boarded the bus, Dorsey encouraged the team to sit next to a prayer partner and to be “sensitive to allow whatever site you see along the way to prompt a prayer”—whether it’s a school building, house, store, or a family in a passing car.

Stop #2
Advent Church
South Loop

Gathered in the eleventh floor community room of a South Loop condo building, the prayer team learned about the up-and-coming community Dennis Conner serves as well as the barriers he faces planting a church in a high-rise. Conner called it a “very different mission field,” where “money and gatekeepers render door-to-door evangelism ineffective.”

The goal of Advent Church is to reach the working professionals in the city. “Pray for fruits for our labor,” he said, “because this is a place that until someone has credibility, gives you their credibility, you don’t have it.”

Stop #3
Chicagoland Community Church
North Side

Nestled in a tight squeeze of low-rise townhouses and multi-unit complexes is Chicagoland Community Church. Here, Pastor Jon Pennington of the Lakeview Community church asked prayer for the church’s success in sharing the gospel.

“We’re passionate to teach people in this neighborhood how to be Jesus-followers,” he said, “But what we really want to see happen in these next two years is 200 first-time visitors at our worship services who are curious about the gospel or our mission—and that at least 20 of them will become new members of the church.”

Stop #4
Iglesia Bautista Erie
West Side

Heading into West Town, snow began falling as the bus reached its last stop, where Marvin Del Rios serves as pastor. “Pray for our community,” he said. “The last several years our community has been going through a process of gentrification. Young professionals are moving back into the city while the working poor to middle class are moving out, changing our outreach strategy.

“The spiritual soil is tough at the moment,” Del Rios said. He hopes as these young professionals have families, “that might be the door to use for us to share the gospel – through their children.”

“Chicago is still a very divided city rooted in a history of prejudice,” Miglioratti said. “And the church of Chicago needs prayer because the church is also divided. So, as we pray for a greater unity in the church, that prayer will produce greater outreach which will lead to many more people becoming part of the family of God.”

Eight hours later, Dorsey described the excitement through prayer she encountered  “as though the Holy Spirit was tailoring our prayer to suit the needs in (each) location,” she said. “It opened our eyes that we pray without prejudice and bias. And being equal partakers of the inheritance of Christ Jesus is not going to happen if people don’t pray into the Kingdom. And that is what we are doing.”

MI_logoHEARTLAND | Lisa Sergent

We need every aspect of our IBSA Annual Meeting, Nov. 13-14, to be bathed in prayer. Please look over the prayer prompts below, and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to return often to this list during the meeting.

Pray all the time. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

  • Give praise for all the ministry the Lord has accomplished through the work of the Illinois Baptist State Association congregations and ministries this past year.
  • Pray for the messengers as they travel to the meeting from across Illinois: safety, discernment as they hear reports, wisdom as they cast votes, and communication of the work of IBSA to their home congregation.
  • Pray for the guests, presenters and exhibitors who will be preparing and traveling to be with us; ears for us to hear speakers’ challenges and presentations, and for divine connections to serve our pastors and messengers.
  • Pray for North American Mission Board Vice President for the Midwest Gary Frost, as he travels and as shares with us; may they hear clearly from us for their work at a national level as we desire to hear compellingly from them for impact in our communities.
  • Pray for IBSA President Jonathan Peters as he leads the meeting and Tim Lewis as he preaches the annual sermon.
  • Pray for the IBSA Pastors’ Conference and Minister’s Wives Conference and Luncheon that precede the Annual Meeting: encouragement, enlightenment, empowerment … And ask the Spirit for a generous offering for Minister’s Relief.
  • Pray for the Annual Meeting Mission Illinois theme to inspire and inform each messenger so they may inspire and influence their congregation.
  • Give thanks for our new fellowship in the Spirit with congregations applying for affiliation with IBSA; pray they will be healthy, reproducing churches.
  • Bring to the Lord the many church plants scattered across our state and request we become known for fruitful new churches.
  • Pray as the messengers elect officers to serve the convention for 2013-14, that each officer will serve with faith and integrity, and will use their authority to build the work of IBSA.
  • Pray for the IBSA Executive Board as they meet to organize for their work for a new year … for IBSA staff members to have the resources they need to equip those who equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
  • Ask the Spirit to direct many to the Annual Meeting Prayer Room (Plaza 4) that they might spend even a few minutes asking the Lord how we can better pray and more effectively serve in the coming year.

Lisa Sergent is communications director for the Illinois Baptist State Association.