Inspired by the image of Jesus going up a mountain to pray, 14 members of five Christian Reformed churches met for a day of prayer at Westminster Abbey, a picturesque location set high atop a hill overlooking the community of Mission, B.C. The Abbey consists of a church, seminary, and farm run by a community of Benedictine monks.
The prayer retreat was organized by Eldean Kamp, prayer mobilizer for Classis BC South East, a regional group of churches. The Abbey was chosen as a location because it offers inspiring spaces for individual as well as group prayer. “The Eagle’s Nest is a quiet place in the building overlooking the grounds, and there are meandering paths throughout the property taking us to lookouts of the valley and through the forest,” she explained. “Even the architecture begs us to worship—the multicolored glass reflecting light, the symbols on the walls, and fountains of gurgling water all remind us of God’s greatness.”
The theme for the day, “Bringing in the Harvest,” focused on how prayer can be a tool to help churches reach out into the community. Communal worship and prayer were accompanied by Bible study as well as times for small group and individual prayer.
Bill Veenstra, pastor of Cornerstone Christian Reformed Church in Chilliwack, B.C., was at first concerned about the schedule for the day. “My initial thought was ‘That is a long time for me to go off by myself and pray’! Yet when it was time to reassemble, I remember the distinct feeling of ‘I could have spent more time at this’,” he said. “It was a time to search my soul as I strove toward understanding, articulating, and confessing what stood in the way of my being a more engaged participant in gathering the harvest.”
Another attendee said, “I was feeling a bit under-inspired and felt it was important to be at this day apart. It pulled me back into a desire and conviction to pray for the harvest.”