Praying Like Jesus Details

Conference Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 26         
6:00 pm     Keynote and Worship, Dr. Shane Stanford
6:40 pm     Corporate Prayer Time
7:30 pm      Dismiss

Friday, Jan. 27
8:30 am     Registration Opens
9:00 am     Open Session I: Relationship to God, Bishop Bill McAlilly
10:30 am    Break
10:45 am    Open Session II: God's Glory, Rev. Jorge Acevedo
12:15 pm     Lunch (on your own)
2:00 pm     Seminar/Workshops I
                   Prayer & the Holy Spirit, Dr. Jason Vickers
                   Prayer & Lament, Rev. Tom Fuerst
                   Prayer & the City, Dr. Maxie Dunnam  
2:45 pm     Break
3:00 pm     Seminar/Workshops II
                   Prayer & the Holy Spirit, Dr. Jason Vickers
                   Prayer & Lament, Rev. Tom Fuerst
                   Prayer & the City, Dr. Maxie Dunnam  
3:45 pm     Break
4:00 pm     Open Session III: Prayer as Evangelism, Rev. Kimberly D. Reisman
5:30 pm     Dinner (on your own)
6:30 pm     Prayer & Worship Experience     
7:30 pm     Depart

Saturday, Jan. 28
9:00 am    Open Session IV: God’s Wisdom/Guidance, Dr. John Ed Mathison
10:00 am   Break
10:15 am    Open Session V: Unity, Rev. Dallas Pfeiffer
11:15 am     Break
11:30 am    Open Session VI: Consistency, Dr. Maxie Dunnam
12:15 pm   Closing Worship and Charge, Dr. Shane Stanford
1:00 pm     Adjourn

Session Descriptions

Open Session I | Relationship to God | Bishop Bill McAlilly
Jesus prays that we will have a relationship with the Father that mirrors the relationship between the Father and Him. This relationship defines the heart of Jesus’ ministry and provides the framework for most of Jesus’ healing, teaching and sharing of the Gospel. What does it mean for us to have a relationship with the Father? 

Open Session II | God’s Glory | Rev. Jorge Acevedo
Jesus prays that we will bring glory to God through the normal routine of our spiritual journey—not just in special crises or conditions that the average believer may face. One fellow theologian likes to say that the process of bringing glory to God is actually an important “exercise” to our faith journey. It puts us in the right spiritual frame of mind. So many of us need a new frame of mind, so that our troubles, strife and obstacles will pale in comparison to those experiences that bring joy to the Father.

Open Session III | Prayer as Evangelism | Rev. Kimberly D. Reisman
Far too often prayer and evangelism are seen as separate acts in the practice of the Christian faith. As we follow the life of Jesus closely, Jesus spent time praying as He shared His message. In fact, the ultimate result of Jesus' prayers is that the people would know. Prayer and evangelism feed each other. 

Open Session IV | God’s Wisdom/Guidance | Dr. John Ed Mathison
Jesus prays that we will be shaped by God’s wisdom and not by the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of the world is shallow and self-centered. God’s wisdom goes deep into our souls and pulls back the core of our beliefs. These core beliefs do more than signal our opinions in a debate or an argument; they are the foundation for how we see the world and our work for God’s will in the world. Ultimately, God wants us to learn how to love Jesus—to be in real relationship with God; and to love like Jesus—to foster the love of Christ through our actions for those in need in the world.

Open Session V | Unity | Rev. Dallas Pfeiffer
Jesus prays that we will experience unity because He also understands to what lengths the adversary will go to create division in body of Christ. Unity plays so many important parts in our faith journey. It provides for connection not only between the Son and the Father but also between God and God’s people. And yet, one of the truly great works of Jesus’ prayer for unity is that it passes throughout future generations, protecting and instructing the future church in how to cling to God and trust one another.

Open Session VI | Consistency | Dr. Maxie Dunnam
As Jesus is praying to the Father in His personal prayer time, He is also providing the disciples with lessons in the importance of prayer. Jesus teaches them the principles of proper attitude in prayer, but He also provides them a guide or a framework for their prayers, meant to keep them on the right track. The Lord’s Prayer is not a prayer so much as it is a guide for prayer. Before He guides the disciples in the actual words of the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches them about how to prepare themselves for prayer—as He prepares Himself for spending time with the Father.

Speaker Bios

Bill McAlilly is the bishop of the Nashville Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church. He was elected to the episcopacy at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 2012 and was assigned as the resident bishop of the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences beginning in September 2012. Bishop McAlilly has served in a wide variety of ministry settings in Georgia and Mississippi—a small membership church, a new congregation, a county seat church, a newly organized congregation, a large membership congregation. Likewise, he has served in a variety of roles—youth minister, associate minister, lead pastor. Compassion for the least and last has been at the heart of his emphasis on missions throughout his ministry—locally in the communities in which he has served and globally in Mexico, Nicaragua and Democratic Republic of Congo. Bishop McAlilly has a pastor’s heart with a vision for the reign of God.

Rev. Dallas Pfeiffer is a congregational care pastor in charge of prayer and spiritual formation at Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, where he previously served as the director of middle school ministry for more than six years. During his two decades of professional ministry, he has seen the necessity for believers everywhere to live from our identity in Christ, which is found most clearly in the place of prayer. We are called to be what Jesus has made us, His beloved before anything else. You can read his blog at

Dr. John Ed Mathison retired in June 2008 after 36 years as senior minister of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL. The following month, Dr. Mathison and a board of directors established the John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries to train pastors and lay persons to be leaders impacting the world for Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. Under his leadership, Frazer grew from 400 members to more than 8,800 and had the largest Sunday school attendance for United Methodist churches in America. At Dr. Mathison’s retirement, Frazer had eight Sunday morning worship services at the Atlanta Highway campus—three traditional, three contemporary, one Hispanic and one Chinese. The worship services of Frazer were televised nationwide each week with INSP network, reaching approximately 40 million homes. Dr. Mathison is a nationally known and sought-after speaker who has written seven books: Tried & True, Every Member in Ministry, Fishing for Birds, Extra Effort, Treasures of the Transformed Life, Transformed Living in Tough Times, Transformed Living in Tough Times – Devotions and When God Redefines the Possible. He has also written articles for Decision Magazine, Circuit Rider and other religious periodicals.

Rev. Jorge Acevedo loves Jesus Christ and His Church. Touched by the grace of God at 17, he was never the same. Rescued from a life of addictions, his greatest delight is connecting people to Jesus and the Church. Rev. Acevedo is the lead pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site, United Methodist congregation in Southwest Florida with six campuses. Grace Church is recognized as having one of the largest and most effective recovery ministries in America with more than 500 people involved in weekly recovery ministries. Rev. Acevedo authored Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World. He co-authored The Heart of Youth Ministry. Jorge also co-authored Sent: Giving the Gift of Hope at Christmas. He has also written for the United Methodist Publishing House, Circuit Rider Magazine, Good News Magazine and Our Faith Today.

Dr. Maxie Dunnam became the fifth president of Asbury Theological Seminary in 1994 after serving 12 fruitful years as senior minister of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis. He came to Christ Church from serving as world editor of The Upper Room. During his tenure at The Upper Room, The Walk to Emmaus and the Academy of Spiritual Foundation were begun. During 10 years as president of Asbury Seminary, the school pioneered the use of technology, establishing a virtual campus. Also a second geographical campus was established in Orlando, FL. After serving 10 years as president, Dr. Dunnam was chancellor for four years. He presently serves as director of Christ Church Global at Christ Church in Memphis. Dr. Dunnam may be best known as the author of The Workbook of Living Prayer, which has sold more than a million copies and has been translated into at least six different languages. He is also the author of other books concerning prayer and spiritual discipline including Alive in Christ, The Workbook of Intercessory Prayer and The Workbook on Spiritual Discipline. His most recent book, The Intercessory Life, describes a model for discipleship, the pattern of our interior growth in prayer as well as the outward expression of a missional Christ-life in the world.

Dr. Shane Stanford was appointed as the sixth senior minister of Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis in July 2011. Dr. Stanford previously served congregations in Florida, Mississippi and North Carolina. He also served as the director of stewardship and healthy congregations for the Mississippi Methodist Foundation and as the advisor for church growth for the bishop of the Mississippi Annual Conference. For four years (and nearly 200 episodes), Dr. Stanford served as the host of The United Methodist Hour, a television and radio ministry airing in more than 30 million homes nationwide.  He currently serves as the co-host (with Dr. Maxie Dunnam) of We Believe in Memphis, an issues, interview-based television program in the Memphis metro area. He is also the co-host of Covenant, a 24-week walk through the Bible study. Dr. Stanford has traveled extensively sharing his personal testimony as an HIV and Hepatitis C positive hemophiliac. He also shared this in his book, A Positive Life. Dr. Stanford is the author of numerous books; his most recent are: What the Prayers of Jesus Tell Us About the Heart of God, More Than Words, Five Stones: Conquering Your Giants (co-authored with R. Brad Martin) and Making Life Matter.

Rev. Kimberly Reisman is Executive Director of World Methodist Evangelism, a ministry that brings the global Methodist/Wesleyan family of Christians together around the work of multiplying witnesses for Jesus Christ. An author, pastor, teacher and theologian, Kim is a frequent speaker, focusing on evangelism, spiritual formation, women’s ministries, leadership development and the intersection between faith and culture. She is an elder in the United Methodist Church and has written numerous books, most recently, The Christ-Centered Woman: Finding Balance in a World of Extremes. Kim serves on the World Methodist Council Steering Committee, is a senior Harry Denman fellow and an adjunct professor at Asbury Theological Seminary, Seattle Pacific University and United Theological Seminary.