On October 27, Classis Grand Rapids South (a regional group of Christian Reformed churches in Michigan) wrapped up a 30-day prayer journey with participation from nine congregations.
Participants in Praying Thirty Days for Three People (30-4-3) undertook daily prayer for three people who have not stepped into a life-giving relationship with Jesus. The idea was born from the desire within the classis to do outreach more effectively.
Jolene DeHeer, a member of LaGrave Avenue CRC, developed a template for daily devotionals to guide participants in listening prayer. “The template was loosely structured after a lectio Divina type of prayer,” DeHeer said, “with an added step that gave some practical suggestions for living out what people had prayed about.”
Each church in the classis was also invited to weave the prayer journey into a four-part sermon series focused on prayer, hospitality, witnessing, and evangelism. Encouraged by the decisions of some churches to continue the journey beyond the 30 days, Rev. David Struyk of Community Church said, ‘It’s not just a program, but it’s becoming part of our lives and the lives of our churches to pray for the lost.”
Around 60 people attended the October 27 service, and 20 people shared testimonies of answers to prayer and personal growth in prayer. “I love having my day start focused on being in tune with God and centering on others before myself,” said one participant. “I have truly appreciated the daily recalibration in order to be present to love and listen in God’s name.”
Others testified about improved relationships with family members and about acquaintances opening the door to deeper connections. “Ultimately, we are looking for and expecting lives to be changed,” Struyk said. Though not aware of specific stories of conversion, he said, “I heard stories of people who responded and started coming to church; people who had been alienated or anti-faith.”
More information on the 30-4-3 prayer journey is available on the classis website.