Pastors in Altoona, PA, have discovered the optimum time to meet for prayer: 6:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings. For more than a year, pastors have been gathering to pray for each other, their churches, and their city before they minister in their own churches.
Altoona has a history as a city where pastors and churches do not work well together. Even as far back as a Billy Graham crusade in 1949, the event was marred by squabbling, competition, and ongoing dissension among pastors and churches.
But in April 2018, seven pastors determined to pray together. Because they couldn’t agree on a weekday, they chose early Sunday morning. Now as many as 40 pastors and leaders from more than 25 churches pray each Sunday.
They meet in a different church each week, and start their time with the question, “What can we celebrate in your churches today?” They also pray for the city, leaders, people, other churches, etc. After a half hour of prayer, they gather around the host pastor and staff to pray to lay hands on them and pray for their families and ministry—and then head off to their own churches. Pastors now cooperate with each other on other citywide initiatives.
Adapted from an article “A New Chapter in Altoona,” featured at prayerleader.com by Pastor Tim McGarvey, Altoona Alliance Church.