As simple an idea as it sounds, there is a need - a hunger some leaders say - to learn to pray.
To that end, thousands of Christians will gather the next three days at Mesa's City of Grace Church for PrayerQuake 2010, an event that brings together prayer teachers from across the United States and Europe.
"It seems to me the American church has lost prayer in some ways. A lot of people are uncomfortable with praying. They haven't grown up praying," said Paul Covert, prayer pastor at Central Christian Church of the East Valley and a speaker at this week's event. "This event is vital. One of the vital pieces of Christian life is prayer and contact and a relationship with God."
Cheryl Sacks, co-founder of BridgeBuilders International Leadership Network with her husband, Hal, is an organizer of the event, which started in 1998.
"It's one of the largest in the Southwest. People come from all over the nation," she said, adding they also come from all different denominations. "One of the reasons we're seeing growth in the conference is Arizona has really become a model to the nation in the area of prayer."
Since 2008, Arizona churches have participated in the 24-7 prayer program, where a church takes on a commitment to pray 24 hours a day for seven days, then another church takes over.
"Other states want to come here and learn and see what's going on here," she said.
The speakers will address different issues, from Sacks' lessons on establishing prayer at home to Covert's session on creating a prayer ministry at a church.
This year's event also includes times when individuals can meet with prayer teams to bring their issues together.
"We're going to give people that personal attention, personal prayer. A lot of people are hurting right now," Sacks said.
Collectively, the group will pray for economic miracles in the state. Sacks points to one PrayerQuake conference where participants prayed for relief from a drought in Arizona.
"Every year there seems to be something nationally or in the state that really needs an intervention from God. One year we were in a terrible drought, We began to pray closing night and by the end of it, it was starting to rain. And by Monday morning, the headlines said the rain came out of nowhere," she said. "This year our state - as it just so happens - is in a terrible economic state. We have a lot of needs."
By teaching participants how to pray, and what can come from prayer, those needs may be met.
"We believe prayer starts in the home and moves into churches and in this difficult and trying time the Lord wants to give hope to families and that comes from praying with one another and presenting their needs to the Lord," she said.
Covert said he's looking forward to hearing from prayer leaders such as Pete Greig, founder of 24-7 Prayer, the international movement of prayer; and R.T. Kendall, who served as senior minister of Westminster Chapel in London for 25 years and is author of books such as, "When God Shows Up, Did You Think to Pray?"
The evening sessions are free and open to the public. There is no need to register. Anyone wanting to participate in the daytime session and has not registered should just show up, Sacks said. Cost is $35 per day, with a discount for students. Senior church pastors are free.
When: Wednesday through Friday, with free evening sessions starting at 7 p.m. Daytime sessions 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday
Where: City of Grace, 655 East University Drive, Mesa