Ancient Paths is the hope for Denver

Many organizations and businesses are going through that annual exercise that will lead then to a new fiscal year. The budgets are being analyzed and planned, talked about and depending on how much money is raised or not it will determine how much businesses, associations and communities can fiscally accomplish. At last month’s Global Leadership Summit from Willow Creek in the Chicago area a thought came to the mind of staff members from The National day of Prayer: “What would we do if all we had left is prayer?” Could we function as a prayer organization? It is a compelling thought that for all of our organizations and leadership if all that was in the inventory was prayer, would it still be worth coming to work everyday?  Would it still be worth it if all that was left-was prayer?

All that’s left is prayer

The founder of Willow Creek, Pastor Bill Hybels seems to think so. Considering that Willow has become a worldwide conferencing center for cutting edge ministry and leadership training prayer is a key component to the success of the organization. At the end of the summit Hybels describes a vision that he received while in a third world country. He was about to get on a plane when he witnessed two boys fighting at the airport. There were no parents around and the pastor intervened. He was about to miss his flight when an airline official came over and told him that they would be able to take care of the two boys and they assured them medical help was on the way (it was that bad). Hybels worried and prayed about both boys and wondered about the aggressor. “What will happen to that boy? How will he ever get through that rage that I saw in his eyes? Who can diffuse this anger?” In tears Bill Hybels said that he felt God stirring his heart and the message changed the way he looked at outreach: “The church is the world.”

Speakers and Lectures

Throughout the summit the attendees heard from Condoleeza Rice, the former US Secretary of State, ‘Every life is worthy and is capable of greatness.” There was a session on humility and to be “great by choice” by business guru Jim Collins who inspires people to blend and “marry creativity with discipline.” There were presentations on the bane of Human Trafficking in our world, mentoring others, honoring our leaders, and to remind people, instead of instructing. There was a session on “Negotiating conflicts” by Harvard’s William Ury, Inner-city missions, and outreach.


The keynote address strips it all down, our budgets, our business plans, or charts and our short and long term planning. “The local church is the hope of the world.” The local church, the message of Christ “is the only thing that can change the hearts of people,” Hybels says.  “The church is the hope for the teen girl who find herself being pursued by a man who turns out to be a pimp near a local High School,” says a man I know who lives 800 feet from a major city intersection.  “The local church is the hope for the wife who has been abused by an addicted husband,” says the manager of a Safe House on Marion Street in Denver. “The local church is the hope of an unemployed father of five who lives down the block from me,” says a ministry leader  in a nearby row at Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs. “The local church is the hope for the workers and clients at The Planned Parenthood at 14th and Emerson in Denver,” prayed the teen on a prayer walk last month.

Morning Prayer

What if all that we had in our budget was prayer? What would we do if the only place we could turn to was the church? What if people boiled everything down to 52 Breakthrough Prayers? Just a conversation and meeting with God. That’s what Bill Hybels asked for? Hybels composed a prayer for leaders that he asked to be prayed for thirty days straight. Here it is:

“God, this is a new day. I freshly commit myself to the role you have invited me to play, as you are building your church in this world. I am awestruck again today that you include me in this grand life-giving, world-transforming endeavor. So today I joyfully offer you: my love, my heart, my talents, my energy, my creativity, my faithfulness, my resources and my gratitude.  I commit all of myself to the role you have assigned me in the building of your church so that it may thrive in the world. And I will “bring it” today. I will bring my best. You deserve it. Your church deserves it. It is the hope of the world.”

As you can see this is the kind of prayer that yields what you put into it.