The Ethne prayer workgroup hosted the Fellowship of Prayer Strategists held Jan 31-Feb 2, 2014 in Plano, TX, at the Act Beyond offices and was attended by 45 leaders, including 2 from Africa, 5 from Latin America, 6 from Indonesia as well as from Europe and North America. Believing prayer is the indispensable key to the unfinished task, we sensed the Lord calling people of prayer to model and assist others in cultivating conversational relationship with God and igniting movements to Christ based on extraordinary prayer particularly among unreached people groups.
Goals were to: a) facilitate prayer in order to maximize its fruitfulness especially on behalf of strategy teams laboring in the most difficult fields, b) coach/mentor home and field personnel in building greater intimacy with God, stronger prayer teams and integrating prayer in all they do, c) building stronger connections between agencies, denominations and the global prayer movements, and d) allow iron to sharpen iron—through accountability and agreement in prayer. Eleven key leaders shared case studies of different spheres of prayer and their role in igniting movements to Christ. Following the case studies, small groups discussed the issues and the plenary group summarized the sense we were getting from the Lord in each of these areas.
Key outcomes included recognition of the need to more formally define “prayer strategist” and their role and to do more writing and theological discussion about this for the wider Body of Christ. Many participants strongly identified with the concept and the various aspects of this type of approach. These included the role of intimacy with God, partnering and networking in prayer and the synergy that results, facilitating such an approach in organizations, denominations, and teams, onsite prayer and prayer rooms, including prayer as ministry and part of member health, prayer journeys and prayerwalking with a view to breakthroughs, repentance and reconciliation as part of igniting movements, 24/7 prayer and houses of prayer and their role, and prayer as strategy.
As the Ethne movement has been considering how the various working groups could intentionally work together toward finishing the task and accelerating movements to Christ among those with the least access to the gospel, the Ephesus vision emerged as one way that these groups could join hands together focused on identified gaps. This Fellowship of Prayer Strategists is the direction the prayer working group is going to encourage a synthesis of effort where it is needed most. We expect further such gatherings to be held in various regions around the world over the next several years to develop the vision further. More detailed noted are available upon request from firstname.lastname@example.org.