Published March 1, 2020
God's sustaining grace is the reason for the longevity of Oneida Baptist Institute, and the Lord has used many people to continue what our founder, James Anderson Burns, began 120 years ago.
A visitor to Oneida in the early 1900s said, "OBI would have never existed if it had depended upon a businessman to build it, for a businessman would have known it could not be done. It took a dreamer and a man of vision to make it possible."
I often tell people that if you looked at our ministry from a logical or financial viewpoint, you would likely conclude our school wouldn't or shouldn't work or last very long, but it has worked and lasted for so long because the Lord's hand is upon our work. I believe the many prayer warriors God has called to pray for our work is a critical element in our success and longevity.
Upon leaving a church I recently visited, a sweet lady told me she was praying for Oneida. That gave me great comfort and encouragement. When I speak in churches across our state, I often close by sharing ways that people can partner with our ministry. I ask folks to consider referring kids and families to us. I also ask them to give financially if the Lord lays it on their heart to do so.
But before I share any of these things, I first ask them to pray for our students and our staff. I often ask folks to pray for the young people who have yet to find us — who need what we offer. The prayers of our friends and supporters ultimately make the difference in the lives of the Oneida people.
A recent guest pastor shared in a chapel service that he believed Oneida was a battlefield and he was 100 percent correct. We live in an age in which young people face challenges we would have never dreamed of in the past. There is a daily battle for the souls of our young people on this campus and the prayers of His people help enable us to win this battle.
There is power in prayer and we must draw upon this powerful tool to defeat the enemy who wishes to keep our young people from God's kingdom and His richest blessings.
James 5:16b says, "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." I know that my mother and grandmother pray for my family daily, and I truly believe that their faithful prayers make a difference in my life and also in the lives of my wife and children.
Although you don't know all or perhaps even any of the names of our students, would you commit to praying for them? We are grateful for the gift of prayer and we are grateful for our Kentucky Baptist friends who faithfully pray for us. Thank you for your prayers, love and support.
Larry Gritton is president of Oneida Baptist Institute in Oneida, Ky.
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