The Christian Reformed Church’s first-ever Prayer Summit, held April 16-18, drew more than 450 daytime registrants, with as many as 1,000 people gathering for prayer in the evenings.
The Korean Council of Churches invited the denomination to join together in prayer for the event, hosted by All Nations CRC in Los Angeles, the CRC’s largest congregation, with more than 3,000 members.
Attendees came from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, displaying some of the diversity in the CRC.
“So what are we praying for?” asked Joel Boot, executive director of the CRC. “For God’s leading in local churches, our 47 classes, our denomination, our communities, leadership at all levels, generations young and old, and so much more. . . . It promises to be a powerful time of prayer, fellowship, and fresh discovery of God’s work in hearts and lives.”
John Witvliet, director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, told those gathered that it is essential to pray to “the one God who is good and great, our God who is the fountain of all goodness.”
Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, reminded the gathering of the need to pray for people who are being treated unjustly, as well as to act prayerfully on their behalf, whether they are overseas or closer to home. He spoke of the significant role [prayer] plays in the scope of redemptive activity.
During one of the evening sessions, 1,000 prayer intercessors were challenged by Rev. Jin So Yoo, All Nation’s senior pastor. He reminded people the urgency of Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer.
On the finale evening, Rev. Pildo Joung, founding pastor of Sooyoungro Presbyterian Church in Busan, Korea, spoke, with Rev. Moses Chung providing simultaneous translation. Joung focused on dynamic and innovative prayer and evangelism ministries and how they have sparked, with God’s grace, a city-wide gospel movement.
In addition to those large group sessions, attendees prayed in smaller groups—including the opportunity to participate in “Dawn Prayer” at 5:30 a.m.
More than 150 volunteers from All Nations CRC providedmeals for the event, as well as taking care of other hosting activities.
Irene Fennema traveled from Christ Community CRC in Victoria, British Columbia. “I’m so happy I came because I met new friends and prayer intercessors, learned even more than what I already knew, and felt closer to my God.”
Euisup Song, an elder from East Bay Korean CRC, El Cerrito, Calif., said, “This summit helped me be a stronger Christian. The presence of God is revealed by Christians’ united prayers. Praying in union is so effective and powerful.”
The Prayer Summit was not limited to the event in Los Angeles. On April 17 at 3 p.m. EDT, 40 congregations around the continent prayed with those in Los Angeles.
There were 3,000 downloads of the hour-long “Watch and Pray” video from the summit website.
“Our God is an awesome God. We hope that this prayer and repentance movement continues in the CRC and abroad,” said Rev. Tong Park, Korean ministry director.
Rev. Moses Chung, director of Christian Reformed Home Missions, spoke on behalf of the organizers of the summit: “We pray the Spirit of God continues to move in powerful ways from coast to coast.”