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247: 'Sing O Barren Woman'

posted 9 Jan 2012, 03:30 by Matthew Key   [ updated 9 Jan 2012, 03:43 ]

This terms 247 (Sun 22 Jan - Sat 28 Jan) is turning out to be quite different from all the rest. Read on to find out why...

During last terms 247, we kept on getting knocks on the door from people who had turned up to the prayer room with a guitar, wanting to worship for an hour, or wanting to know how to switch the keyboard on. It happened several times, sometimes several times a day, when nothing had been mentioned before about leading worship, for what was meant to be a prayer week! But we were happy they came - they sang songs that were on their hearts, they drew others in to worship, and prayer was bubbling out from the intimate times with God. 

What was God saying? We got thinking about what this all meant, when a verse was spoken at one of the prayer meetings that week: “Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child, burst into song, shout for joy... because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband” Isaiah (54:1). Could this be what God was saying to us: 'sing'? 

With the death of a member of our community at that time, we became more aware than ever before of our barrenness. It seemed like hope, faith and love in us were being shaken. In many ways, we had simply hit rock-bottom.

Yet, in this crises moment, the community responded with tender grace, coming together through meals, hugs, phone calls and visits, checking up on one another. A beautiful thing to behold. 

But how were we to respond to God in this time of barrenness? 

Perhaps God was calling us, the 'barren woman', to 'sing'. 

With the start of a new term, and a new week of 247Prayer, we feel called by Him to "burst into song, to shout for joy". That is why we are seeking to fill and entire week with continuous worship and prayer. 

The goal is to have alternate hours of worship and prayer, day and night, for the whole week. That's around 72hrs of led worship! But, together, gathering worship leaders and teams from across Oxford, we believe that we can do this; we can sing over our barren church, over our barren city, believing that God will bring forth fruitfulness.

We hope that this is something that stirs you! If you want to be a part, come on down, any-time night or day that week (Sun 22 Jan - Sat 28 Jan). The worship hours will be on the even hours (10pm, 12pm, 2am...), and the prayer hours on the odd (11pm, 1am..).

If you'd like to sign up for a particular worship or prayer slot, we'd love you to! Please click on this link and fill a box: http://www.24-7prayer.com/signup/75a230 (if you leave your email and phone number, 247 will remind you of the slot you booked). 

For any budding worship leaders, you might like to know the following:

·         What you do in your hour of worship leading is completely up to you: it’s a creative blank canvas!

·         Feel free to invite other musicians, singers, punters, artists... whoever, along to your slot to make it more fun! Or how about inviting your cell group to come and support you as you lead worship during the night slots of one night?

·         Keyboard and guitar permanently set-up; but feel free to bring your own guitar to plug in if you want

·         Dozens of churches are being invited to join in – please feel free to spread the word

Whether you lead hundreds in worship, or just prefer to do so alone in the shower, we encourage you to be part of this week of worship and prayer, as we "burst into song" and "shout for joy", believing that God will bring fruit out of our barrenness.

In Him,

Oxford Prayer Room

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