New England Minister’s Prayer Summit Births Summit in Boston

The Boston Ministers’ Prayer Summit was birthed from a larger New England summit hosted by Vision New England.  These summits started in the 1990’s and attracted as many as 90 pastors to wait on the Lord for three days.

This summit was pioneered by Joe Aldrich in the Pacific Northwest, who sought to establish a place where pastors could escape from their traditional ministerial responsibilities and wait on the Lord.

Unlike other retreats, the summit had no set agenda and no scheduled speakers.  It was structured simply by waiting on the Lord.  There were facilitators who encouraged the participants to read scripture and lead in prayer and songs of praise or worship. The only predetermined happenings were meals, prayer sessions, and the sharing of communion in the evening gatherings. There was no single leader, rather people worked together, with the leading of the Holy Spirit, to guide the group. God worked through this format to bring deep times of fellowship with both Him and the other leaders in the summit.

The summit created an environment where pastors could be themselves and receive ministry. It offered support and the space to confess sins and receive the prayer that they might not receive elsewhere.

Bringing pastors of numerous backgrounds together through prayer, the summit created a space that naturally drew out denominational tensions. At first, such tensions were an issue at the summit, but as pastors confessed their sins and spoke openly in love, many issues that were brought into the light were mended before the summit was over. The summit, therefore, became a place not only of prayer, but also of healing and reconciliation.

In 1999, some pastors from the Boston area decided that a summit for greater Boston was needed to gather ministry leaders from our local area who were not making the trip up to New Hampshire for the New England Summit. This was the beginning of the Boston Ministers’ Prayer Summit, which held its first 48 hour gathering in March of 2000.  The name is now simply the Greater Boston Prayer Summit.

Greater Boston Prayer Initiative

The Greater Boston Prayer Initiative is the formal name of the group of leaders who formed a steering team to organize and facilitate the Greater Boston Prayer Summit.

Vision and Goals:

Our mission statement: “To establish a network of fervent prayer to glorify the Lord Jesus, advance his Kingdom, and build unity in the Body of Christ in Greater Boston.

We believe that fulfilling this mission will result in:

  1. Affirmation of our passion and devotion to God through worship and prayer.
  2. Deep, loving relationships within the body of Christ which will cross cultural, racial and denominational lines
  3. A great harvest of souls
  4. A biblical transformation of the moral and social climate of the city.

It was with these core values that the Greater Boston Prayer Initiative sought to establish a prayer summit for Boston. Our desire is to provide a gathering for pastors and ministry leaders where we can both minister to the Lord and receive ministry from the Lord and from others. Ministry to the Lord is of primary importance as all the other good that happens flows from this foundation. These core values still remain today.

In John 17:23, Jesus said that our unity as believers will demonstrate to the world that the Father sent him to the earth. Our hope is that the Boston Summit will promote this kind of unity by connecting pastors and leaders around the city.

We have a goal of establishing neighborhood prayer gatherings that meet on at least a monthly basis to provide the same kind of prayer, fellowship and support that we experience at the summit.  Our heart is to establish “Functional Unity” – developing trusting relationships that lead to effective cooperative ministry efforts – and His destiny for Greater Boston.

This has already begun to happen.  For example, the Cambridge Pastors’ Prayer Group which has established strong relationships among ministers was birthed from the Greater Boston Prayer Summit.

One value we uphold was best stated in a book by Francis Frangipane called The Three Battlegrounds:  “It’s takes a city-wide church to win a city-wide war.”  We believe that God is not going to move just through a single church or denomination. Rather, when he moves he will move across denominational and cultural lines, and unity across the city will be necessary to sustain the awakening.

Finally, we believe that unity creates a fertile ground through which the Lord can move.