Virtual Prayer Ministry
“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.”
--Ephesians 6:18a (NRSV)
One of the entries in my “spiritual journey” was recorded on June 5, 2019. The Coordinating Cabinet had just completed a preparation meeting for the 159th
session of the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, which would begin the next day at Grove City College. As the meeting ended, we made our way to the Prayer Room for a scheduled time with the Prayer Ministry Team. In pairs, the prayer team began to pray for each member of the Coordinating Cabinet. As a hush fell over the space, I waited expectantly for my turn to be prayed over.
When the moment came, two members of the team began to pray for me. Their gift of prayer provided an entry point for God to speak a powerful word to me, one that strengthened me for the difficult General/Jurisdictional Delegation election process that would unfold in the days ahead. The experience is too personal and precious to share specifics, but without that prayer moment undergirding me, I would not have been able to withstand the soul-piercing emotions I felt through the election process, and I would not have been able to accept the challenge to serve as Chair of the WPA Delegation. Even now, in the midst of continued pain and struggle in this role, my experience in the Prayer Room has sustained me and blessed my spirit.
After the postponement of the 2020 Annual Conference, a one-day virtual Conference was held on October 3, 2020. The Conference Prayer Team quickly responded to this change and hosted a two-day “Virtual Prayer Room” on October 2 and 3, 2020. Although the setting was not a physical prayer room, the power of prayer was experienced by the 24 participants.
One of the participants, the Rev. Jeremy Barkley, associate pastor at the Johnstown: Oakland United Methodist Church, described it this way: “I was in a place where I was in need of encouragement and confirmation. I signed up for prophetic ministry with the team through Zoom and was richly blessed by the heart of ministry I received, as well as the precise confirmation released within my session. I felt as though a weight was lifted, the Lord saw me, heard me, and maybe even more profoundly, I knew that God heard my cry.”
The need for more Virtual Prayer Room opportunities was strongly affirmed in the feedback received about the 2020 Virtual Annual Conference session. In response, Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi invited me, as the Director of Connectional Ministries, to work with the Conference Prayer Team to provide quarterly Virtual Prayer Room opportunities in 2021 for the Western PA Conference. Early in 2021, I gathered the team for a Zoom meeting and the planning process unfolded!
The end result is that a Conference Virtual Prayer Room will be offered on Thursday, March 11, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Friday, March 12, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Participants can sign up for a 15-minute session where two prayer team members will pray for them in a private breakout room. Participants also may choose to receive Prophetic prayer or Prayer/Healing for self or others. The Virtual Prayer Room is open to everyone and strict confidentiality is adhered to in all circumstances.
The Conference Virtual Prayer Room Ministry is testimony that the power of God cannot be interrupted by a pandemic or any other obstacle in our lives! God continues to give the gift of prayer to God’s people and invites the Church to provide opportunities for people to be prayed for and to pray with one another.
As we continue to experience isolation, fear and frustration in the ongoing pandemic; as we anxiously await decisions that will affect the future of our denomination; as we struggle with the brokenness and pain of this world; the Virtual Prayer Room Ministry provides sacred and safe space for God’s people to pray together and to invite God to speak words of hope, comfort and challenge into our lives.
For more information about the Virtual Prayer Room and how to reserve a time on March 11 or 12, click here.