Leaders from vastly different streams of Christendom put aside differences to pray for one another and our nation.
Last week, denominational, church network, and prayer leaders gathered in Atlanta for a two day Solemn Assembly. A time of intense prayer, the event was hosted by three different organizations, Ronnie Floyd with Cross Church, David Ferguson with Great Commandment Ministries, and Kay Horner with Awakening America Alliance and The Helper.
The Solemn Assembly might have been just like any other leadership gathering… except it wasn’t. For starters, there was no keynote message given. There was virtually no preaching of any kind. The dozens of leaders that took the stage were given a few minutes to speak about an issue, and then there was a corporate time of prayer regarding that issue. No introductions, no logos, or titles, just prayer… united prayer.
Christian leaders purposely put aside divisive issues like eternal security, gifts of the Spirit, initial evidence, women in ministry, prosperity, politics, and so many more for the sake of Biblical unity. Instead, the focus centered on the importance of Jesus, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the Great Commission.
After a brief open by Ronnie Floyd, every participant got on their knees as a sign of repentance and humiliation before the Lord. Byron Paulus of Life Action Ministries, Johnny Hunt of First Baptist Church Woodstock, GA, and Jeff Farmer of Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America lead the group in personal repentance and repentance in the church and nation.
“Revival came in Uganda as a result of devastation and not desperation,” commented Byron Paulus. “What are we going to do in America to keep that from happening?”
Sammy Rodriguez, Dave Butts, Paul Cedar and Tom Phillips led times of prayer focusing on the power of God and strongholds in our lives.
Tony Perkins with Family Research Council and Harry Jackson with Hope Christian Church in Maryland spoke briefly about the necessity of revival in America.
“Like squeezing an empty tube of toothpaste, we have squeezed the blessings of past generations until it is now empty. We must have a new experience of His presence,” said Perkins.
Steve Douglass, President of Cru concluded the prayer time with an exhortation to reach the lost for Christ.
The remainder of the last day was given to next steps. It was mentioned many times during the two days the leaders gathered, that this should not be a one-time event. The organizing teams challenged leaders to host their own Sacred Assemblies in 2016 with their own congregations. Tony Evans, Nick Hall, Claude King, Jeremy Story, Mark Dance, Mac Pier, Alton Garrison, and Bob Bakke spoke about opportunities for engagement during the coming year.
Of the 320,000 churches in the United States, 120,000 were represented in the room. From the beginning of the gathering, there was an electric feeling that God was going to do something great. Seasoned leaders commented that they hadn’t seen this kind of prayer gathering in a very long time. Organizers hope the Sacred Assembly will be used as a model for prayer gatherings this year.