"June 2021 to June 2022 shall be a year of prayer to listen to the Spirit and to one another, recognizing that we stand in a challenging moment that invites us to be discipled in postures and practices of prayerful discernment."
What is this initiative, Together Seeking God’s Face?
Prayer always lies at the center of the Christian life, but there are times and seasons when this centrality takes on a deeper urgency. We can see this pattern all over the Scriptures. The Bible story I find especially compelling occurs when King Jehoshaphat is informed that a vast army is coming to attack the small nation of Judah. He gathers all the people from the oldest to the youngest in the temple courts, and standing before them prays on their behalf, including these words:
“We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (2 Chronicles 20:12)
The remainder of this chapter describes the Lord’s miraculous deliverance of his praying children.
The Christian Reformed Church is currently in a highly unusual season, comprised of many layers. These layers include:
Our annual synods are important gatherings with delegates from every part of the denomination coming together to worship, reflect, deliberate and decide. Synods 2020 and 2021 were both canceled due to COVID. Synod 2022 will carry three year’s worth of weight.
The COVID pandemic has profoundly affected congregations. Weekly worship has been disrupted, hundreds of pastors and countless other ministry leaders are exhausted and discouraged as they lead amid strong and conflicting opinions concerning the best ways to respond to the pandemic.
The CRC’s leadership structure includes three executive positions. Currently all three are being filled by interim leaders, and search processes are underway for all three.
We are a binational denomination, and the structure of the relationship between the American and Canadian church is once again open for discussion.
The Human Sexuality Report is the major agenda item for Synod 2022, and its recommendations generate very passionate and conflicting positions.
Racial tensions have heightened in both countries following the death of George Floyd in the US and the discovery of unmarked graves of Indigenous children on the grounds of residential schools in Canada. Christian Reformed congregations have sharply differing views concerning the shape of a biblical response to racial reconciliation.
These six challenging layers are similar to the vast army that King Jehoshaphat faced, and we do well to join him in his prayer: “We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”
For this reason, the CRC’s Council of Delegates decided at its May 2021 meeting to consider the period leading up to Synod 2022 as a special year of prayer called “Together Seeking God’s Face.” Executive Director Colin Watson expressed the hope that as a culmination of this year of prayer, synod would erupt into one continuous prayer meeting.
Virtual Prayer Meeting
On the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 11:00am (EST) CRC prayer leaders host an hour-long prayer meeting.
There are dozens of different ways to pray—many of which have been used by Christians for centuries. Enrich your prayer life with ideas from these resources for practicing prayer from the Faith Practices Project.