Prayer: How many of us talk about prayer, but don’t take enough time to actually pray? My hand just shot up along with yours. Yet, God’s word tells us to “pray without ceasing” and that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”! God isn’t concerned about fancy or “fluffy” prayers, but sincere words from a humble and yielded heart.
Franklin Graham has suspended his normal crusades and instead is visiting every state capital to hold prayer rallies. Melva and I had the privilege of joining the one in Oklahoma City which had over 5,100 in attendance. Honolulu had over 2,000 attend, Austin over 10,000, and in Denver several thousand gathered. These weren’t political rallies, although everyone prayed for our country, the elections, and those in leadership. They were times of fervent prayer for our nation.
May 5th was the National Day of Prayer. A group of us representing three local churches met in front of our county courthouse to pray. I hope you did too. The challenge is for us not to stop now, but to pray for revival to sweep our land! This will require humility, repentance and fervent prayer. Revival is already breaking out in Iran with up to one million coming to Christ as well as Williamson, WV where hundreds of students are reported to have come to the Savior last month! Keep praying and trusting!
April Happenings: Melva and I just returned from a two week ministry trip through Texas and Oklahoma. We started by meeting with friends and supporters in Dallas, spent a day in Waco, TX having lunch with the lead chaplain at Baylor University and visiting Bob and Glenabel Hays (former professor in Gunnison). We travelled back to Dallas where we met with Paul and Sunshine Mossa and their children. Paul (personal trainer) and Sunshine (full-time mom) are “alumni” who are actively serving Christ.
Our path then led to Oklahoma City where we met with members of our Board and supporters. We had the privilege of holding 8 days of services (although one was cancelled due to tornado warnings) at Abell Community Church near Guthrie, OK. What a wonderful group of faithful saints! We saw the Lord’s hand at work in many lives and assisted at the funeral of a dear one. During the week we were able to drive to Duncan, OK where we spent time singing and praying with Bob and Carolyn Bernard. Bob received Jesus attending one of our Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings as a coach. Carolyn is fighting cancer. As we started our trip home we were blessed with the opportunity to do a concert for 50 seniors in an assisted living center in Amarillo. We arrived home safely and with much praise for our Father’s love and blessings. Thank you for praying for us!
Other blessings: Just before leaving on the road trip I was asked to share a devotional for our local crisis pregnancy center board. The Lord led me to encourage them to keep their main mission always before them. Not only their wonderful work of saving babies, but sharing the soul-saving message of Jesus.
More “alumni” reports: During the trip I received an email from “alumni” Stephen Newman. Stephen was involved in our FCA and “Called to Ministry” training breakfasts. After graduating and heading for a career in the oil industry, the Lord re-directed his path and now he and his wife are serving in a church with Stephen as Missional Community Pastor! Your prayers and support allow us to share our lives with “called” individuals like Stephen. Thank You!
Fire and Police New Testaments: Over the past month we have received an increasing number of requests from Canada for our Answering the Call New Testaments. One British Columbia chaplain spoke at a conference and shared the testaments with other chaplains. As a result we are sending several hundred New Testaments to Canada! They send a huge “thank you” to all of you who have supported the Bible fund. So far we have sent out over 6,500 free of charge around the world! In addition, we have sent police, cowboy and motorcycle New Testaments as well as fire and police devotionals. What a privilege!
Upcoming: Please pray for us as we preach in Pitkin, CO (5/29), travel to San Francisco for our relative’s 50th anniversary (6/3-5), celebrate our 45th anniversary (6/6), conduct several memorial services for local families, speak at the Fellowship of Christian Firefighters Family Camp in Ashville, NC (6/20-24), fly to HI for Melva’s family reunion and vacation (6/27-7/15), hold our annual rodeo church service in Gunnison (7/17), and preach and teach locally in between. Lord willing I will be able to accept some fire assignments in July and August where I hope to hold chapels and distribute firefighter New Testaments.
Finances: Our faithful accountant Sally says we’re running behind. This is partially the result of increased giving to our “alumni” missionaries as well as assisting local campus ministries. Also, some of our long-term supporters have been “promoted to glory”. We would appreciate your prayers for God to provide according to His perfect will. Thank you!
Family: Tim and Sara are working away in Los Angeles, Nick and Rebekah are in Europe enjoying a break from a busy winter in their restaurant. Steve is looking for the next job the Lord has for Him in the TV industry while Annie is finishing the school year teaching in Los Angeles. Stephen, Joy, Hannah and Bethan are doing well in Scotland with Stephen preaching frequently and working in Inverness. Joy is getting settled into her job as a teacher’s aide.
Prayer Requests: Our long-time friend Ed Yates in Dallas urged us to share specific prayer requests each month since so many of you are faithful to pray. Thank You! Your prayers are essential to us.
1. For the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon us and that we will walk humbly before the Lord.
2. For Steve to find the next job the Lord has planned for him.
3. For Stephen and Joy that the Lord will lead them to the church He has prepared for them to serve.
4. For a healthy pregnancy for Sara and God’s perfect child for them.
5. For the right man to step in to fill the huge gap left when Rich Townsend was reassigned by the Lord. We’re praying for a Spirit-filled man with administrative gifts as well as able to teach and preach. And of course, flexible and adaptable since our ministry can be very fluid. It would be wonderful if they can be self-sustaining financially.
6. For a location near the campus we can use for our Bible Institute and library.
7. For the Lord to help us identify the ministries He wants us to focus on and which to pass on.
Your prayers lift us up daily! We are blessed to pray for your requests as you send them in as well.
By His grace and to His glory! Rick and Melva
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Rick Barton Ministires