Pastor O. W. Billups Jr. is the fall revival speaker at Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Grambling. The revival began on Monday and ends tonight with the 7 o’clock service.
Billups is also the pastor of Mt. Oliver Baptist Church of Monroe. In his message entitled “Conditions for Answered Prayers,” he said not every prayer is granted because there are conditions that must be met.
“Faith is a condition that is necessary if prayers are to be answered,” he said. He quoted Mark 11:24: “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
He said that prayer is both talking and listening to God. “We pray, but do we listen?” he said.
Prayer is important, and people should not rush into or away from God’s presence. Prayer is an intimate feeling with God. Therefore, we should not want distractions or interruptions.
If people want their prayers answered, not only must they have faith when they pray, they must have a right relationship with God, a relationship on God’s terms.
“Prayers call for faith and a right relationship with God. Faith is belief and trust. It is believing well enough to obey. We must please God favorably,” said Billups. “Our faith must be active. Faith is acting on what you believe.”
Faith takes beliefs and confidence. People must avoid two extremes regarding faith. They must not think faith alone will cause their wishes to be granted. They must not go through the motions of prayer without faith.
“Prayer must not become this commonplace,” he said. “Sometimes God is not going to answer your prayers. Just being in God’s presence is enough. As believers, we must cherish fellowship with God more.
Another reason prayers are not answered is that sometimes people “ask amiss.” They ask for the wrong reasons.
Billups asked, “What is it that hinders you from coming to Jesus? Do you have all the conditions to have your prayers met?”
Rev. Anthony Slack, the pastor of Mt. Zion, said it was laid on his heart by God to choose Billups.
Slack said revivals revive the souls of those who are saved, who can sometimes get lackadaisical. He said, “They challenge us to be energized for Christ.”
David Hartfield-Dyels, the new pastor of Lewis Temple CME Church of Grambling said revivals are a stirring up to get us back moving, and Billups’ message was excellent.
He said, “There was a lot of teaching. It is always good to teach on faith. It is needed at this time.”
Joshua Glenn, a 22-year-old who grew up in the church, said he decided to attend the revival after about it from a neighborhood friend.
“I came and I was blessed. The word given was especially for me, the part where he preached about your relationship with your heavenly father. What is your relationship with your heavenly father without faith?,” Glenn said.
He said the word was assurance to him that faith is life, and one-on-one time is needed with the father.
“Asking and Equipping Disciples for Kingdom Ministry” is the theme for the revival. Each night, various local pastors and ministers will serve as presiding ministers.
On Monday Rev. Ricky James of Rocky Valley B. C. of Simsboro will serve. Tuesday night is reserved for Fellowship B. C. in Simsboro. where pastor Rev. Frederick Powell is the residing pastor. Rev. Eric E. Rogers, associate minister of Mt. Zion, will preside on Wednesday and Thursday.