Last Monday I made my way down Highway 9 to New Life Ranch on Boulder Mountain, the site of the 26th Arkansas Prayer Summit. As I drove up the serpentine road to the Mountain Crest Cabin, I wasn’t sure what to expect because this was my first prayer summit. All I knew was that this was a summit, prayer was involved and it was in Arkansas.
When I saw the main room where the summit would take place, there was nothing remarkable about the space at first glance. Two rows of non-matching chairs aligned in a circle. A keyboard. A table with a few books on it. That’s about it. There was no registration table. No banner on the wall. No stage. No sound system. No projector. None of the things you think are standard at events like these.
The first session began right after dinner. Logan, who facilitated our gathering, welcomed us. “Some of you have been to many prayer summits and others are here for the first time. But no one has been to this prayer summit. I believe the Lord has something personal for each of us. We want to make this room a sacred space to seek the Lord with minimal distractions. We are here and Jesus is here.”
THE KINDLINGS OF REVIVAL
We talked about the unique time in which we find ourselves right now. There are kindlings of revival happening all over the country. You could sense the excitement as these pastors and ministry leaders shared their prayer-filled desire for God to turn those kindlings into a white-hot flame of revival where people are turning to God in repentance and faith.
From that first session, we entered a time of worship. What struck me about our time together was the simplicity of it all. There was no detailed plan or program. All we had was a desire to worship God with our hearts and voices, whether through prayer, reading scripture or singing.
The first session lasted over two hours but it felt like twenty minutes. I learned from that first session that this time together would not be driven by the clock or a schedule. It would be driven and led by the Spirit. I also learned that this time was about prayer but prayer through worship. We were coming before God to praise Him, confess our sins, seek His face and plead with Him to move in our midst and in our cities.
HERE TO WORSHIP
The next day of the summit was a full slate. After getting our fill of sausage and biscuits and gravy for breakfast, we began another prayer session. The format and program didn’t change. We continued in worship throughout the day. I believe God was teaching me that my time at the summit was more about removing distractions and simply being with God.
I cannot overstate the importance of interacting with other pastors and ministry leaders during the summit. To see the priority leaders like Peggy put on prayer reminded me that where there is prayer, there is power. Everything she prays for, she prays with faith that God will do something at that very moment. If He doesn’t, she prays the next day with the same fervor for God to act. Keith, a pastor in North Little Rock, lingered long with the Lord in his prayers. His prayers were intimate and personal, like he was talking with a close friend. Tony, a retired pastor in his 80s, prayed with the vigor that few men still have at his age. Having attended many prayer summits, he knew the importance of gathering pastors and ministry leaders together for prayer. To him, prayer isn’t just an accessory. It’s a necessity and no great movement of God in society happens without it.
That evening we took communion as a group. Keith led us in observing the broken body and shed blood of our Savior together. We didn’t rush through that time. Instead, we sat in the beauty and wonder of Jesus, who lived His life to serve and give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45). We celebrated his death and resurrection and prayed for God to move again in our country through His Spirit to bring revival and renewal.
Our last session on this holy hilltop took place the next day. We prayed, asking God to revive our cities in Arkansas and make them flourish. That our churches would be united and on God’s agenda, not our own. That our hopes and desires would be founded on the gospel’s power to bring lasting change to individuals and whole communities.
POWER THROUGH PRAYER
At first, I didn’t see anything remarkable in the main room at the Mountain Crest cabin. But I wasn’t seeing things in the right way. I didn’t understand that it didn’t matter if eight or fifty-eight people were there. God always moves in power through the prayers of His people, regardless of number. He is working and invites us to be a part of His movement. Prayer connects us to His movement and His heart like nothing else.
Looking back, I see how necessary it was for me to get away from the busyness of life to worship God through prayer with others. To give my burdens to the Lord and find true rest in Him. From what I heard from the other pastors and ministry leaders there, they too appreciated this rare opportunity. This wasn’t just another event to fill our calendars. It was an opportunity to set our gaze on the Father in worship and abide with Him for a little while. To join Him in a prayer movement that is impacting this generation and will impact generations to come.
I am already eagerly waiting for next year’s prayer summit. In the meantime, I pray with hope for all God will do when we gather in extraordinary times for extraordinary prayer.
Christopher Loux | Communications Director, CityChurch Network