About 24-7 prayer rooms
The origins of 24-7 prayer rooms
The founder of the worldwide 24-7 prayer movement is a man called Pete Greig, whose mother happens to live on the island here nowadays . Pete grew up in middle class suburbia on the mainland, but when he was a teenager he went hiking in Portugal with a friend and one starry night, as he looked up at the sky outside his tent, something remarkable happened... As he prayed for the countries he could imagine, he had a vision of seeing the whole of Europe spread out like a map in front of him, and from each country there arose a faceless army of people, like soldiers awaiting orders. He had no idea what it meant, but back home he and his friends decided to see what would happen if they prayed continuously for a whole week, day and night...
And that was how the whole idea started. If you want to read more, get yourself a copy of Red Moon Rising, which tells the whole story - so far. Suffice it to say that a prayer movement clearly the work of the Holy Spirit, which chimes in with the experience of Old Testament prophets and the early church, to say nothing of the continued experience of Christians across the world, has something to say to us in Whippingham and East Cowes. It is not the preserve of any culture, age group, denomination or social demographic. Prayer rooms happen in tiny rural churches, in major cathedrals, in disused warehouses and even in massage parlours and among the worst drug den areas of the world. You just need to be a person who thinks prayer is important to be involved. The rest is up to God. And at this time of world crisis, where we are cowering in the face of an enemy that is both so great that it destroys countries and yet so small that it cannot be seen with the naked eye, there is no better time than now to turn back to prayer. Let's go!
Normally, if a prayer room is being set up, it makes sense to make it an event that people sign up for and commit to so that every hour of the day and night is covered. In prayer rooms I have set up for churches, we usually make sure that each person praying does so alone: in company there is a temptation simply to chat, and not to pray deeply. Prayer is intensely personal, and if I fel drawn to dance or pray aloud, I don't really want an audience except for God! But prayer rooms of the type experienced by many of the folk in the 24-7 prayer movement are far less inhibited, and people just turn up. As this venture is new to us, I am hoping you will just "turn up" for prayer, wherever you are able to access the virtual prayer room. After all, it won't matter how many people are praying at the same time, isolated as we are currently....
It is because of our isolation, of not being able to worship together, that we need to keep the faith by each praying however we feel called, day or night. It will help if yu can find a special place to pray, but in a virtual prayer room some of your time will be spent looking for inspiration from the computer screen. Please don't feel constrained to stay at the computer, though: if a Bible text speaks to you, take it away and pray with it however suits you, and don't be afraid to try out new prayer ideas. If you submit your prayers to me, I will publish them anonymously on this website. It would be great if we can do this during ths coming week especially, as part iof the Thy Kingdom Come prayer initiative that is still spreading across the world. The climax is at Pentecost, that time when the very first church experienced an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. But I pray that this virtual room will continue well beyond Sunday 31st May. As a clue, I have acquired the web domain name for a year - renewable! Rev Susan
We are a spiritual community as well as geographically close neighbours in Whippingham and East Cowes. Whatever our denomination, and regardless of whether we are regular church attenders or not, I hope and pray that our spiritual community will emerge as a real strong focus and redefines what we mean by "church".
God calls us all to pray, and there are no experts. Prayer is simply putting ourselves in God's presence and being open to the possibility that he has something to say to us. He is not here to beat us with a stick for our perceived failings. And neither is he here exclusively to make us feel good about ourselves. The process many people experience as they join the spiritual community is indeed that initially it helps us to feel good, or at least better, but as the week progresses the mood deepens from "Thank you for making me feel good, Lord" to "What are You calling me to do?" Because Christian faith is both corporate and practical. It aims to help other people. And it is called to share the Good News that God loves us. All of us. And, as St Paul once famously remarked, "if God is for us, who is against us? ...For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. " (Romans 8 : 38)