Prayer Builds Christ’s Kingdom in California

This article is intended as a follow-up to the previously published “CSBC churches encouraged to register prayer requests in 2023.”

FRESNO – Initially, a handful of prayer requests were received. Christina Acosta, who serves as the Children’s Ministry Director at Thrive Church in Madera Ranchos, reached out with a request that read, “Prayers for our Children’s Ministry to see our children in the area come to know Christ as their personal Lord and Savior! Prayers for protection over our staff and volunteers as we focus on the Lord’s work.”

In the time that has passed since, Acosta reports that Thrive Kids is doing well. “We have implemented splitting up older kids and nursey age for the second half of the hour. The older kids were sure to express how much they like that,” shared Acosta. However, Acosta and the Thrive ministry team are still in prayer to find a nursery team leader and worship leader. Additionally, Thrive Church will be holding Vacation Bible School at their church for the very first time this summer. Their request is, “that California Southern Baptist join in praying for a successful VBS summer session where the children will learn and further develop their individual relationships with Jesus.”

Desiree’ Westbrook of Realm Church in Oakland wrote in requesting continued favor and financial provision as Westbrook and her husband, James, are expecting the arrival of their third child, baby Juliette, this month. As for their church, Desiree’ requested keeping their church and community in prayer as well, and for God to “send more long-term laborers and partners to come alongside us here in Oakland as we share the Gospel and serve the community.” Desiree’ also mentioned that Oakland is ranked as one of the top five unreached areas within the United States.

Since the launch of “Prayers for 2023” in January, the Communications Team of the California Southern Baptist Convention has been presenting submitted requests during the Convention’s weekly chapel on Tuesday mornings at 9 am; a regular practice followed up with emails to churches informing them that their requests have been prayed over by CSBC staff. Though “Prayers for 2023” is still in its infancy, the routine is finding effectiveness and follow-through.  

In this instance, CSBC reached out to Desiree’ recently regarding the progress she and her family have witnessed in three months’ time. “God is surely moving here, and He has blessed us,” rejoiced Desiree’. Her husband, James, began serving as the new SEND City Missionary for the San Francisco Bay area at the beginning of March. He still maintains his part-time role as Reverend at Realm Church. Desiree’s faith is strong as she remarked, “the lostness here is vast but shrinking by God’s grace.” Desiree’ asks for continued prayer regarding the birth of Juliette this month and as she recovers from the “sleep haze after her birth settles.”

Executive Director Pete Ramirez continually encourages CSBC staff to keep active in praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Recently, Ramirez was quoted saying, “The Convention exists to serve its churches and I can think of no greater or better way to serve them than to pray for them.”

California Southern Baptists are encouraged to follow along as updates are provided testifying to the power of prayer throughout the convention.

To submit a prayer request, please complete the online prayer form.

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