I regretfully admit that the 25th annual Arkansas Prayer Summit was actually my very first to attend. Numerous times over the past twenty years I’ve been invited but managed to always find some reason (excuse?) NOT to attend. I’m not even sure why, but I just never made it a priority.
However, a few months before the covid pandemic began, God convicted me deeply that prayer must be a more prominent part of my life and ministry. Suddenly I became a student of prayer with an almost insatiable appetite to learn everything I could. I read books on prayer, met with men I considered prayer warriors, attended prayer rallies, and developed a more vibrant prayer life than I’d ever known. So, when the invitation for this year’s prayer summit came, I signed up.
Honestly, I wasn’t even sure what a prayer summit was. I didn’t know what I’d actually signed up for. I didn’t know what to expect. I was simply excited about spending an entire day devoted to nothing but sitting at the feet of Jesus, which is precisely what we did.
I confess I became a little nervous when one of the first things the facilitator said was that there was no agenda. But what he meant was there was no man-made agenda, no preconceived plan for how we would pray or what we might ask of God. We would simply respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, in what would be ‘worship-based prayer’ as we read scripture and worshiped God.
It was among the most incredible and meaningful times of prayer I’ve ever experienced in my life. I sincerely believe it was because our time together was orchestrated by the Holy Spirit Himself rather than the dictates of man. God is such a better leader than men. And as the facilitator said, “if you just seek God’s hand you will miss his face.”
Those in attendance were bonded together in an authentic unity that can’t be fabricated as we interceded for one another. We bowed together as brothers and sisters before God, seeking His face, hearing His voice, and feeling his touch, and I’m not sure we will ever be the same.
I still don’t know exactly why I never made the prayer summit a priority in previous years, but after my experience this year it will certainly be a priority for me in the future.