People from over 50 different churches came together to pray.
They came from the Assembly of God Churches.
They came from Baptist churches.
They came from Methodist Churches.
They came from Nazarene and Pentecostal churches.
The purpose and topic of the meeting was prayer.
As advertised, it did not turn into a political rally,
a day and a half of entertainment,
or a denominational competition.
Mr. Whittinghill was very easy to listen to.
Mr. Whittinghill was very difficult to listen to.
He was easy to listen to because of his enthusiasm for the subject. He was easy to listen to because of his knowledge of the subject.
He was difficult to listen to because of part of his message. He spoke of the fall of history’s powerful empires and the common factors that caused their demise.
Mr. Whittinghill took the attendees through the pages of the Old Testament to illustrate a simple message that can be found in the words of Jesus:
“MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER.” (Matthew 21:13)
“For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples,” (Isaiah 56:7)
On Saturday afternoon, the group split into small groups and went to locations throughout the city. There they spent time praying for the people of the city, of the state, of the nation, and for those who frequent the particular locations where they stood.
They went to the schools.
They went to the churches; many to churches that weren’t their own.
They went to the jail.
They went to city hall. They went to the court house.
One group went to the top of the Hot Springs Mountain Tower where they could see all of the locations where Christians had scattered throughout the city.
I went to four locations with two kind folks whom I had met a few times.
Later, on Saturday evening, during the final session of what was called “The Prayer Summit,” those who wanted to share their prayer experiences from earlier in the day were handed a microphone.
The Prayer Summit ended quietly, with short prayers by some of the participants and a final prayer by Mr. Whittinghill.
I left with a few impressions.
I don’t pray enough.
Our churches don’t pray enough.
It is possible for churches to look past denominational differences and come together for corporate prayer.
There is hope.
We, the American Christians, must humble ourselves, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways.