Congregational Prayer Summits – What and Why

At the conclusion of a Men’s Congregational Prayer Summit, I gave opportunity for people to share one word or short phrase responses to this four day worship experience.  One man said “It was the best marriage seminar I have ever been to.”  I remember thinking, “But, we did not talk or pray about marriage!” But the Author of marriage had spoken to this man and the man had listened. 

On the last morning of another Summit, I heard a young man pouring out thanks and love to the Lord for what He had done at this Summit.  As I opened my eyes to look at the other side of the circle of chairs, I saw this young man leaning against his dad’s shoulder.  His mom was leaning against the other shoulder.  All three were holding hands and using the “ministry towelettes” from the box on the floor beside them.  I thought to myself “Lord, what a privilege to share in this holy moment.”

In the last 16 years, over 1,000 Pastors Prayer Summits have taken place in 32 states and 20 nations.  Now more pastors are seeing the value of leading their people in a similar experience. 

What is a Prayer Summit?

A Congregational Prayer Summit is an extended, multi-day, life-changing worship experience attended by portions of a congregation.  Their sole purpose is to seek God, His kingdom, and His righteousness with the expectation that He will create and guide them through a humbling, healing, uniting process that will lead them to a unity of heart, mind, and mission and will qualify them for the blessing of God.

It is a time to seek God but with no prearranged script to direct the time; to be more interested in who God is than what He can do; to seek His face more than His hand;

to spend prolonged, unhurried time with Him in the midst of His family.  It is a time of Spirit led, worship fed, corporate prayer.  Spirit led, as opposed to pre-planned.  Worship fed, as opposed to request driven.  And corporate prayer, as opposed to a group of individual prayers offered in a group setting.  Its focus is on formation more than information, an environment more than an event, a process more than a product, and time with Jesus becomes a delight more than a duty.

Why do a Prayer Summit?

Why invest the time, energy and dollars in a Prayer Summit?  Aren’t we busy enough?  It is not about working more; it is about working more effectively.

A Prayer Summit is…

  • a wonderful environment for people to learn the delight of corporate, worship based prayer
  • an opportunity for both the leaders and the congregation to have a common knowledge and common experience related to prayer
  • a means for a congregation as a group to hear from God’s heart and receive His passion for the world
  • a way congregational leadership can live out the commitment of Acts 6:4
  • the closest environment of what we know of NT church life

What happens in our regular Sunday morning services is very good, but a Prayer Summit allows…

  • Jesus to be at the center and the pastor to facilitate the process of all the people looking at and moving toward Him:
  • all the people to participate and contribute to the flow of the meeting in a meaningful and significant way:
  • various gifts to be used and appreciated:
  • various perspectives to be shared and valued:
  • allows for flexibility without preset time constraints.

More information is available at www.prayersummits.net.

February 2005

Comments are closed