Inaugural Year of Non-Stop Prayer in the South
"Our Great Discoveries and Ongoing Adventures"
What do grandmothers, the Adult Rehabilitation Centers, 10 year old girls, inner-city teens, diner waitresses and the chamber of commerce have in common? They all have been a part of our territorial non-stop prayer meeting.
June of 2007 began a year long 24/7 prayer initiative in the 15 southern states. Reaching to the roots of early church practices of round the clock prayer vigils, The Southern Territory took this ancient challenge of covering the clock in ceaseless prayer.
As part of a vision from Commissioner Max Feener, this geographically vast landscape set out to coordinate the largest prayer effort in the history of the territory. Beginning with THQ, each group took on the challenge of covering 168 hours a week in prayer. From there it spread to over 250 corps, ARCs, Camps, auxiliary and advisory boards , Boys and Girls Clubs, Divisional Headquarters and city command groups, each taking on the responsibility of keeping the chain of prayer time unbroken.
To encourage each group, Commissioner Feener released weekly prayer reports, like fireside chats, sharing testimonies of each location and the unexpected result of going deeper with God.
People discovered the teacher of prayer, the Holy Spirit, because they gave Him the opportunity to instruct them and, as they shared their varied prayer lessons and experiences in these reports, we all learned from each other just what the power of prayer can do.
People discovered that intentional prayer gave God the opportunity to offer concrete communication in response to their petitions. Prayer can seem intangible, not concrete, and treated as something fleeting, elusive and almost passive. But God proves otherwise. One such incident happened in August 2007.
With only two weeks left open on the prayer calendar, Colonel Kenneth Hodder pledged to have the Kenyan Territory cover the remaining times for prayer in early December. We would have never known that those precious prayers were to be on the eve of devastating political unrest in their country, costing many nationals their lives in the upheaval of their government. That timing spoke volumes of God's providential care of those precious Kenyan Salvationists. How our hearts turned to them immediately after their intercessory sacrifice on our behalf. God truly knows the battles we face and brings us to His throne of grace and mercy ahead of the conflict.
Another innovative approach to prayer was the Kentucky/Tennessee Division enacting "The Wave." Every corps (30) in their division participated in non-stop prayer and it was designed geographically so that neighboring corps would pass the ‘wave' of prayer to the adjacent location, creating a tsunami of prayer from one end of the division to the other.
One person wrote, "I came into the prayer room on Saturday from 8-10 PM. My prayer, upon entering was, "Lord, keep me alert and awake for the next two hours." I left rejuvenated, refreshed and reinvented. God was there! I have prayed in prayer rooms before but it was nothing like this."
Of course the enemy does not want us to pray because he is defenseless when we pray. One person expressed, "I hurried from quite a distance to keep my appointed hours. I was being delayed and it seemed as if satan would not have me here and to be distracted and annoyed at the many delays. Praise God that He allowed me to be in His presence for these two hours. " The enemy will get in our way when we are headed toward a weapon that renders him powerless.
The territory also held its first ever prayer and fasting event in May, Into the Depths, and many Salvationists participated. It is my hope that we will continue prayer and fasting events on a corps and divisional level as many spiritual strongholds were broken and greater heights released to those who fasted before the Lord.
So now what?
Well, we are not stopping! We will continue our 24/7 prayer and we invite you to post your pledge to pray on a new territorial Prayer Website called Army Battle Cry. Just go to our territorial webpage and click on the banner for Army Battle Cry.
We have only just begun to uncover the power of prayer!