IFA’s inaugural Policy & Prayer Summit (Oct. 24–26) exceeded expectations, with more than 60 intercessors, including 17 state prayer leaders, in attendance. The summit ran for three days and combined intercession with speeches from such policy experts as Ambassador Sam Brownback, Dr. Ralph Reed, and Dr. Alveda Scott King. Recording artist Natasha Owens led worship through music.
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“The Policy & Prayer Summit is all about connecting policy makers with intercessors to see our nation transformed,” said IFA CEO and President Dave Kubal. “Over these next couple of days, you’re going to have the opportunity to hear from policy experts. … You’re going to tour the Capitol. But more importantly, you’re going to connect with each other to build the fabric of IFA, build the fabric of the kingdom.”
Summary of the Summit
The summit fittingly coincided with an IFA board meeting, since board members were instrumental in enabling the event. Kubal noted Board Chairman Jeffrey H. Coors inspired the event. “This man has been used to help influence our nation for the kingdom in incredible ways,” Kubal said. “He’s devoted this chapter of his life to policy and prayer.”
Coors, for his part, said: “We are blessed, in this [intercessory] movement in this country, to have people who are not afraid of the battle. And that’s what it’s all about. So this is exciting. We’re going to be part of that battle.”
Before praying over the opening meal, Coors took a moment to honor retiring board member Guy Kump, who has served IFA in a variety of roles through the years.
Later that evening, Kubal, IFA Board Member John D. Beckett, and Center for Renewing America founder and President Russ Vought addressed the group. The high point was the commissioning of state prayer leaders. IFA board members moved among the intercessors to pray specifically and personally with each leader present.
Day 2 included more worship led by Owens, teaching from IFA Board Member and constitutional scholar Cynthia Dunbar, and a tutorial on prayer-walking from Nicole McClure. Intercessors put prayer-walking to the test in a tour of the U.S. Capitol, set up by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson’s staff, and subsequently on the grounds of the Capitol and the Supreme Court. Following the prayer walk, several IFA staff members, including Chief Program Officer Kris Kubal, Legislative Director Camille Solberg, Director of Communications Judy McDonough, and State Prayer Coordinator Amy Sabat addressed the group. IFA Board Member Jeremy Story led the intercessors in sharing revelation received during the prayer walk.
Day 3 found the intercessors at the America First Policy Institute, where they plunged into a rich round of policy seminars. Mark Zelden, senior adviser of the institute’s Center for American Values, kicked off the day. Dunbar further instructed the group on constitutional and faith matters. Brownback focused on the battle for religious freedom from his vantage point as founder and chairman of the National Committee for Religious Freedom. Reed, King, and Zelden participated in a panel discussion about the sanctity of life. Reed later followed up with a discussion about the election-based work of the Faith & Freedom Coalition, of which he is founder and chairman. Frank Gaffney Jr., founder and executive chairman of the Center for Security Policy, spoke in detail about China’s nonviolent war with America. Bill Koenig, journalist and publisher of Koenig World Watch Daily, spoke about recent events in the Middle East, including Israel’s election.
Genesis of IFA and State Prayer Strategy
At the opening banquet, Beckett, one of IFA’s founders, affirmed that the organization’s early vision entailed the establishment of six regional prayer networks around the nation. That regional strategy may have seemed premature for IFA at its founding in 1973, but the time for its full implementation is clearly evident today. Local prayer has already produced important results: Among the many local, state and national victories in the midterm elections, more than 100 school boards have flipped over from leftist control and into the hands of conservatives.
The Florida House hosted the IFA banquet and the next day’s events. Beckett noted the fitting nature of this location, since IFA was established following a men’s conference of intercessors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. At that conference, author and speaker Derek Prince shared his vision of prayer for the nation. This coincided with the founding of Intercessors for Canada, about which Pastor Ern Baxter spoke. Prince had just published his seminal book, Shaping History Through Prayer and Fasting.
America was in turmoil in the early 1970s, given the Roe v. Wade decision, investigations into President Nixon, antiwar protests, and racial conflicts. According to Beckett, God was speaking the truths of 2 Chronicles 7:14 into many hearts: … if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
At the close of that conference, Prince made a call for those interested in establishing a prayer ministry. Beckett was one of those who answered that call. Sharing from his notes of that conference, Beckett cited the regional strategy and summed up the conference with the statement that God was using it to birth a corporate commitment to fast and pray for the nation. The name Intercessors for America was chosen then as well. According to Beckett, IFA’s focus was on national repentance, intercession, and direction for the Church.
Commissioning State Leaders
Those continue to be key issues as IFA extends its reach through its newly established state prayer groups. Leading into the commissioning of state prayer directors, Kubal spoke from 1 Samuel 17, focusing on three key phrases found in verse 45: Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
According to Kubal, David’s warrior heart and lifelong preparation enabled him to come at the enemy fully confident of his calling and purpose. Further, David approached his foe not on his merits but in the name of the Lord God, Whose power was not only great, but also organized for victory. Last, David took issue with Goliath because he was taunting the Lord God. “David understood the God Who was offended is the God Who will defend Himself,” Kubal said.
Kubal called the state prayer leaders into this same confidence. “Everything had prepared us for this day. Our successes, our failures, our God-given personalities have been chiseled over years of experience, preparing us for this moment in time,” he said. “We consider it a privilege to be called and used by our powerful Creator. … [This is] not necessarily a commissioning ceremony. It’s more of a recognition of how God has prepared you for this moment.”
IFA board members presented each state leader with a lapel pin to wear in representing IFA at the various state houses. Kubal read the following statement (based on 1 Samuel 17:46–47): “At Intercessors for America, we recognize the all-powerful God has called and prepared state leaders to fight the spiritual battles in their states. We are convinced this crucial calling is strategic for the Commander of the Armies of Heaven. We declare the God of the Bible will grant victories, for the battle is His.”
Among the state leaders in attendance were Anne Cox, Alabama; Stephanie Vukov and Zoraida Noratto-White, California; Mona Colwell, Connecticut; Elizabeth Ojutiku, Georgia; Jeff Britton, Indiana; Lani Kirsch, Kansas; Lisa Townsend, Louisiana; Suzie MacAskill, Massachusetts; Sheryl Washington, Mississippi; Brenda Jackson-Little, North Carolina; Kimberly Brown, Ohio; Donna Phillips, Texas; MaryJo Coleman, and Michael and Debra Rudzik, Wisconsin; and Vilma Odette Velázquez, Puerto Rico.
Let’s pray that the Lord will continue to anoint all the IFA state prayer leaders:
Lord, bless each of these prayer leaders in his or her assignment. May they each find Your heart and be empowered to encourage and enable the local intercessors and to transform their states through the power of Holy Spirit and the Blood of Jesus. In Jesus’ name.
If you have not already joined your state prayer group, you may join here.
If you missed staff reactions the day after the summit, click here.
More articles about specific Policy & Prayer Summit sessions are on the way. Search for #Policy&PrayerSummit on ifapray.org so you can find any you may have missed. Photos are available at www.RichDrama.com/IFASummitPhotos.
Post your prayers for state leaders, the states, and the impact of the Policy & Prayer Summit.
Rich and Joyce Swingle have ministered together on every inhabited continent — and they even have a plan for Antarctica! The Swingles have conducted spiritual-life weeks at high schools and colleges. Joyce speaks, and Rich performs. They live in New York City and have 37 “screen children.” Visit www.RichDrama.com/HeadlinePrayer. Photo Credit: Intercessors for America