FERGUSON, Mo. (BP) — As rumors of potential grand jury action swirled across Ferguson, Mo., a hundred Baptists met for a prayer summit at First Baptist Church to pray for the community, the state and the nation.
The prayer summit was led by the North American Mission Board’s Gary Frost and Arkansas pastor Bill Elliff.
Frost and Elliff led the group in a time of repentance, worship and intercession for themselves and for revival in their churches, their communities and beyond. They also prayed specifically for pastors in the St. Louis area, the focus of national attention in anticipation of a grand jury decision whether to indict a white police officer, Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old Aug. 9. In the days after the shooting, Ferguson made international headlines with protests, rioting and the police response amid cries of racism.
“You know all the stuff that has been going on in North County St. Louis,” Jim Breeden, director of missions for St. Louis Metro Baptist Association, told the Nov. 13 prayer summit. “We need and will take all the prayers we can get. But it’s not really about North County or about race relations; it’s really about God’s people humbling themselves and coming before the Lord.”
In turning the prayer summit’s focus toward the church’s need for revival, Elliff said revival is “the extraordinary work of the Spirit of God among His people that produces extraordinary results.”
“God is moving all the time, but in revival there are these moments when God chooses to rend the heavens and bring His Kingdom in a church, a nation and a life,” Elliff said. “But our faith is weak and our prayer is small. We can’t fathom what it would be like for God to bring real revival.
“But God has done that and He can do it again. Prayer is the foundation of revival.”
Frost addressed Ferguson specifically in his remarks, comparing negativity in the community to negativity in Nehemiah’s day as he rebuilt Jerusalem’s wall.
“There are people poised for destruction and hoping all literal hell breaks loose,” Frost said. “That’s the atmosphere we’re dealing with. But it’s not a matter of policing.
“Only God can heal and thwart the tactics of the enemy.” Frost said, referring to Satan. “We need to pray that God would thwart the plans of all the agendas that have shown up here for the purposes of advancing any person and not the glory of God.”
Frost is the North American Mission Board’s vice president for prayer and for its Midwest Region. Elliff, senior teaching pastor of The Summit Church in North Little Rock, Ark., has led prayer summits in 17 states.