By Claudean Boatman, Colorado Baptists WMU Executive Director
Women interceding for Colorado Baptists church planters, pastors, and churches is a vision that has captured my heart. We know God uses prayer to advance the Great Commission. Prayer makes us partners with God and partners with those for whom we pray. Prayer opens our eyes to possibilities and people we have never noticed. For all that prayer does, it is time for women to join in targeted prayer for our beautiful state.
Colorado Baptist women are invited to take part in a multi-faceted approach to prayer in our state. First, women can pray by name for church planters working in Colorado. Church planters in Colorado work in diverse settings. Some of these settings are in such rural locations that monthly grocery shopping means an all-day trip. In those places, long drives to meet with people in the community and isolation from other pastors and Christian friends are common. These church planters know their independent, hardworking neighbors need Jesus, but showing their neighbors the need is challenging. In urban settings, church planters find Jesus’ message competes with the lure of recreation and worship of nature. Distractions of all kinds draw people away from the message of the gospel. Church planters need our prayers for perseverance (Luke 18:1).
Another facet of our prayer approach is praying for our pastors and churches by name. Many women faithfully pray for their own pastors. What would God do if we lifted up the needs of each other’s pastors and churches? God answers such prayers by transforming our communities and calling out Harvest Workers who boldly share Jesus.
Praying for missionaries in the United States and around the world is the third facet of this prayer strategy. We have heard the saying that praying for missionaries is holding the rope for them as they share the gospel. I have heard missionaries tell of being saved from great danger at the moment someone was praying for them. Many missionaries are serving in places that are so dangerous that sharing Jesus puts them and national believers in harm’s way. Praying for workers and believers in these areas cannot be overdone, nor the importance of prayer understated. Missionaries serving in open countries and in North America are not exempt from danger, either. Health, family, travel safety, and refreshment are prayer needs of every missionary. Praying for missionaries allows them to work under God’s protection and guidance.
Fourth, praying women impact the future of church planting and missions by praying for children and youth. When I joined my local church, I chose one child and youth to pray for each day. One of those became a believer and the other has committed to being a missionary. God used those experiences to convince me that a woman’s fervent prayers for the generations coming after her make a difference. Prayer gives us the opportunity to intervene in the lives of children and youth that God wants to use to change eternity.
Women praying for each other’s spiritual lives is the last facet of the prayer vision. We are more sensitive to God when we pray for others and when others pray for us. Our targeted prayers for each other make us aware of the lost around us. God uses those prayers to empower us to share Jesus and walk closely with Him. Prayer binds us together more tightly than crafts, music, or travel ever could.
In literacy ministries, we remind our workers, “The effectiveness of your ministry is directly tied to your prayer for the ministry.” It is the same for our churches, church plants, missionaries, and each other. God wants to answer prayers for Colorado. He wants to advance the gospel in Colorado. He wants to use us.
If you are a woman who wants to be part of an effective prayer ministry for Colorado Baptists, please contact me at ColoradoWMU@ coloradobaptists.org. If you are a pastor, planter, or church leader, please talk to the praying women of your church and invite them to join this prayer movement. We want to pray for you!