Montana Prayer Ministries Hold 2016 Conference

August 19, 2016 | Lanette Hetrick

The Montana Conference prayer ministry coordinator, Donna Wagner, organized the 2016 Prayer Conference, themed “Unprecedented” and held May 6–7 at Mount Ellis Elementary School in Bozeman. Each participant received an extraordinary packet containing the DVD The War Room, a prayer journal, the book The Lord’s Prayer Through Primitive Eyes and two other prayer resources. The guest speaker was Randy Maxwell, pastor of Washington's Renton Church. Those in attendance representing more than 12 churches across Montana were blessed both days by the family group Ron and Sonia Birnel and their two daughters, Krystal and Shelly, from Billings, who provided beautiful worship music. The Mount Ellis Academy seniors kept conference attendeees nourished by not only serving but cooking two delicious meals for Sabbath.

The prayer conference began Friday evening with Maxwell’s message of “Unprecedented” miracles that occurred through Jesus and the early church because of fervent prayer and unprecedented faith. Maxwell reminded the audience of Mark 9:23: “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” We were given the opportunity to open our hearts and ask Jesus directly what we would like Him to do for us. 

Sabbath morning we were blessed with a heart-wrenching testimonial from Nathan Shaw, Montana Conference associate treasurer, entitled “Goosebumps With My Tears,” which had moved many of us to tears with his message of what God can do and how He can bless us through circumstances we may not understand and how God’s love for us is without limits. Shaw spoke of one of his favorite and personally life-changing verses, Rom. 8:38–39: “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Maxwell next spoke of “Revival for One” and the importance of praying and communing with our Lord, daily which will put the “spark” in our personal prayer life. We need to recognize our need to connect with Jesus as well as to know Him on a personal level. Maxwell shared the way to know Jesus is the same way we get to know our own loved ones, by spending time and talking with Him, learn about Him through His Word, commune with Him and trust Him. Maxwell also mentioned how he has used prayer journaling most of his life and how it’s blessed him to speak with Jesus as his Friend as well as his Savior.

Next Maxwell spoke of the “Awesome Things” that await us if we have faith. Everything has been made available to us through His Holy Spirit, just as in the early church. He quoted several Scriptures to remind us how our own doubt and fear slow our faith and hinder His power, which was freely given to us. Maxwell asked a very poignant question: “What have we done with His Holy Spirit?”

The Prayer Conference concluded as Maxwell gave examples of how to have a “Power House” of prayer as he laid out “A House of Prayer Blueprint” and the nine essential elements that make up churches that are houses of prayer and how to transform our own church into a powerful house of prayer:

  1. Prayer is visible from the pulpit;

  2. Prayers are offered throughout the service;

  3. Leadership is committed to prayer;

  4. Prayer is an agenda item;

  5. Prayer is part of the Christian education;

  6. The pastor has a strong prayer covering;

  7. Prayer is the first step, not the last resort;

  8. Intercession is an integral part of the church life;

  9. Praying churches have a director of prayer ministries.

During the 2016 Prayer Conference, we learned an enormous amount of beneficial information and it was a blessing to all who attended. We not only received an abundant amount of material from our attendee packet, but Maxwell gave us several handouts and material to bring back to our own churches to help us create houses of prayer and to receive the power the early churches received: "It is written, 'my house shall be called a house of prayer'" (Matt. 21:13). See you next year at the 2017 Prayer Conference.