Do you remember what you were doing last December 29th, 2015?
Perhaps still recovering from Christmas celebrations or preparing for a New Year’s gathering?
I will never forget where I was – in the Edward Jones Dome, former home of the St Louis Rams, watching 16,000 people, mostly college students, praying for the persecuted Church.
It was the third night of the Urbana Missions Conference.
25 times, beginning in Toronto, ON then in Urbana, IL and most recently in St Louis, MO, the Urbana Mission Conference has been co-hosted by InterVarsity/USA, Inter-Varsity Canada, and Groupes Bibliques Universitaires et Collegiaux du Canada and remains focused on compelling this generation to give their whole lives for God’s global mission.
Closeup view of students praying for the persecuted church
Prayers for the Persecuted Church
One night the evening session, titled Gospel in Action, included an opportunity for the attendees to take some concrete action to express their love for God and the World. This year, that concrete action was to pray for the persecuted Church around the world.
One Intercessor’s Role
Once again, I was privileged to be one of over 200 people involved in intercession at the event. A small team met in a locker room behind the main stage and prayed during the morning and evening plenary sessions. It was a small room where we prayed, and saw answers to, big prayers.
A Diverse Team, One Spirit
Our team of 6, gathered from California, Minnesota, New York, and North Carolina, interceded for the speakers, performers, and those attending. The ethnic and age diversity of this small group brought different perspectives and insights, but we were quickly united by the Holy Spirit.
Prayer for the Conference
We prayed for God’s purposes to be accomplished and for the protection of those God had called to be part of the gathering. Our team leader, Jonathan Walton, not only led us in prayer, but also performed a powerful spoken word piece about the church that he had written specifically for Urbana. See https://urbana.org/message/there-church
Stepping Out of the Everyday and Into Prayer
I recognized again that there is strength and health in stepping out of our everyday context to unite with other members of God’s Kingdom to mutually discover and pray into His purposes.