Epicenter Prayer Summit encourages Christians to bless Israel, neighbors
Cliff Keller, Kehila News
The 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit, held by The Joshua Fund, included one evening and full day of “teaching, prayer, praise and worship” at the Jerusalem Theater on July 11 and 12.
Speakers included Bible teacher and evangelist Anne Graham Lotz, pastor Ronnie Floyd and pastors and leaders of local believing Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries, all of whom shared personal insights, prayer requests and calls for unity among the brethren in the land. Local worship leader Sheli Myers led a group of singers and musicians in praise and worship.
The Power of Unity
The Joshua Fund founder and best selling author, Joel C. Rosenberg, opened the 2018 Epicenter Prayer Summit by welcoming attendees from Israel, Palestine and around the world.
“We are famously commanded to ‘pray for the peace of Jerusalem,’ and so we shall,” Rosenberg told the Summit attendees in his opening remarks. “But what exactly does this mean? …How do make sure not to simply pray for one group who live here to the exclusion of the others? How can we encourage one another to pray for Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians, and for all who live in the Epicenter?
“This is exactly what this Summit is for — learning to pray for all the souls of this extraordinary city and region, from Scripture, with real faces before us, and with purpose and great power.”
Rosenberg amplified the Summit theme the next morning, presenting a teaching entitled, The Power of Unity: What the Church in the Epicenter Must Learn from Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer, based on Jesus’ prayer recounted in John 17.
Like a flowing river
Benjamin Spurr and his wife, Rebekah, from Canberra, Australia are visiting Israel for the first time. They attended The Joshua Fund Prayer Summit as part of a Chosen People Ministries tour.
Members of Hineh Yeshua Congregation in Canberra, Benjamin and Rebekah had visited the Dead Sea, the Galilee and, of course, Jerusalem by the time the Summit began. Of all their excursions, Benjamin best liked visiting the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath, he said.
Rebekah, whose grandmother was Jewish, had long loved Israel but until this trip she had been the only member of her family not to have previously visited the Holy Land. The prayer conference helped her to better understand “the complexity of the relationships between the different peoples” who live in the Middle East.
Rebekah described their visit as “moving, overwhelming and even surreal,” while Benjamin characterized the volume of emotion and knowledge they had gained as being “like a flowing river.”
Prayer is hard
Each of the Summit’s keynote messages focused on a prayer in scripture which helped demonstrate, in Rosenberg’s words, “how you and I can be praying for the church and the people in the epicenter with clarity and specificity.” On Wednesday evening, Lotz began with a teaching on the prophet, Daniel’s prayer of Daniel 9:3-19.
“As God looks at the world today and His eye goes to and fro,” Lotz said. “And He sees His people who are called by His name, does He wonder that there are not more of us praying on behalf of His people in this city and this land?
“Prayer is hard work,” she told her audience. “If prayer is hard for you, it’s because prayer is hard, okay? One of the things that helps me is if I can find a model prayer in scripture after which I can pattern my prayers… Daniel was a man who prayed so powerfully and so effectively that God answered his prayer and a nation was changed.”
Conviction, boldness and assurance
Floyd began the Summit on Thursday morning by asking, “How and what shall the church pray?” then answered by saying that our prayers must be rendered with conviction, boldness and the assurance that God will answer.
“Stop being content in living life and doing ministries without the power of God,” Floyd implored pastors in the audience. “Pray!”
Local Jewish and Arab believers offered teachings, testimony and contributions to several panel discussions. Video and audio playback and downloads of many sessions are available online at epicenterconference.com.