Participants at the Prayer Summit gathered for three days of worship and prayer.
“It seems that as a pastor that I spend so much time studying God’s Word and less time than I would prefer in prayer,” said Dave Buurma, pastor of Valley Christian Reformed Church in Napa, Calif. “Prayer is an important part of my life, but I wanted to do something to develop that side of my devotion even more.”
“I was humbled and inspired by the testimonies,” said Zeke Nelson, pastor/church planter at Church of the Cross in Delhi, Calif.
A highlight for many participants was the diversity represented. “I love the passion the Koreans have when they pray, and their incredible dedication to gather together very early every day for prayer and worship! What an honor and delight to our God,” said Laurie Buurma, prayer ministry leader at Valley CRC.
According to Sam Huizenga, small group discipleship goal specialist for Christian Reformed Home Missions and part of the planning team for the summit, the goal was to catalyze a grassroots prayer movement within the classes (regional groupings of churches). That goal is being realized, as classis prayer coordinators have nearly tripled in the last year, said Huizenga.
Dave Buurma said, “I came away with a renewed passion for prayer and also some ideas for how to incorporate different kinds and styles of prayer in our corporate worship.”
For Michelle Loyd-Paige of Muskegon, Mich., the prayer summit was an opportunity to share one of her greatest joys: dance. Attending the summit on behalf of Angel Community CRC, a primarily urban African-American congregation, 54-year-old Loyd-Paige was asked by All Nations Church to perform a dance to the song “This Is My Desire.”
“That song is like a prayer, and my dance was embodied prayer,” said Loyd-Paige. “Being asked to dance was an honor. I am not a trained dancer; I am a worshiper. I was not dancing for people but dancing for an audience of one—God, my Father.”
Back at her home church, Loyd-Paige holds a liturgical dance workshop called The Moving Word once a month. Although Loyd-Paige was the only one from her dance group able to make it to the prayer summit, she brings back a reminder that worship is not about us, but about God. “I was also reminded that we can dance our prayers and that dance crosses every language barrier,” said Loyd-Paige.
In addition to those who attended the prayer summit, there were 53 “Watch and Pray” sites around the country and over 350 hits on the website.