Prioritizing prayer leads to ‘Great Commission movement’ among Hispanic churches

0 1,047

JACKSONVILLE–A “Great Commission movement” is happening among Hispanic churches across Florida.

In many ways, what’s happening looks different depending on which church you’re looking at, but in other ways, it looks the same.

The common source that is powering this gospel movement among Florida Baptist’s Hispanic churches is a laser-focused recommitment to prayer.

Seeking to fill a spiritual hunger, more than 350 Florida Baptist pastors and members fell on their knees to pray for personal renewal, family, churches and others, as well as revival in the state and nation, when they gathered in pastor-led prayer meetings across the state Saturday, Feb. 4.

Pastors from Panama City to Miami joined together in six regional prayer meetings held at Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Hialeah, Miami; Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion de Kissimmee, Orlando; Idlewild Baptist Church Espanol, Tampa; House of Life Church, West Palm Beach; Neptune Baptist Church, Jacksonville; and The Church at the Beach, Panama City. Another regional prayer meeting is scheduled for April 29 in Naples.

From virtual prayer gathering to movement of God

The prayer emphasis began in 2020 amid COVID and gathering restrictions when pastors and churches decided to set aside every Tuesday to pray for a greater presence of God in their congregations. They had no clue that what they began three years ago would have ripple effects across the entire state.

“For three years, God has gathered more than 4,000 Hispanic pastors and local churches to pray for revival and spiritual awakening, resulting in a Great Commission movement,” said Emanuel Roque, Hispanic church catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention. “God has called us to Himself through praying His Word.”

What started as a virtual prayer call among Hispanic pastors has now become an intentional prayer movement, undergirding the Sunshine State, and has led to record-setting growth and signs of healthy local churches.

Countless testimonies are being raised up from throughout the state about God doing a mighty work as marriages are restored, bondages are broken, lost people are saved and genuine revival occurs.

Many individuals who have participated in the prayer gatherings “have gone back to their churches with a renewed zeal for prayer,” said Roque.

‘God is on the move’

Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion de Kissimmee is only one of the Florida Baptist churches that is experiencing a fresh movement of God after a recommitment to corporate prayer.

Reynier Coro, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Resurreccion de Kissimmee, would open his church doors and invite others to come to pray alongside him and his wife every day at 5:30 a.m. An initial group of 15 soon multiplied to 50 people who gathered daily to pray together before sunrise.

Coro’s church has grown significantly and started a second service as well as simultaneous services for its English-speaking youth.

Another Florida Baptist pastor echoed these sentiments.

‘God is on the move.’

Manuel Barahona Pastor, Westside Baptist Church, Boynton Beach

“Thankful to the Lord for the prayer movement in our state,” said Manuel Barahona, pastor at Westside Baptist Church in Boynton Beach. “God is on the move.”

Words of encouragement from Tommy Green, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, fueled the evangelistic fire and fervor at the Feb. 4 “covering Florida in prayer” gatherings.

Focusing on Acts 4:31, Green reminded those gathered across Florida that the early church not only prayed often but they prioritized prayer when they gathered together day by day. The commitment to prayer unified the church around one mission—the gospel, he said.

“As you pray, you are a model for what it means to come together and work together in unity and to pray for a fresh move of God upon our lives,” he said.

“I’m so thankful for how God is moving among our churches across Florida, and particularly among our Hispanic churches as you are leading in a prayer movement within our state,” he continued.

“God is honoring and blessing that. It’s not only touching Florida but it’s touching our entire nation and the nations.”

National Hispanic prayer movement

The movement among Hispanic Baptists in reaching the nation and nations is gaining momentum.

“We had a special prayer time from the National Hispanic Baptist Network as pastors and leaders called out to the Lord,” said David Perez, pastor of Iglesia Casa de Bendicion in St. Cloud and prayer team leader of the newly formed National Hispanic Baptist Network. “All glory to God!”

On Monday, Feb. 6, more than 40 people gathered virtually to pray for the revival and spiritual awakening that occurred just days before to continue. This virtual gathering was the first national prayer call—along with Canada—with Hispanic pastors and leaders from across the Southern Baptist Convention.

Convinced that Hispanic Baptists are “better together,” the Network has a multi-faceted emphasis on prayer, evangelism, church planting, revitalization, next generation and women, among others.

“The Lord is working not in a program but through a prayer movement towards revival and spiritual awakening,” Roque said. “We wanted to see biblical prayer penetrate and become a passion in the lives of pastors and churches. Only God could work this kind of desire and draw us to a united prayer expression.”

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.