Churches Kick Off Historic Prayer Series

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Why not pray with a church time zones away for Sunday service? Or hear a pastor's sermon from across the globe?

More than 1,300 congregations did just that this weekend, as they joined to begin the One Prayer series together.

Beginning June 7, some 750,000 believers crossed cultural, denominational and geographic lines to pray and worship with one another.

"The concept is to bring unity," Bobby Gruenewald, pastor, innovation leader of LifeChurch.tv said.  "The group of churches that are participating are really a diverse group of churches."

He says various denominations, from Seventh Day Adventist to Charismatic are participating, and churches from Egypt, South Africa, Mexico and beyond are all signed up.

'Awe-Inspiring' Support

One Prayer started off as a small vision of Craig Groeschel, senior pastor for LifeChurch.tv.

"We were going to partner with three other churches...to do this series in June. [Then] we talked to some other pastors that were friends of ours and they asked, 'Is there any way we can be a part?'" Gruenewald explained. "So it went very quickly from four churches three months ago, to 1,300 today."

Those who participated say the One Prayer kick off was a creative, yet historical event that could potentially change the way different churches interact.

"God moved in an indescribable way with this event," a member of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Ala., commented on the One Prayer blog. "Putting aside the walls that have caused competition between churches and 'styles' of churchgoers for so long, this is a much needed call to arms against the enemy."

Lord Make Us...

Each week for the next month, churches will devote their worship service to one prayer, asking "Lord, make us...." What word fills that blank is up to the pastors. Some of the topics they can choose are Lord make us "selfless," make us "wake up" and make us "complete."

Church leaders can then pick from video sermons of more than 60 pastors around the globe to put their prayer into action.  The sermon will be viewed each week during worship service.

Groeschel's church began the series with Lord make us "one."

In it, he introduced the purpose of One Prayer and encouraged members to "understand clearly" their role in the "unifying experience."

A Larger Purpose

One Prayer will also help raise money to plant 500 churches in Cambodia, India, Sudan and China.

June 21 and 22, a mass offering will be taken up in each participating church. The money will then go to humanitarian groups already in the countries.

"We explored many great causes and organizations that we could collectively support, but the vision of local churches from around the world uniting to invest in planting churches was the most synergistic with the vision of One Prayer," its Web site reads.

Churches are also encouraged to visit the site daily and share their One Prayer experiences. 

"Oneprayer.com is the Internet hub for this entire series. Each day we're going to pray for each others needs... fasting one day a week together and praying for our communities and other churches," Gruenewald explained.

Supporters hope the never-before-seen event will motivate churches to move beyond individual practices and stand together in God.

Sources: CBN News, One Prayer, LifeChurch.tv

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Cicely Gosier

Cicely Gosier

CBNNews.com

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