Jerry Kirk on the Prayer Covenant:
Editor’s note: This book review was originally posted 4/9/14. It has been posted again today as an encouragement for Christians to recommit to prayer in 2015.
Book reviewed by Rick Kennedy
In 1967, Rev. Jerry Kirk bonded in fellowship with Don Rehberg at a Christian conference at tiny Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa.
The tall and lanky Kirk was a young pastor on fire for Christ. Rehberg, also a devout Christian, was older and a successful controller of a large steel manufacturing company. Though they operated in different earthly worlds, the two spiritual warriors dropped to their knees in Wilson College dormitory room and committed to pray for each other – for every single day for a month.
Their covenant was a simple act of support and accountability for each other with Jesus Christ as the Lord of their lives, but small acts of faith often unleash God’s amazing power.
Thus began Kirk’s lifelong devotion to forming prayer covenants – a devotion that has guided and fostered his long journey as a beloved minister and Christian activist on a local and International scale.
Along the way, he has formed prayer covenants that have touched lives of thousands of people worldwide – including his wife of 57 years, Patty and their five grown children, 28 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Now 82 years old, the Rev. Kirk has detailed these experiences and Scriptural reflections in this new book, The Prayer Covenant. Co-written with Biblical scholar and author Stephen Eyre, Kirk has created a practical, inspiring guide for binding people’s lives together in prayer as they challenge each other to live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ – every single day.
Praised by Christian leaders nationwide, The Prayer Covenant is built around a written prayer that the Rev. Kirk has developed over many years. It is a Biblical playbook for growing in your faith and for allowing God to use you in the lives of others.
Just as the early Church spanned the globe through shared spiritual relationships, Kirk has a similar vision in calling people to 40-day prayer covenants: To be a catalyst for an awakening to Jesus Christ as Lord throughout the United States and the world.
The Prayer Covenant was literally a lifetime in the making, filled with the trials and blessings of an amazing life. It is Kirk’s guide for experiencing God’s transformative power.
Kirk served for 18 years as senior pastor at College Hill Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio, before being called in the early 1980s to found pureHOPE, a nationally based ministry which equips and calls God’s people to sexual purity and faithfulness in the midst of a culture influenced by pornography and sex trafficking. For many years, Kirk led pureHOPE, and he continues to serve on the board.
In 1986, he joined with Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago to found the Religious Alliance Against Pornography at the home of Cardinal John J. O’Connor in New York City. That meeting included leaders of denominations and faith groups representing over 50 million Americans.
In 2013, Kirk joined with a small group of business leaders to establish The Prayer Covenant as an organization and ministry. To join in writing the book, The Prayer Covenant, Kirk turned to his longtime friend, the Rev. Stephen D. Eyre, an accomplished Christian writer and author of 20 Bible studies and books. Like Kirk, Eyre is a longtime minister and teacher. Today, he is minister for congregational support at Madeira-Silverwood Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Rick Kennedy is a long-time communications leader for GE Aviation, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rick and his wife, Jane, are active members of Northminister Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati. Kennedy has been associated with Kirk and Eyre through various ministries through the years.