By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
BALTIMORE, Md—Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware‘s (BCM/D) prayer room in the exhibit hall of the Baltimore Convention Center during the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Baltimore not only drew rave reviews, at least five conventions are interested in replicating it at their state conventions. Some pastors want to use it in their churches and one person even suggested taking the “tour” on the road. Recommitments were made and lives were changed.
Doug DuBois, BCM/D missionary for student evangelism and executive director of Skycroft Conference Center was the prayer room coordinator. DuBois said he wanted to provide more than a room for intercession.
“My view of prayer is that it is worship,” DuBois said.
He wanted to offer visitors a “prayer experience.” Dubois, reflecting on the restoration and revival theme of the annual meeting, began planning an experience based on the elements of revival.
A tour of the “sensory experience” in the room began with a corner of a “living room” with a comfortable armchair—symbolizing oneself—a place for personal introspection, allowing the Holy Spirit to convict and bring the individual into a right relationship with Jesus. The next stop was a dining room table.
DuBois told guests, “Picture your family here.” That is the place most people lingered and where many broke down, Dubois said. The visitors were encouraged to pray for their families—with the knowledge that revival and restoration has to be personal and in the family before moving on to the next stations, the church, local and national churches and unreached people groups and international missionaries.
“One of the top prayer requests by pastors was for their unsaved children,” Dubois said. “On the first day we had one pastor who sat down, opened his Bible and broke down in tears.”
In addition to the stations, visitors could write their prayer requests, which would be hung around the room, and texted to a site where the requests appeared on a live feed for prayer by visitors to and also to an intercessory prayer group gathered throughout the convention who prayed without ceasing.
DuBois partnered with volunteers from Global Mission Church, a church known for intense fervent prayer, to build and help design the “room.” The team from Global Mission prayed for each church in Maryland and Delaware and for those preregistered for the convention before pinning the names to maps.
Prayer room visitors were encouraged to choose churches, commit to continually pray for them and write notes, which would be sent to the churches.
Another aspect of the prayer experience included Global Mission volunteers and Skycroft Conference Center summer staff workers strolling through the convention center asking people if they would like to pray. One young woman, in her early twenties, approached a seasoned pastor. The pastor was convicted and prayed, admitting he was living a hypocritical lifestyle and he rededicated his life to Jesus.
All of the prayer center volunteers wore shirts asking “Can I Pray for You?” and a phone number where requests could be texted.
Dubois personally led many through the room. “I tell them once they go through they’ll be a changed person,” Dubois said with a smile. And even a newly elected SBC officer took the tour and said, he did indeed feel the Holy Spirit’s presence and felt changed.
“It’s got the ‘wow’ factor,” said Doug Austin. “The visual image helps. It gives focus and clarity.” Austin and his wife Fran, were from Missouri.
“This is the best, and most biblical prayer room I’ve ever seen,” said Eric Iverson, Boyce College admission counselor said.
DuBois said the prayer room is really the fruition of a plan he’s had for Skycroft Conference Center for years. He is thrilled that God is using the “experience” to help promote restoration and revival.