As the prayer leader for both the Pacific Union Conference and the Southeastern California Conference, Karen Martell regularly connects with prayer leaders at conferences and local churches across the Pacific Union. In the fall of 2020, many of them were talking about the GC and NAD’s 10 Days of Prayer event.
“A lot of people wanted to participate, but it’s a lot of work to do something like that, even in your own church,” Martell pointed out. “Not everyone has the resources to get it done.”
So she and other conference prayer leaders came up with an idea: The union would lead the participation and open it up to all the churches and conferences who wanted to be part of it. This would allow everyone to do as much or as little on their own end as they could or wanted to.
From January 6-16, the Pacific Union Conference hosted nightly prayer gatherings, encouraging all participants to download the study materials from the GC. No one group had to provide all the content—each conference sponsored an evening’s program, arranging for a speaker and special music on their night. The overarching theme was “Lord, Make Us One in 2021.”
Over 1,700 people from across the union, the U.S., and the world joined the first night, and the union was thrilled to have to invest in a larger Zoom contract to accommodate all who were interested in the 10 Days of Prayer program.
“We tried to ensure we had a diverse group of people presenting, of all ages, locations, and cultural backgrounds,” Martell explained. “We wanted to be inclusive.”
SECC sponsored two evenings of the ten. Their chosen speakers were Aron Rennacker, youth and young adult ministry director, and Randy Roberts, senior pastor of Loma Linda University church. Four teens—Aidan Martell, Carissa and Dylan Santoya, and Jack Neely—from SECC churches led a prayer response, and music was presented by Chyeyna Ashe from Central California Conference and Adrian Presley from the LLU church.
Following the main evening program, participants were placed into virtual prayer rooms of 6 to 8 people, where they would share personal prayer requests and pray together over each one. Prayer leaders from each conference managed the rooms.
“Those prayer rooms were so powerful,” Martell shared with reverence. “It was really phenomenal to see people across the union praying earnestly for each other personally.”
The event was such a success that Martell is discussing hosting regular prayer nights throughout the year, coordinating with local prayer leaders.
“More people were able to come to this virtual event than would have attended an in-person prayer conference,” she said. “God is giving us new ways to do things, and it’s working.”
To view the 10 Days of Prayer virtual evening programs, go to SECC’s Facebook page.
By Becky St. Clair