Kansas City Prayer Time Builds on the Local Legacy of Faith

How spiritual retreats and a history of faith in the marketplace inspired a city-wide prayer gathering.
Praying for Businesses, Kansas City Marketplace, A man praying on church pews
Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash

Every month, working Christians from across Kansas City meet together for a time of prayer. This marketplace fellowship allows kingdom-minded professionals from all industries to intercede for the city, develop supportive relationships, and put God first in every endeavor they undertake.

The Kansas City prayer time is called God’s Relay Race, and this is its origin story.

A History of Prayer in Kansas City

Few people can say they’re joining a race that’s been in progress for 100 years. Scott Stanger stumbled onto this particular track almost by accident—but now he and runners from across Kansas City are all charging toward the same goal.

It all started in 1923, when 52,121 business leaders assembled in downtown Kansas City to dedicate the marketplace to Christ. It was the only event of its size in American history, and it set in motion a ripple effect as God continued moving in Kansas City across the echo of the decades.

Seeking the Wisdom of Solomon

Enter Scott Stanger. He had his first King Solomon moment, as he called it, when he became CEO of Stanger Industries in 2000. Longing for wisdom to lead his employees, he set aside nine days—a full workweek, plus both weekends surrounding it—to seek God’s heart for his business through a spiritual retreat.

Every summer after that, Scott disappeared to a retreat center with his Bible, journal, business plan, and lists of all employees, customers, and vendors to pray over every detail of the company’s activities. He also attended a weekly marketplace prayer time at the International House of Prayer as he sought to place his corporate direction in God’s hands.

Scott’s personal direction changed in 2008, when he left his family’s business to join friends launching a construction company in Waco. Soon, he started a weekly marketplace prayer time there, then watched God transform Waco with economic prosperity and spiritual awakening. Charged with adrenaline and hope, Scott never dreamed that his race was still only beginning.

God's Relay Race, Business Prayer in Kansas City, 3 Ladies praying for one another
Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash

Starting a New Kansas City Prayer Time

Four years ago, Scott learned about the 1923 Christ-centered business gathering while reading The Spiritual Roots of Kansas City by Bill High and Annika Bergen. Since he was living in Kansas City again, he started mulling over what it would look like to plan a celebration commemorating 100 years since the original dedication.

Excited to share his spiritual retreat with the community, he and some friends hosted a ten-day prayer event culminating on Labor Day. They named this prayer time God’s Relay Race, since previous generations had passed them a baton of faith, and it was now their turn to advance God’s kingdom from there. From 7 am to 7 pm every day, they hosted a come-and-go forum for prayer, worship, and fellowship where five to fifty people at a time prayed for their career or personal direction.

Prayer and Fellowship Among Kingdom-Minded Professionals

The corporate spiritual retreat was a success, and when they hosted it again in 2020, they heard a resounding request for more frequent meetings. Ever since, God’s Relay Race has been a monthly gathering from 8–10 am every second Saturday of the month at the Plexpod in Westport.

Whichever professional marathon each believer is running, none of them runs it alone. Every month, Kansas City believers dedicate their work to Christ all over again, taking their cues from the saints of old as they run forward into the future of all God has in store.

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