Every year for the past six years, the General Conference Ministerial Association has brought in a team of volunteers to bathe Annual Council and the pre-council meetings in prayer. This was my second year in a row that I have been blessed to be a part of this process.
Seeing how God moved upon the delegates and hearing time and time again from leaders in the church that they could palpably feel the presence of God brings a joy in my heart that cannot be put into words.
This ministry is an exhausting and invigorating experience all at the same time.
During the pre-council meetings, the prayer team this year, three of us total, would go into the General Conference building between 3:30 and 4:00 in the morning to walk through every department and pray. We literally covered the entire building in prayer, praying through every department and in the conference rooms—all before employees ever came in. We tried to leave by 6:15 so that we were not seen and would return to our hotel for some rest and personal devotional time before returning to the GC offices to pray in the afternoon as well.
Once Annual Council proper started, the prayer team was in the building at 6:00 in the morning to pray through the conference rooms and auditorium before the delegates arrived, and we did not leave until the business meetings for the day had finished.
Daily while Annual Council was in session, we led United Prayer in the mornings. After morning worship was over, we ensured that a member of the prayer team was always in the prayer room in the GC building to pray with staff, delegates, or visitors. We also had someone in the auditorium during the meetings to pray.
For some this may seem a bit much, but it isn’t. It is only by prayer and supplication that God pours out His Spirit; we do not have access to Him any other way. When our church leaders are making decisions that can and do affect the entire world, prayer—and much of it—is needed.
Power in Prayer
We have seen God work!
This year, when so many were expecting the elephant in the room to cause a ruckus, we saw nothing. While the elephant was there, it was well behaved and stayed in its designated place without creating a mess. This was the first time in a long time that I have heard of Annual Council ending as early as it did this year: a full day early. There was no debate or heated discussion about any report or vote. It truly was a peaceful and cooperative Council, and after the highly charged GC Session, it wasn’t expected to be so easy.
This year the prayer team met an employee who shared with us his burden: his wife had several lumps in her breast. Two prior tests had showed the lumps, and now they were waiting for results of an additional test. On Tuesday morning (the final day of Annual Council) he greeted us excitedly, with tears in his eyes. “The lumps are completely gone!” he told us. “The last test showed nothing!” He saw the miracle that God had performed for his wife and was so thankful that we had prayed for them.
These are just a couple reasons why I do this.
I have been blessed to build wonderful friendships with some church leaders and am honored and blessed to have them share the burdens on their hearts, asking that I will keep them in prayer. Conversely, I share my burdens with them and they keep me in prayer.
Prayer changes things—I have seen the proof. I thank God for the passion He has given me for prayer, and I can’t wait to see how He uses me next for His glory.
Top photo: Beams of light stream down on church leaders as they pray during Annual Council. Interestingly enough, the beams were not seen by the naked eye!
 In United Prayer, we gather in a group and lift our praises, general confessions, supplications, and thanks to God using short one- to two-sentence requests. This format allows more people to pray, and we don’t waste time explaining a request just to turn around and have someone else pray for it. For more information about United Prayer, download a free e-book, Praying for Rain, published by the Ministerial Association.