Prayer Summit - Each Church Send One


This letter was sent this week to all Christian Reformed churches. It has also been cross-posted in the Pastors section of The Network.

Dear Friends in Christ,

I'm writing to you today with a special, time-sensitive request. 
On April 16-18, a first-ever Prayer Summit for our denomination will take place in Los Angeles, Calif. By way of the “Each Church Send One!” campaign, I am inviting — and strongly encouraging — your congregation to send at least one person to this event. Our goal is to see hundreds of people, if not 1000+, gather together to learn not only how to pray in expanded ways but simply to pray. Undoubtedly, this will be a powerful time for all who attend.
The Prayer Summit is being organized by the Korean Council of Churches and will be held at All Nations Church, the largest congregation in the CRC with more than 3,000 members. It promises to be a powerful time of prayer, fellowship and fresh discovery of God’s work in hearts and lives.
So what are we praying for? For God’s leading in local churches, our 47 classes, our denomination, our communities, leadership at all levels, generations young and old, and so much more. This truly will be an unprecedented event that I, together with many others in the denomination, am committed to actively participating in and eagerly anticipate attending.
But time is of the essence. Prices are about to go up. Monday, March 26, is the deadline for discounted hotel pricing and on April 1 the conference registration increases to $125.
For complete details, including guest speakers, workshop leaders, location, registration, costs, and more, log on to:
Thank you in advance for actively and prayerfully considering the resources to send at least one person from your congregation to the Prayer Summit. I hope to see you there!
Serving together,
Rev. Joel R. Boot
Executive Director, Christian Reformed Church in North America
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Great idea!   Might I suggest that next time this prayer event is held in February when 1000s of retirees and vacationers from Canada and northern states are already in southern California, and many of them might be able to participate.   What a great ministry for "retired" people!  (and for others also). 

Community Builder

Who could ever dare oppose a Prayer Summit? There is something considerably uplifting about gathering together as a denomination to pray. I even love the notion of having every congregation send one person to this summit in Los Angeles.

But ... and here it comes ... if all 1,000 CRCs send one person, and the cost for each person (airfare, accommodation, meals, etc) is $1,000, that price tag is $1 million. Imagine the kind of ministry and mission we can accomplish for $1 million! How many new church plants? How many part-time salaries for the church planters? How many overseas mission staff will this cover? What kind of impact could $1 million have on any given city? Pick affordable housing in Grand Rapids, inner city missions in Detroit, a host of drop-in centres and other worthwhile social and spiritual programs.

Classis Huron had a prayer coordinator for many years. That position was dropped a year ago. Why? It seemed redundant. We have about 1,000 Prayer Summits every Sunday. It's called worship. Pastors pray, churches have groups of men and women who regularly pray. There are prayer vigils and prayer walks, courses on how to pray effectively. Each one of those activities are valid, uplifting and a blessing.

When synod gathers annually, it spends considerable time as a denomination in prayer.

We are a praying people and a praying denomination. The Prayer Summit in Los Angeles strikes me as something akin to Mecca; the only place in the world where "real" prayer seems to take place.

For a denomination that is affected by 'tough economic times', it seems that we could the $1 million for ministry that impacts the lives of others who need to hear the gospel message. The proposed 'holy huddle' strikes me as being too self-serv


sorry, Keith, if we are going to struggle with this, then we had better seriously struggle with the fact that we support missionaries by sending them to remote countries at the cost of $thousands per month, and instead we could support indigenous missionaries for $35 month.  So every single mission trip (particularly the short term) should be challenged then.  Tell the youth groups, just to give their money instead of going to Mexico or whereever... but we don't because we know God does something far above the $ and what happens in peoples lives (both those ministering and those being ministered to) is priceless.  I believe that is also true for prayer!

I believe prayer/worship is worth investing in, with biblical support for this.  King David financed billions of dollars to support ongoing prayer and worship in the temple.  Prayer/worship needs the support and investment just like we support missionaries who "do" something tangible. 

so just for fun =), calculate out in today's dollars, a minimum of what King David invested into prayer/worship, this is what he financed for the temple, not to help the poor, or rebuild the walls or some "project"... see I Chron. 22:14... for a start, 100,000 talents of Gold is like 7 million pounds times 16 oz. @ $1500/oz, that would be like oh, just about 170 billion dollars, yes that's Billion with a B!  Now add the 1M talents of silver, and the bronze and iron beyond measure (so that must be at least a million talents of each, since we could measure that much silver)   Can you imagine if we invested this kind of $ into worship and prayer?!?!  along with the "action" of doing?   I  believe God would open the floodgates of heaven far more than we have experienced so far (Malachi 3:10-11).

Prayer happens at many different levels.  all of it real prayer!  But I believe there are things that God doesn't do, until we pray together, communally, in unity, in one accord, IN ONE PLACE (see Acts 2:1 NKJV)!    that That's what it took for the church in Acts to start, 10 days of the leaders praying together... when was the last time, we have invested 10 consecutive days devoted to prayer into our church?  One statistic I'm aware of is, 95% of spiritual leaders aka pastors prayed 5 minutes or less a day!  Is the prayer in our denomination that much better?  another statistic is that when couples pray together on a consistent aka daily basis, the divorce rate drops from 1 in 2 or 3 to 1 in 1,152!  I haven't seen that rate yet in the crc, or even close.

Maybe we should question the cost of synod instead? and all those denom. ministry mtgs. all over the US, where people fly from all over to meet?     I strongly believe this/prayer is God's economy, creating positions so people can be committed to night and day worship and prayer!   in conjunction with His leading of doing our "good works" that He prepared in advance for us.  This is what the Moravians did for over 100 years!  partnered intentional continual prayer with mission efforts!   We are not there yet, but I pray we are on our way!


ps... King David was the only one in scripture called "a man after God's own heart" ...

Keith, as Tevye said in "Fiddler on the Roof",   you are also right!

Community Builder

I wholeheartedly support all of our initiatives regarding our mission endeavors, though I do have a few qualms about the value of mission trips .. but that is an entirely different discussion.

(SIDEBAR: A church's youth group raised $100,000 to send a group of them on a two-week mission trip to help build a school in Africa. As soon as that group of teens landed, all of them became quite ill and all of them spent the next two weeks in bed, finally feeling good enough to fly home. On hindsight, would they have been better off sending that $100,000 to give much-needed employment to dozens of local nationals? No doubt.)

Back to the Prayer Summit. We have an annual gathering of denominational representatives and its called Synod. That is where the denomination deals with issues, and celebrates an impressive host of ministries that take place around the world. Synod is 'bathed' in prayer. Add an extra day so that these duly appointed -- and funded -- delegates can take part in a Prayer Summit. This year's synod will take place in June in Hamilton, Ontario. The Summit can even be held on the 'mountain' overlooking the city.

To create a second denominational event -- a Prayer Summit -- where each church is asked to send a delegate/representative seems unnecessary. It also sets a dangerous precident. For example, I find considerable value in fasting. Should we convene a Fasting Summit, perhaps in the desert just south of Phoenix, where 1,000 representatives will gather from every congregation to truly experience a time of fasting while meditating on Jesus' time in the desert? You can create your own list of potential Summit themes.

We do a number of things well. The Calvin Centre for Worship convenes an annual worship symposium. It invites participants; it's not the denomination asking every congregation to send a representative. Likewise there are numerous worthwhile regional events involving mission or leadership development.

Don't get me wrong: prayer is the foundation of our spiritual conversation with God. I pray throughout the day, every day. I pray together with other congregation members on Sunday. I pray in small groups. In my role as executive director of the Canadian Christian Business Federation I pray with 13 different groups per month over breakfast: twice!

We have a denominational Day of Prayer where all CRCs in both countries spend time in prayer. It seems as though that isn't good enough. We need to have one representative from each church fly in to Los Angeles to pray .... leaving 10s of thousands of people back home to pray on their own.



I like your ideas, Keith... I really do =)... I love how God uses sharpening to bring things out, that otherwise might never be shared.  I hope and pray that they will become reality!

If we add fasting to the prayer summit, just think how much $ can be used instead for those indigenous missionaries ; )

I think there is much potential for growing the opportunities to pray together.  That would be great if Synod added a day just to pray.  No business, just get in tune with God, without distractions...  but as i understand, they have already shortened synod from a week because it was too hard to take that much time away, but if praying together more is a priority, it can happen.

That would be great if there are church/community/classis wide summits in conjunction (and/or at different times) with those who are called to the denomination wide summit.

I would love to see relays of 24/7 prayer happening, with different congregations taking one day a month and having their members cover that day in prayer, similar to the Moravian's 24/7 prayer for 100 plus years.

I didn't read Exec Director Joel Boot as asking, but "inviting and strongly encouraging" sending someone, and now it's about obedience for each congregation... is God calling you to go, to send someone, or not.   Just like missionaries being called to the field, leaving 10s of thousands back home...  It's just that traditionally we haven't viewed prayer on a similar level as mission work. 

I think there is biblical precedent for calling people to a "summit", King Jehoshaphat did on behalf of his nation and they "gathered together to ask help from the LORD..." see 2 Chron 20:3-4 NKJV (oops, my original post had I Chron.)   I wouldn't have been surprised if ED JB called a solemn/sacred assembly, and maybe the summit is one in a way without using that title (see Joel 2:15-17) .

 .  .  I could lament the prayerlessness that I've seen in believers through involvement at the local prayer center, again the 95% of spiritual leaders who are spending 5 minutes a day or less has unfortunately been verified when we meet with various leaders.  I hope and pray that is not the case for anyone in the crc, however the original statistic was from  a survey of 2000 presbyterian and reformed type pastors.

We are at a critical time in our denomination.  I don't know if it's more so than other times, or other denominations, or just that I've become much more aware of "stuff" going on.   

Acts 6:4 is a key verse... the elders/pastors are to primarily devote their time to prayer and ministry of the Word.  I would love to say that's happening, but the fruit isn't there, not when we are losing thousand's of members a year, pastors struggling with porn at a rate far more than a "hint", we're struggling with the younger generations, and a number of other significant concerns that the crc has as well. 

As Jehoshaphat confessed, so maybe we must too, that we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on You, God.


Bev, it would be interesting to add on a day of prayer to synod or classis meetings.  Those who can add a day would stay, and those who cannot add a day would not stay.   Although it may be a bit of a problem for some if it ends up causing problems for the Sunday.  But it could work for many, and might be a basis for prayer for those who need to return home (they could spend the same day in prayer at home, knowing they are doing so with others still at synod).   Maybe join in via webinar or simultaneous video connection....


Maybe the prayer time/day can be up front, then Sunday might not be a problem =)...  and, yes, with the simultaneous video like they do for synod, then people can post prayers on the scrolling commentary to share with those attending.   praying it happens!!

Community Builder

To continue that train of thought -- a Prayer Summit at Synod -- the local community could also be invited.

I know that Synod in June will be held at Redeemer University College in Ancaster/Hamilton, Ontario. I also know that there is a major Young Adult conference that preceeds synod and overlaps it a bit. It may be too late to organise the prayer summit it for this year ... but that would be a shame. Tying in the local community -- especially when Synod is on the road in Ontario or in Sioux Center or Palos Heights -- to a synodical event through a time of prayer would be awesome.

Imagine connecting synodical delegates and denominational leaders with the local church communities in a time of prayer!


I'm imagining, Keith!  LORD, make it happen!! 

The "prayer summits" I'm familiar with are actually led by the Holy Spirit... see link for further explanation on that one =)  They are fairly simple to organize, the key is having a team of facilitators that listen to/discern the Spirit's leading.  These "summits" have been highlights for me.