PRAYERIE is a move of God that is percolating up out of a well of unity. This new stream started flowing with a collaboration of churches and businesses who gathered together around the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rock the Lakes festival. Since then God has expanded prayer in Erie. I say expand because, like a balloon when it is inflated, the expansion happens in all directions at once. There are small groups, some established and some new, and large city-wide prayer gatherings all appealing to our Father in heaven to heal our land. As you click through this web site, be ready for the Lord to touch your heart with a boost of faith. I invite you to jump in the stream and pray in agreement with some of the prayers recorded here. You will find them mostly on the National Day of Prayer page and the Prayer Walk page. May you reap the Lord’s blessing as you join in prayer for the glory of God and the good of our community!
So, why the evergreen tree in the logo? Erie is at a turning point. We are at a place where this rust belt city is ready to birth something new. If our community is to be successful, history teaches we must turn to God for guidance and rely on Him for the will to persevere. The nudge to use the evergreen tree as part of the PRAYERIE logo came when I learned of George Washington’s use of the tree on the Appeal to Heaven flag. It first flew over the 13 colonies proclaiming our fledgling nation’s dependence on God. The flag has had a resurgence in the Church recently as this nation is being reborn. Not reborn literally, of course, but with a spiritual and moral renewal. And Erie is a part of it!
But George Washington wasn’t the first American to use the evergreen tree as a national symbol. The Five Nations of the Iroquois used the evergreen tree as a symbol of covenant. To read more about it, click the link to the Gem City Story, “Bury The Hatchet.” http://prayerie.org/gem-city-blog/
Here we are at a turning point. Will we choose to live and move and have our being in the one true God (Acts 17:28), making decisions for our community that will be for the benefit of generations to come? Can you see yourself in Erie’s story? I hope so because our stories are Erie’s stories! Winston Churchill said, “History will be kind to me because I intend to write it.” Will you help Erie write a story that is kind to our children and grand-children? A story soaked with prayer, believing as God’s word says, “If we humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways, we will hear from heaven, and He will forgive our sin and heal our land” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Be a part of preparing the way for a continued move of God by appealing to the Almighty through His Son Jesus Christ for protection, provision, and justice for our land.
As I look back at what God has done since the Rock the Lakes festival with Franklin Graham in 2014, I am in awe of Him and His call to pray for this land. The PRAYERIE web site is designed to track the expansion of prayer in the Erie community and celebrate what God is doing! My earnest prayer is that Holy Spirit continues to direct this movement, as we humbly follow.
Chaplain Andy Kerr was charged with developing teams to provide prayer covering for the Rock the Lakes festival. He established PRAYERIE, allowing space for Christians to come together in unity to pray for our city. And they certainly did pray. Many have said the festival was the most spiritually significant event in Erie’s history since Billy Sunday held revival here in 1911. An estimated 14,000 people attended with hundreds of salvations. The businessmen and women who spearheaded the festival (ECBLA) have continued to meet and pray together. Be sure to check out the ECBLA tab. Having fulfilled the task of providing prayer coverage for the festival under the banner of PRAYERIE, Andy passed the administrative baton for PRAYERIE to me.
I love God, adore my family, and enjoy serving. Tom Matta and I have been married since 1976; together we have successfully launched three awesome children each with an exceptional spouse. We cherish every opportunity to love on our five outstanding grandchildren! These precious ones have certainly helped hone my prayer skills! I have also had the privilege of serving in an array of volunteer and professional positions for religious, civic, and educational organizations. Tom and I enjoy team-teaching Marriage Seminars, as he holds advanced degrees in Marriage and Family Therapy. In our experience over the last 45 years, we have found that seeking God in prayer, hearing from Him and following His lead always characterizes the best of times.
Being a lover of history, I find it fascinating to research God’s original intent for the land and the people called to live there. Most recently, I’ve been digging into stories about God’s move in the Erie area. Did you know we have the nickname Gem City? Jesus spoke to and prayed specifically for cities (Matthew 11:20-26, Revelation 2,3). Do you have a heart to pray for the community with eyes to see God’s multi-faceted wisdom evidenced here? In scrolling through this web site, you will find many prayers for the Erie area. As you are led, please pray in agreement with them. Bob the Tomato (Phil Vischer) once said, “My greatest joy is being in the intersection of God’s call and my giftedness.” Preparing the way of the Lord and seeing Christians connect with God and each other is that place for me. God gets the glory, I get the joy! So, toot your horn if you see a car with the license plate GEMCITY, that’s me!
Andy Kerr loves stories! He says, “It always inspires me to see the hero of the story fight through impossible odds, gain the skills needed to defeat the enemy and achieve the life he or she has always wanted.” Andy was in charge of coordinating the prayer effort for Rock the Lakes and as a result, founded PRAYERIE.
Andy is an awesome business and leadership coach dedicated to helping grow and strengthen businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Erie area. When not working at Andy Kerr Coaching, he can be found at the Erie City Mission where he serves as Chaplain and has started many exciting new programs such as Getting Ahead, a class proven to help assist people in their climb out of poverty.
Andy has been married to his wife Jennifer, a teacher and musician, for the past 25 years. Together, they work on a real estate business centered in the city of Erie. Andy is interested in learning and reading, ending poverty, helping people, the Bible, working out, boxing/martial arts, starting cool things, real estate, the wilderness, and working with awesome people. All of Andy Kerr’s endeavors are centered around his life’s mission of helping to eliminate poverty in his beloved city of Erie, PA.