saiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
We welcome you new year 2018. What new things will you bring?
Many of us are praying fervently for this new year to bring a great revival to West Michigan that will spread from here to the rest of Michigan, to the nation, and to the ends of the earth. There are many signs of the times that fuel our passion to continue to pray and seek God’s face for our region. The tide is rising. Many are jumping into the waters. At some time, which we do not know, but the Lord knows, we believe a great tidal wave of revival is coming to West Michigan. We are not the only ones praying for this. There are many groups who are receiving this same direction from the Lord, and the cry is rising up to Heaven from the North, the South, the East and the West. Oh Lord, hear our cry! Revive our region! Send forth Your Holy Spirit!
This past Monday and Tuesday several of us had the privilege to gather along the Western banks of Lake Michigan at Maranatha Conference Center at the Pastor’s Prayer Summit. Why? Why would busy pastors give up two days to gather together to pray? Because we believe that pastors first must seek God’s face in prayer. Acts 6:4 states that the priorities of the leaders of the early church were prayer and the ministry of the Word. These should also be our priorities today.
Something very special and sacred was begun at the pastors prayer summit this week. Something that we pray will become a regular occurrence. Pastors from many different denominations, races, ages and gender, all came together to focus upon the One under whose head we are all united. All came; male and female, young and old, under one head, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is coming soon for His one bride, the Church. Encouragement was given, relationships were formed, unity was experienced.
Dennis Fuqua director of International Renewal Ministries (IRM) facilitated expertly, and with great sensitivity to the Holy Spirit. We searched the scriptures for a theme he would mention, and pray these scriptures one after the other. Praying God’s very Word, we have confidence that God hears and will answer these prayers. 1 John 5:14 (NIV),
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
We were led in prayers to focus upon Jesus and His cross, prayers to worship His Holy Name, prayers of God’s heart for our Church and region. We prayed for hours that seemed like mere minutes. Spontaneous song would arise from those in attendance. We shared the Lord’s Supper together in a very vulnerable and personal way; each sharing what the cross of Jesus has done for us as we held the bread and the cup in our hands.
This type of prayer summit is not new to our region. Years ago, pastors met together at Camp Geneva led by this same organization. I am told it was “glorious”. My father, a CRC pastor participated in these gatherings. As his daughter, now a CRC clergy myself, I am filled with awe to think that the prayers we prayed this week, are joined together with the prayers of those pastors who went before us, praying the same scripture, crying out to the same Lord Jesus, singing the same hymns, empowered by the same Holy Spirit, and my heart cries out all the louder, “Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!”
CityFest Prayer team Co-Chairs:
Mary Sterenberg and Randy Hekman