Influential Christian leaders Ronnie Floyd and Anne Graham Lotz were among some 800 believers who attended a conference in Jerusalem and offered prayers for "supernatural unity."
"We prayed boldly that peace may reign in Jerusalem and in the most volatile region in the world. And we prayed for supernatural unity that overcomes the most entrenched barriers and divisions," Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, told The Christian Post on Thursday.
The Epicenter Prayer Summit in Jerusalem was led by The Joshua Fund on July 11 and 12. Joshua Fund founder Joel C. Rosenberg revealed on his blog that participants included those the U.S., Israel, the Palestinian Authority and other nations. The event came in the midst of high tension in the region, with hundreds of rockets being fired at Israel from Gaza.
Floyd, who is also the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Lotz, author and daughter of late evangelist Billy Graham, both spoke at the event, as did pastors and leaders of local Jewish, Israeli Arab and Palestinian Arab ministries.
"The heartbeat of the conference was to come together in unity, seeing walls coming down between all true believers in Jesus through the power of prayer. All of this is so we can be used in a powerful way to communicate the Gospel to all peoples," Floyd explained.
The pastor reflected that everywhere around the world, people "allow language, race, culture, ancestry, nationality and anything that might make us different from someone else to divide us."
"Sadly, this is painfully visible in the region of the world where Jesus was born. Yet that's exactly why Jesus came, to bring down the barriers between people and between us and God. Bringing people together around the Word of God and the person of Jesus Christ is the key to overcoming divisions between people from diverse backgrounds," he stated.
"The testimonies from Jewish and Palestinian believers in Jesus Christ were particularly powerful and encouraging to each of us. The Gospel is more powerful than any barrier we can build."
Tensions on the Gaza border with Israel flared up in May, when dozens of Palestinians were killed during violent protests over the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, a decision that has divided many in the region.
Floyd revealed that the differences on the issue "were certainly understood," but explained that the conference "was not meant to address political issues."