Monday, September 20, 2021

Praying Together for Spiritual Renewal and Unity in the Body of Christ

Join Charismatics, Catholics, and members of many denominations for focused prayer.

Two of our key core values at The King’s University are that we are United, and that we are Rooted. We aim to live in such a way as to truly come together in mutual support and relationship in Christian community (United), and we also choose to honor the godly spiritual heritage that helped shape us and provide the foundation for our faith discipleship in Christ (Rooted).

Those core values can also be seen in the ministry priorities of our founder, Pastor Jack Hayford, who was a great role model in the Body of Christ in the areas of prayer, renewal in the Holy Spirit, and interdenominational cooperation among believers in Christ. And those same emphases mark the leadership of TKU’s chancellor, Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris.

In the global church, a new prayer emphasis during the month of May is also connecting and weaving together these same hallmarks of our faith, as believers are called to seek the Lord for the strong and renewing presence of the Holy Spirit among us, and to do so in ways that connect us to the larger Church throughout our Christian history. A charismatic renewal organization called Awakening the Domestic Church has called for believers everywhere to pray for nine days (a Prayer “Novena,” from the Latin for “nine”) during the two weeks leading up to the day the church celebrates Pentecost Sunday, May 23. These nine days of prayer, from May 13 to 21, correspond to the accounts in the New Testament in which Jesus instructed His followers to wait in Jerusalem, after His ascension to heaven, for “the promise of the Father,” the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (see Luke 24 and Acts 1).

We know that after Jesus’ final instructions, He ascended to heaven. And 120 believers prayed in the Upper Room for nine days, seeking the Lord and waiting for Him to pour out His Spirit. And then on the tenth day, the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was indeed poured out with signs and wonders, thousands became believers in Jesus, and the Church was born (see Acts 2).

An interdenominational group of leaders in the Body of Christ invite us all to follow this very same pattern even now, in 2021. We are invited, together, to join in unity across denominational lines, to seek the renewing presence of the Holy Spirit, and to prepare to receive Him in a new and deeper way during this season leading up to Pentecost Sunday.

Please consider this invitation to pray during this month, and throughout 2021. For more information, you can go here and request a prayer booklet that has been specially prepared for this season of prayer around the globe. That booklet can be used for you to pray personally, or in a small group with your fellow believers. On that website, you will also see information about nine separate prayer meetings that will be broadcast during the scheduled nine days of corporate prayer. Those prayer meetings have been prepared by charismatic community groups from various places in the world, and you are invited to participate in those prayer meetings online as well. Those prayer meetings will run every two hours for 24 hours each, for each of the nine days set aside for prayer. 

And finally, we are all invited to join in a special Pentecost Ecumenical Prayer Vigil, which is being facilitated by CHARIS, the global charismatic renewal organization of the Catholic Church. That Prayer Vigil will take place on Saturday, May 22, the day before Pentecost Sunday, and portions of that Vigil will be broadcast from Rome, Jerusalem, Buenos Aires, and Topeka, Kansas. The Prayer Vigil will celebrate the 120-year anniversary of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Topeka that helped to launch the Pentecostal Movement, and also the 120th anniversary of the prayers of dedication of the 20th century to the work of the Holy Spirit by Pope Leo XIII. The Vigil will include prayers and participation from Charismatics (Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, and New Charismatics), Pentecostals, and believers from the Messianic Jewish Movement. You can find more information about these prayer initiatives at Pentecost.cmax.tv, and also at CHARIS. Beginning May 13 (Ascension Thursday, the day global church celebrates Jesus’ ascension to heaven), we are invited to unite in prayer in this unique way that transcends denominational barriers. Let’s take advantage of this opportunity to join together with our brothers and sisters around the globe, and to seek a fresh renewing in the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. David Colehttps://www.tku.edu
Dr. David Cole is the Provost of The King's University and the Dean of Jack W. Hayford School of Graduate Studies and he serves as the chair of the PCCNA Christian Unity Commission.