HEARTLAND | Phil Miglioratti
God is moving, and his Spirit is stirring people in Illinois to pray. Since the Concert of Prayer at the IBSA Annual Meeting last November, we have heard reports from many places about prayer events. To all these reports I say, keep it going.
Chicago Metro, Gateway and Lake County Associations all held prayer concerts this spring. Three Rivers Association held three concerts in a single month. And many churches have reported giving whole worship services over to prayer.
“The concert of prayer during the IBSA meeting was an inspirational, powerful worship experience and served as a catalyst to do something similar in our local church context,” said Kevin Carrothers, pastor of Rochester FBC.
“The need to see people actively engaged in the worship and prayer experience rather than being a spectator was also a compelling factor in the concert of prayer,” he said.
Some churches have used the cycle of prayer IBSA developed from Isaiah 6: lament, repent, intercede, and commit. It is a mix of Scripture, prayer, and songs in equal measure. It’s easy to adapt an existing format or to select some Scripture and let the passage guide the movements in prayer. My approach is to develop a service that is
• Spirit-led: It’s not a performance.
• Worship-bred: Every aspect of the experience is born out of worship, especially the songs and hymns
• Scripture-fed: Even without a sermon, Scripture is foundational.
• Corporate-said: Attenders are participants, not an audience.
• Global-spread: Our prayers are for God’s kingdom to come and his will to be done rather than the usual prayer list items.
After I led a prayer concert at First Baptist Church of Winthrop Harbor, deacon Kenneth Anthony commented that, of the four phases in prayer, it was the time of confession that most affected him.
“We seldom stop and actually think about our own sin,” he said. “Our church, our community, our nation needs real revival and the only way to begin it is for the people of God to admit where we are at fault. If we don’t confess our sins and return to
God, the nation never will.”
Phil Miglioratti is IBSA’s prayer coordinator.