In the summer months of June and July 2007, Olivet, MidAmerica, and Northwest Nazarene Universities hosted regional prayer summits. From April to July 2008, the summits took place at Eastern Nazarene College, Trevecca Nazarene University, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Southern Nazarene University, and Point Loma Nazarene University.
The summits were a profound time of refreshing, renewal, help, and healing for many clergy. Randy Berkner, district superintendent from Wisconsin said, "In a culture where one's worth is often measured in terms of doing, it is somewhat counterintuitive for ministers to temporarily lay aside pressing demands and devote 48 hours for simply being with Jesus. I'm so glad that I did!"
The 48-hour gatherings were filled with prayer, communion, praise and worship, and life application from the Word of God. At the outset of each gathering, prayer summit facilitator Tom White promised there would be no agendas and stated, "Brothers and sisters, we are here to let the Holy Spirit lead us." And at each of the three summits, the presence of Christ was very near.
White is a seasoned veteran to prayer summits. He is a Wesleyan graduate of Asbury, has led prayer summits globally for 18 years and has authored three books including Citywide Prayer Movements. Daniel Ketchum, NMI director, has worked closely and internationally with Tom for more than 20 years, co-facilitating pastors prayer summits and citywide prayer movements in Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, and across North America.
Those participating described a profound personal and community encounter with God: Robert Anderson from Three Rivers, Michigan, "How can we put what we have experienced into words?! I have experienced prayer all my life and throughout my ministry, but the freedom to share in God's presence goes beyond description."
Carla Sunberg from Fort Wayne, Indiana, compared the gathering to a spiritual formation retreat, "This kind of intentional prayer is necessary if we want to see real change in our churches and communities." The Board of General Superintendents (BGS) is providing leadership to this refreshing movement and has appointed a global prayer initiatives leadership team.
Holiness Today, July/August 2008