Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Speaking @ 93rd Street Baptist Church in Miami

I am in Miami.

I arrived yesterday to speak for Pastor Carl Johnson at the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church.

Pastor Johnson is a kind host and passionate leader. And it was great to worship with the 93rd Street family last night.

I also had the opportunity to reconnect with a Pastor Tyrell Brown from Virginia, who lectured before I spoke. We met almost ten years ago, when we were much younger preachers. It is good to hear the ways the Lord is blessing Pastor’s Brown’s work.

I will be on my way home in a few hours.

I am looking forward to our Midweek Worship Service at Shiloh tonight. I am working on a message from Psalm 84 that I am calling “The Heart of a True Worshiper.”

Join us at Shiloh at 7 PM or online at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Notes from Sunday - 1/15/12

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Yesterday ended our 2012 Prayer Emphasis Week. It has been a powerful week of prayer.

The week climaxed with our first All-Night Prayer Meeting. It started Friday night at 10 PM and went through Saturday morning at 6 AM. What a time!

Thanks to all of our staff and volunteers. It was a long week. But you made it happen!

Saturday afternoon, I spoke at the Christian Educations Conference for the Progressive National Baptist Convention. I spoke on the Personal Develop of the Christian Educator. Thanks to Pastor Streeter for the invitation and opportunity.

We held a rally during out Bible Study Fellowship (Sunday school) hour. The new groups were introduced. And we prayed for the BSF workers. More than 450 new people have signed-up for a BSF group over the past two weeks. We are in store for a serious space problem. Praise God!

I am grateful for all of our guests who joined us in worship yesterday.

Praise God for the brother who was baptized yesterday.

The song of preparation was Yolanda Adam’s “Just a Prayer Away.” The young lady was only scheduled to sing it at 8 AM. But I asked Roger (our Minister of Music) to have her stay for our 10:15 service. I cannot get that song out of my system now.

I did a little bit of Albertina Walker’s “I Can Go to God in Prayer” with the choir during the 10 AM service. I love that old school Gospel music!

I preached a message from Matthew 6:5-8 that I simply labeled, “When You Pray.”

In this passage, Jesus gives two simple but profound instructions about how not to pray:

1.     Do not pray like the hypocrites (6:5-6).
2.     Do not pray like the Gentiles (6:7-8).

This is now what I planned to preach. But I trust it was helpful to the congregation.

Praise God for those who were saved and added to the church.

I plan to start preaching through the Epistle of 1 John this coming Sunday. I intend to begin with a message on 1 John 1:1-4. I am really looking forward to it.

The New York Giants defeated the NFL champion Green Bay Packers. Impressive.

The 49ers defeated the red-hot Saints Saturday. It will be a crime if Jim Harbaugh does not will the Coach of the Year this season.

The beat-you-up Ravens manhandled the upstart Texans. But I predict you will see the Texans in the mix again next season.

The Patriots whipped the Broncos like they stole something this weekend. No more Tebow-Mania until next season.

I had no problem with any of these teams going to the Super Bowl! 

Friday, January 13, 2012

All-Night Prayer Meeting Tonight at Shiloh

This is Prayer Emphasis Week at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church.

We are climaxing it with an All-Night Prayer Meeting. It begins tonight at 10 PM and will last through 6 AM.

The Psalms frequently mention praying to God in the night watches. Jesus spent all night seeking the will of the Father. Throughout church history, devout Christians have set times where they have sacrificed sleep for prayer.

We are gathering as a church family for a night of prayer to call on God for a special work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are also asking for the favor of the Lord on our church and revival in our city and nation.

Each member is asked to spend at least one hour to join nus for this tie of prayer, praise, fellowship, study, and meditation.

Childcare will be available. Breakfast will be served when we conclude at 6 AM.

Join us.

Pray for us. 

Oxford Sermons: Volume IV

This past summer, I had the privilege to attend the Proclaimer’s Place preaching conference in Oxford, England. It was led by Dr. Joel C. Gregory in conjunction with the

It was my second year attending. And I was challenge, refreshed, and inspired to continue growing in my preaching.

I also had the opportunity to speak at a local Baptist congregation on the Lord’s Day that I was in England. It was a wonderful experience.

A collection of sermons from Proclaimer’s Place attendees has been published.

I am privileged to have a sermon included in this collection. It is a message on Psalm 23 entitled “Living with Confidence in God.”

There are also contributions by two of my preaching heroes – Maurice Watson and Ralph Douglas West

Pick up a copy of “Oxford Sermons: Volume IV” edited by Joel C. Gregory today. 

Monday, January 09, 2012

Guidelines for Participating in Prayer Meetings

Corporate prayer is an expression of Christian fellowship. Therefore, it should be our goal that our prayer meetings promote our unity in Christ. Here are ten practical guidelines that will help us honor the Lord Jesus in our times of prayer together.

1.     Recognize the appointed leader of the prayer meeting. Look to this person to give direction.

2.     Use prayers that bless, are biblical, and brief (The 3 B’s).

A.   Bless: Are others up or torn down? (1 Co. 14:26)

B.    Biblical: Does my prayer align itself with the word of God? (John 15:7)

C.   Brief: Am I respectful of others who also want to pray? (Matt. 6:7)

3.     Direct prayers Godward. Avoid prayers that teach, counsel, or give information to others in the group.

4.     Seek God’s perspective. Ask God to address the relevant heart issues (Prov. 4:23) that go beyond practical matters of finances, health, relationships, etc.

5.     Be sensitive to others who are present. What may be appropriate in your own personal prayer time may not be appropriate when you are praying with others.

6.     Agree in prayer. Bring your thoughts in captivity. Don’t let your mind wander. Instead of thinking about what you are going to pray next, listen to the one praying. Giving a sincere word of agreement such as “amen” can stir faith in the one praying.

7.     Model faith-filled prayers. Pray with an attitude of expectation that God will answer. Focus on God’s faithfulness and ability rather than the problem.

8.     Pray with thanksgiving. Don’t just give God a to-do list. Thank him for his faithful promises, for the privilege of prayer that we enjoy through Jesus Christ, and for the fact that God knows and cares about all of our needs and desires.

9.     Speak up when leading out in prayer. This enables others to come into spiritual agreement with you.

10.  Assume that all person matters of prayer are confidential. To share even with a close friend or spouse could violate the trust of another person. If you want to share a request outside the prayer group, ask the person who requested prayer for permission.