On a Saturday in late June, Christian Reformed churches from Classis Arizona and Reformed churches from the Reformed Church in America’s Classis of the Southwest gathered in person and in cyberspace for a prayer summit that crossed state lines.
Church leaders in El Paso, Texas, started in their city early in the morning. After joining the Arizona group by Skype, leaders from Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff, Ariz., continued the summit at Christ’s Community Christian Reformed Church in Chandler.
Jonathan Gerstner, pastor of Christ’s Community and a member of Mission Southwest, a joint classis church planting committee, said, “The leadership of Mission Southwest were convinced the only hope to turn around the decline in membership of the classes would come from humbling themselves and seeking the Holy Spirit's power.”
Over 40 summit participants fasted during the noon hour and spent the first hour of prayer focused on humbling and confessional posture. The second and third hours focused on seeking the Holy Spirit’s presence and fullness.
Ben and Helen Jones, prayer team leaders of Orangewood CRC in Phoenix, Ariz.,said, “Listening to half a dozen pastors confess their sins and those of their congregation is both awesome and humbling. Particularly inspiring were the prayers of some young men who were preparing to become commissioned pastors.”
The summit included praise and worship as well as prayers in English and Spanish.
Agustin Hubert, a 24 year-old church planter from Longview Community Church in central Phoenix, Ariz., said, “The Bible says whenever we humble ourselves and seek the Lord, he will hear our prayers and heal our land. This summit was a great moment of CRC and RCA leaders and pastors coming together to pray for our city.”