These two people, husband and wife, spoke at the PGF conference that we attended. Kirbyjon Caldwell is the pastor of the largest United Methodist Church in the US, the 17,000 member Windsor Village UM Church in Houston. Wikipedia has quite an article on him here.
His wife Suzette T. Caldwell also a pastor at the church, has a prayer ministry, the Kingdom Builder's Prayer Institute.
The Caldwells presentation at the conference jarred us. We were rocking along, swinging with the fairly moderate though challenging curricula, when WHAM these folks appeared and hit us with what sounded like a "name it and claim it" Gospel in the context of a Super Target church program, raising eyebrows and some hackles in our group. I have to confess, though, that they fascinated me.
Here is the question: Would you prefer a church where there was virtually no prayer ministry? Just the prayers during the worship service and the prayers at the beginning and the end of church meetings? Where individual prayer was left to the hit or miss convenience of the members? Or would you prefer a church that has a highly structured, deliberate, and consistent corporate prayer discipline, mainly top down in its content, and maybe over the top from time to time, maybe a lot of the time?
Would you prefer a prayer theology that viewed prayer as essentially a means for us to conform our wills to God's sovereignty, whatever that sovereignty might turn out to be? A sort of view that believes that God's will is mostly unscrutable, and so the more general and hedged we are in our prayers, maybe the better.
Or would you prefer a prayer theology that moves from praise and worship to a search for God's will in a given situation, with particular confidence that his will is not inscrutable but is a will he will allow us to discern; that once discerned for that given situation holds that God's will as it is in heaven so shall it be on earth, specifically, here and now, a specific will for that situation that one can then declare; that moves from there to seeking forgiveness for self and others, thence to a petition for protection; and closing with more praise and worship?
The Caldwells left no doubt as to where their positions are on these questions.