Sven Oftedahl, who was a professor at Augsburg Seminary and a President of the Lutheran Free Church (predecessor of the AFLC) called the annual conference the “powerhouse” of the denomination. What fuels that power? In my opinion, it is prayer.
If you attend an AFLC conference, you will be given many opportunities for prayer. The daily meetings begin with a devotion given by one of the pastors, and of course, a prayer. Each committee report ends with a prayer for the activities, the people, the needs and the hopes of that particular ministry. During committee reports, there is also time for anyone attending to comment, make suggestions, or pray. Sometimes a prayer request will be given to those leading the conference — maybe because someone has been taken ill, or a difficulty has come up–in that case, we stop to pray for that situation. There are also regular prayer breaks throughout the day, when we gather in small groups with those around us to pray together. Of course, there is prayer before meal breaks, and prayer during the evening worship services.
What is the result? Well, there is remarkably little conflict. People get to know one another. Prayer creates a bond that continues even when the conference ends. As congregations, I think we could all take a page out of the AFLC’s book — the more we pray together, the closer we will be to one another and to God. So, pray, pray, pray.
“ They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” Acts 2 42
For more posts about prayer see: