The Holy Spirit fell repeatedly throughout the 2019 Prayer Bowl as the Rev. George Hurtt, the Rev. Dr. Donald Parsons and Bishop Marvin Sapp delivered the Word of God with clarity, insight and power.
The three preachers headlined the Jan. 1 event, which has been sponsored for more than 60 years by Mount Moriah Baptist Church of Los Angeles. The Rev. Dr. Earl A. Pleasant organized the first prayer bowl after founding the church in 1946 and his successor, the Rev. Dr. Melvin V. Wade Sr., presented it for the next 42 years.
This year marked the first time that Mount Moriah’s new pastor, the Rev. Johnteris Tate, hosted the citywide gathering. Joining as co-host was the Baptist Ministers Conference of Los Angeles and Southern California led by the Rev. Dr. L.A. Kessee, interim president and pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in L.A.
Together, the pastors continued the New Year’s Day tradition of inviting notable local and nationally known ministers to offer scriptural guidance and practical application to help listeners enjoy a victorious spiritual life in 2019.
The marathon began with Hurtt, pastor of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church in L.A., preaching on the topic, “Don’t Give Up, Look Up.” Citing Psalms 125, he urged the crowd to have faith in Christ and “don’t ever give up because God’s been too good to us.”
He also advised listeners to do good works. Using Galatians 6:7-10 as a reference, Hurtt said, “To grow in 2019, you better have some fruit. God determines the reward, so sow good seed, so you can reap.”
Parsons, who leads Logos Baptist Assembly in Chicago, IL, reminded the audience that “faith is a high-risk activity” during his message entitled, “How to Let Your Past Pass” based on Mark 10:46-52.
“Are you judged by predecessors? Burdened by your memories? Stuck in a stereotype? Give God a better you in 2019,” he declared. “Make friends based on your destiny, not your history and let everything go that comes between you and Jesus.”
Sapp, an award-winning gospel artist and pastor of Lighthouse Full Life Center Church in Grand Rapids, MI, opened with his popular 2010 song, “He Saw the Best in Me.” Moving next to his sermon, Sapp used Acts 9:36-42 to expound on “Cancel the Funeral, I’ve Decided I’m Going to Live.”
“Satan has unleashed big attacks on believers. He creates distractions so [that] we lose focus on God’s purpose for our life,” insisted Sapp. “But, nothing can stop a believer who knows that he or she is in God. God has a position of purpose and destiny for His children. Follow God’s vision and He’ll make provision!”
In response to the speakers, the overflowing audience shouted, clapped and danced in praise throughout the 2019 Prayer Bowl. Among the 800+ worshippers were scores of clergy including Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer, Bishop T. Larry Kirkland Sr., Bishop Sylvester Washington, Bishop Marvis Davis, Pastor K.W. Tulloss, Pastor Quincy Fielding, Pastor Joe Gates and Pastor Wayne Gaddis, who also gave the benediction.
In addition, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas attended and expressed his gratitude for the ongoing support of the city’s faith community.
“I consider myself to be a servant leader and thank you for all well that you have done during my years in public office. We must make life better for those less fortunate. We have lots of work to do. You better put on the whole armor of God,” said Ridley-Thomas.
CDs and DVDs of the 2019 Prayer Bowl are available by calling the Mount Moriah church office at (323) 846-1950.