In this segment of our Connections Across the Dakotas series: The Breakthrough Prayer Initiative is alive, vibrant, and growing, in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and around our United Methodist connection. In this sit-down, Doreen Gosmire, director of communication for the Dakotas Conference UMC, speaks with Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey about the history, status, and exciting future of Breakthrough Prayer movements across the connection.
The current pandemic has pushed many Breakthrough Prayer movements to reach out in new and fruitful ways, even beyond the boundaries of congregations, Conferences, and countries. Sue shares stories, successes, and ideas to renew the prayer life of your congregation, and bring unexpected joy.
Sue first explains what Breakthrough Prayer actually is. She says it's not a replacement for your congregation's prayer life, but, "when a church gets in touch with their faith conviction that prayer makes a difference. Prayer is the food for the body of Christ". The Breakthrough Prayer Initiative movement that Sue and everyone has seen is that this is the miraculous catalyst, the opened flood gates that change everything for a church, to move from down and shrinking within, to looking and reaching up and out, into the world around us.
Rev. Nilson Kibbey has also been busy authoring books and prayer resources. She talks about her first book, Ultimately Responsible, which is a step-by-step for a church to really, systematically unleash your church forward. That book has found a resonance through the denomination and beyond, much to Sue's surprise. It's being used not only at by local churches, but also by seminaries as a textbook.
Sue wrote her second book, Flood Gates, to document the learning she has witnessed through the Missional Church Consultation Initiative (MCCI). It includes a chapter dedicated to the Breakthrough Prayer Initiative, which is so foundational to the MCCI program.
About a year ago, Sue published a third book and resources, titled Ultimate Reliance, Breakthrough Prayer Practices for Leaders. It includes discussion questions, videos, and resources to strengthen the Breakthrough Prayer Initiatives in churches, and the power of prayer in our own lives.
In closing, Sue says what keeps her going is to know that prayer makes a difference, and realizing that every day. She used to pray for clarity from God, but now she's realized that she needs to pray for trust in God. When she hears what happens in churches when prayer bevomes a priority, it fuels her her "longing and passion that every church would bring prayer to the center, that every church, every leader, every Christian would add inviting God to do the new thing; that we would all live and follow Jesus, according to believing that prayer makes all the difference."