"O, magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:3
December 1, 2011 our immediate family gathered in Fort Worth, Texas at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at a brief ceremony for the rededication of THE DON and LIBBY MILLER PRAYER ROOM. Dr. Jack Terry was our gracious seminary host for the event. We were honored by all the family and friends who took time out of busy schedules to make this special occasion even more meaningful for my parents, Don and Libby Miller. Mom and Dad are in their nineties and still two of the greatest prayer warriors I have ever known. They have been married for 66 and a half years, and their life verse is:
"O, magnify the Lord with me, let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:3
After serving as pastor and church planter for Southern Baptist churches in Texas and in New York, God called my parents to launch a prayer ministry in 1977. For over 34 years of their marriage, Mom and Dad travelled around the world challenging people to get alone with God and pray. Their ministry has taken them to every continent of the world, and most of these United States. They have personally led prayer conferences in over 1,000 churches, and their teachings on prayer have been expanded to countless other venues by video and now DVD formats. They made the transition from overhead projector to PowerPoint in their late eighties. My favorite quote on prayer comes from my Dad.
"Prayer is the intimate communication between the Heavenly Father and His child."
The Room is located on the northwest corner of the second floor in the new McGorman Chapel on the campus of Southwestern Seminary. The Chapel, named for Dr. Jack McGorman, honored and respected New Testament professor of the Seminary, is spectacular. Dr. McGorman remains to this day one of the finest Greek scholars ever produced by Southern Baptists, and the Chapel is a fitting tribute to this rare treasure of a man. He and Dad have been long time friends, and it was a precious moment being able to reconnect these two war-horses over lunch. It was a great reunion, and designed by God to take place.
The Miller clan was invited to take part in a delightful luncheon prior to the dedication service. Mrs. Dorothy Patterson was our gracious hostess. The Miller family wishes to express to Dr. and Mrs. Patterson their deepest appreciation for their willingness to prioritize the space in the new Chapel for The Room. At the luncheon, Mrs. Patterson was so apologetic that all the furnishing had not arrived, and that she feared it might appear to be incomplete. I was glad to quote what I have often heard Dad say, "Less is more, when God is in it." I assured her my parents would be pleased if there was room enough to kneel.
After the final wave of family arrived, I looked around to see if I recognized anyone in the room that Dad might want to meet. I was pleased to see that Dr. McGorman was just a few steps away from Dad's table. I went over and reintroduced myself to him. He had been Dad's New Testament Greek professor while he was in seminary. I had followed in Dad's footsteps and studied Greek under Dr, McGorman twenty-five years later. I remember Dad referring to him affectionately as "Cactus Jack" McGorman. It was a nickname he had earned among WWII veterans who entered seminary after the war. Any cockiness they brought to the campus after defeating the Axis powers soon evaporated in the battle they faced with "Baby" Greek. "Cactus Jack" was a tough drillmaster. They discovered that what he knew about Greek prepositions could make a grown man cry. My days with him translating Galatians still brings tears to my eyes. It was pretty embarrassing! But I digress.
As soon as I mentioned Dad's name, Dr. McGorman's eyes lit up. He exclaimed, "Your father is Don Miller! Is he here?" I was thrilled to be able to escort him over to Dad and watch them reconnect. Dr. McGorman said, "Don, do you remember when we were together at Wilmer?" They rolled down memory lane like it was yesterday. In a flash, they were young guns again recalling when they had teamed up to lead First Baptist Church of Wilmer in revival services. Dad had pastored this church during his student days over sixty years ago. It was my first church too. I was born on a Sunday afternoon while Dad served as the pastor of FBC, Wilmer.
I am not doing a very good job describing the scene that I witnessed. I can only hope you get a little bit of the picture. It was a glimpse of two warriors on the threshold of Heaven who have fought the good fight and finished the race with their friendship and their character in tact. As the young people often say, "Sweet!" Men like these two giants are my "Rock" stars. I want to be like them when I grow up.
The Room has a view. Three spacious windows offer an elevated perspective of the beautiful 100 year old campus. There is a spectacular stain glass work depicting the artist's Biblical perspective on the bowls of prayer. It is set in the window on the west wall, and when the setting sun hits the stained glass, that room will be a rainbow of inspiration to people gathered to pray. However, the view of the room is not to be found by looking out, but by looking up. Prayers in The Room will be offered up behalf of the pastors and the churches of North America. The best view is always seen from God's perspective.
The call to pray for the next Great Awakening will take place in The Room. Prayers will be lifted up to God that will call on Him to do what only He can do. There has never been a greater need for Spiritual Awakening in America. The soul of a nation is at stake. The nation is in a crisis that man cannot solve. The view of The Room will be best seen by kneeling down before God and lifting up our empty bowls to Him in prayer. God's view will not be found by standing up and looking out the window, but by kneeling down in prayer and looking up to Him. When things look their worst, often God is up to His best.
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity." George Whitefield
It is my prayer that what takes place in The Room will become a model for what needs to be birthed in the lives of pastors and churches all over America. The Great Awakening that takes place in this nation will be a gift from a gracious Father who has heard the cries of His children. The Room can become a lab where the next generation of church leaders learns to cry out to God for what only He can give. If this inspiration takes place in the life of a pastor while a student on the campus, it will be replicated in the life and ministry of a pastor in the church.
"The one concern of the devil is to keep Christians from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless work, prayerless studies or prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but he trembles when we pray." Samuel Chadwick
The Room is furnished with kneeling benches and a wonderful clock that shows the path of the sun as it moves across the nations of the world. The most important message contained in the room may very well be the Scripture verse that is framed, and placed on the wall to the left of the entry doors. It is an important reminder to the purpose of The Room.
"Call unto me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, that you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3
Father, we know from Your Word that You answer when Your children call, and admit to You that they do not know everything they need to know. Father, grant that The Room will be graced with the humility of those who enter this place to seek Your face, and discover the great and mighty things that will bring about The Great Awakening that only You can provide. In Jesus' Name, Amen.