This past Friday, November 3rd, the annual King County Prayer Breakfast was held at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Seattle. The gathering’s purpose is to “unite as a city, celebrating what God has done in our community and praying alongside our leaders for the current challenges we face.” Close to a thousand people were in attendance, bright and early, and the highlights were prayers for several sectors of our community and keynote speaker Skip Li, who emphasized relationships are how Jesus’ love can be most effectively displayed.
Skip, a spry septuagenarian, lawyer and founder of the non-profit Agros, might not be a household name, but he is well-known to many students at the University of Washington. Skip discovered a calling, he was not expecting, twenty-five years ago and is living out intentional relationships with his neighbors- who happen to be UW students on 16th Avenue in the U-district. Skip gave a presentation at Seattle Pacific University, and was blown away by the response of the students after his speech. He spent 20 minutes afterward, fielding their questions and comments. Driving home he felt invigorated and a sense, “these are my people curious, questioning, doubting and trying to figure out faith, life and love”. As he wondered aloud with his wife how he could interact with college students on a regular basis, his wife replied, “we could sell our house (in Mercer Island) and move to the U-district”. And that is exactly what they did- they entered life and community with the students. The Li’s invited students to live life with them, in their house, walk with them and become family. Skip, admittedly, doesn’t take credit for having a revolutionary idea, but just simply following Jesus’ example of moving into the neighborhood and attempting to love. His humble story is such a glowing example for the Church to live out its Mission of loving God, loving neighbors and making disciples.
Another compelling aspect of the morning was the prayer for eleven different sectors of the city. Each prayer was led by someone from that sector or profession. Light Up the City’s friend Pastor Eugene Cho, of Quest Church and One Day’s Wages, led prayer for the Church sector of our city, which inspired us with his quote, “We ask for faith that can move mountains, but perhaps the mountains God intends to move is us.”
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission/ Light Up the City has sponsored a table at this event for several years now and, for me, this breakfast was the most compelling—Mr. Li’s words of sharing life together with college students and the prayers over our city provided a refreshing finish to the week…yes, even at 6:30am of a Friday.
-Nathan A. Ryan