By Bill MacLeod
The first-ever Prayer ConneXion event in May was a successful display of teamwork, and 115 individuals representing over 40 local churches paid their registration and turned out to hear Dr. Dick Eastman, Director of Every Home for Christ; Pastor Dee Duke of Jefferson Baptist Church; and a host of workshops led by prayer-motivated mission leaders. This project has been several years in the making and has been the prayer and desire of the Team, led by Rev. Dennis Fuqua, Director of International Renewal Movement; James Autry, Executive Director of Serving Our Neighbors and the Christian Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Gerry Breshears of Western Seminary, Doug Hazen, WorldVenture’s National Director for Mobilization Prayer, and Peggy Leinweber of WorldVenture.
A unique goal this Planning Team had from the start was to spend as much time praying during the event as learning about prayer for missions. The Team’s approach to meet this was to ask each of their respective prayer networks the question: “If prayer is such an important part in the mobilization of workers onto the field, what would it look like to host a Prayer ConneXion event focused on just this premise?” The Team then acted on that input and the event definitely encouraged, educated, and equipped followers of Christ to engage in prayer specifically so that they could be more effective in spreading the Gospel in their own lives, and so they could pray for others to do the same. And the sessions of prayer during the event were powerful and life changing.
The responses from the surveys give a clear picture:
- “I am a new Christian of one and a half years – this just opened up a whole new world to me – I have so much to learn and growth to come…”
- Another student admitted: “Just this week I had felt God ask me for a specific time commitment per week in prayer but doubted I had the strength and lessened it by 25%, but now God has encouraged me to trust Him for His help.”
- “I loved hearing what the Lord is doing to further the Gospel around the world and how prayer is a big part. Dick Eastman’s message of being more systematic in prayer was important for me to hear for greater commitment with God’s power.”
- From a member of a local church’ missions team: “Thank you for this Mission ConneXion event. I feel moved to start a prayer ministry at my church (we need it).”
- From a local mission agency leader: “I got great feedback from my team about the prayer conference. We have all been to several Mission ConneXion events and [this] was the most impacting of those events for many of us.”
Jesus said: “So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
ConneXion events exist to fulfill the vision of Mission ConneXion, namely to “connect local churches and individuals to mission, so that increasing numbers of believers are actively serving in areas of the world’s greatest need and opportunity.” Who knows what the Lord may do in preparing for another Prayer ConneXion event? If you are interested in missions and prayer and would like to be a part of what this team is envisioning for a similar event next year, please contact Dennis Fuqua.