When SCBO president Pastor Ryan Strother called Ohio Baptists to First Friday Fast 2020 last November, none of us had heard of COVID-19. Months ago, when we partnered with Pastor Chad Allen and Cuyahoga Valley Church to plan a Prayer Summit with Daniel Henderson, a worldwide pandemic was something in sci-fi movies. But Jesus knew what was coming. Friday, March 6, about 50 pastors and prayer leaders met at CVC for a day of seeking the Lord and His plan for our lives, families, churches, and communities.
The focus of the day was to seek Jesus’ face more than His hands, to talk to Jesus, not just about Him, and to seek to understand passionately, know, and intimately relate to Jesus, first and foremost. Through a unique transformative prayer format, we drew near to Jesus together. We came with no personal agendas and left with His agenda for reaching Ohio and beyond on our hearts.
Daniel Henderson led us to worship, glorify, and enjoy Jesus through singing, Scripture reading, and prayer. Daniel, the author of Old Paths, New Power: Awakening the Church Through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word, is president and founder of Strategic Renewal and The 6:4 Fellowship. The vision of Strategic Renewal is Helping Pastors Succeed… God’s Way.
One participant shared how this affirmed the work of Jesus in his heart:
“Thank you for the persistent invitation to the prayer summit. For some reason, I was pushing back against going. Just another event. I should have known better. You tried to tell me. But I do believe it was where I was at in my life. Anything that smacked of institutional relationship, I wanted to distance myself. I am so glad I went. Indeed, it was where the Father wanted me. It was a reset…
Over the last few months, I have enjoyed and am experiencing a prayer life that has become free in that I don’t feel like I need to tell God how things need to turn out. I have spent a lot of time telling God what to do. I have made light of that saying God says, ‘Wow, I never thought of that.’ But what I have come to discover is that I am not telling God how to answer my prayer. I am just working out in my mind what needs to be done. Which means I’m not really praying but just thinking through what I or someone else needs to do. The shift with “so that” is as I lift my prayers the “so that” is focused on the Father being glorified and His will being done with no help or suggestions from me. What I bring is a surrendered, obedient heart! That has moved me to what I understand now today as prayer.”
Are you sensing Jesus nudging you toward a deeper intimacy? It is too soon to call it a movement, but there is seems to be more interest in prayer in churches across our state. Resources are available at scbo.org/pray. Contact Steve Hopkins (SteveHopkins@scbo.org or 614.309.9746) for more information on available resources.
Daniel Henderson, the author of Old Paths, New Power: Awakening the Church Through Prayer and the Ministry of the Word, is president and founder of Strategic Renewal and The 6:4 Fellowship. The vision of Strategic Renewal is Helping Pastors Succeed… God’s Way.
“Prayer summit 2020 - Oh, what a blessing! I had never heard of a prayer summit before, but I am so glad I attended. As the world around us seems to get more troubled, we can ill afford to let the discipline of prayer to be shoved out of our lives. The prayer summit was a powerful time of drawing close to the Savior and allowing the Spirit to move among us. Why is it that these times of spiritual refreshment seem like such rare opportunities? Beloved, let us hold on tight to the Master’s hand and bear down in prayer each and every day.”