Nearly 2,000 Christians representing over a dozen denominations gathered on a cold, wet Saturday evening in April to pray for the city of Grand Rapids, Mich.
Many local Christian Reformed congregations participated in the event, called Gathering Grand Rapids, and had a hand in planning for it.
Prayers for government, family, young people, and the body of Christ were delivered from the stage followed by the invitation to pray in small groups. These were interspersed with times of praise and worship conducted in both English and Spanish.
Ministry associate Stedford Sims of Step of Faith, a church plant of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, was impressed by the cross-generational nature of the gathered crowd. Prayers were spoken by participants of many different age groups and also involved leaders of both church and local government.
John West, pastor of Southside Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Wyoming, Mich., described the prayer service as “a taste of heaven,” referring to the diverse range of people representing many tongues and nations.
Gathering Grand Rapids began over a year ago with local pastors coming together for prayer and seeking ways to demonstrate unity. When they asked each other, “Would united prayer be good for our city?” the resounding response was, “Yes!”
Leaders of the event attribute its success to its centeredness on the person of Jesus Christ. There were no sponsoring organizations nor was anyone on the stage recognized by name.
Similar events are planned for the National Day of Prayer in May and the Global Day of Prayer in June.