While the pandemic caused the cancellation of General Conference, it did not cause the cancellation of prayer. After our last General Conference, Bishop Cliff and the BOA realized that if our movement was going to reverse the trend of decline we were experiencing, we needed to make prayer a priority and develop ourselves into a “house of prayer”. The first step was to form a National Prayer Team that would seek to nurture our prayer life. During the following 3 years a number of initiatives were started including: asking each church to appoint a “Prayer Point Person” to partner with us to be a catalyst for prayer in their local church, creating a webpage and Facebook page, establishing 3 monthly national Zoom Room prayer meetings (including one in French), and sending out a monthly prayer point letter to encourage, inform and resource our pastors and the Prayer Point People. It also included initiating 40 days of prayer and fasting, for renewal of the FMCIC, leading up to the next General Conference and concluding them with a one-day, “If My People Pray” prayer summit.
Then Covid-19 struck. This led to cancelling General Conference, but upping our fervency of prayer. We stuck with our 40 days of prayer and fasting for renewal and added praying about the negative effects of the pandemic. It included a 24/7 around-the-clock prayer rotation of churches (33 of our churches covered 32 of those days). Prayer resources were also sent out for each day: excellent devotionals written by our own people that inspired us, praise and prayer points that informed us, prayers from the Bible that grounded us. This season of prayer helped prepare us to gather for a virtual prayer summit at its conclusion. Well over 200 hundred people, from across Canada, came together on line to hear some excellent teaching about prayer from Doug and Margie Newton, who co-founded the National Prayer Ministry of the Free Methodist Church in the United States. But we did not just learn more about prayer, we also concertedly prayed together for our renewal in virtual “breakout rooms” of 4 or 5 people. After the summit a Q&A session was offered and over a hundred people stayed for another 45 minutes.
Though we were unable to hold a day long Prayer Summit as we had originally planned, we did a virtual evening one. Now we would like to plan for another 2 or 3 of these over this coming year. I believe God is stirring up a spirit of prayer and supplication among us that we have been asking Him for. We trust that these summits will be used by God to inspire, educate and empower all of us to be catalysts of prayer in our local congregations, which will lead to the FMCIC becoming a house of prayer that welcomes the renewing work of the Spirit that will impact our communities, nation and world.
|Re-digging the wells of revival|
National Prayer Team Leader