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A Look Back: 'Spirit-Led' 24/7Prayer

posted 22 May 2014, 04:17 by Oxford Prayer Room   [ updated 28 May 2014, 09:27 ]

It’s not every day that the Spirit leads a 24/7Prayer team to abandon its well-established plan and follow in a completely different direction. But that is exactly what happened on what was supposed to be the last day of our ‘Spirit-Led’ 24/7Prayer week.

It was Saturday morning, and our set-down team would soon be gathering to dismantle all the special prayer stations we had constructed the previous week. The Pray for the Nations station was weighty with Post-It prayers, the Pray for Oxford station was marked by postcard memories and expectations of God’s work in this city, and the creative prayer space was bright with the painted, Play-dohed, and sketched prayers of dozens of individuals. It had been an incredible and beautiful week of both scheduled and impromptu prayer and worship, and there was no doubt that God had been working. But we were scheduled to set-down the room in time for Saturday evening’s youth event, and no one was planning to carry on after Saturday.

No one, that is, except the One who had inspired the week’s theme.

An individual put forth the question: what if we kept the prayer space open for another week?

Our team arrived for set-down, but we didn’t immediately set-to set-down. We sat down and we prayed. We discussed the practicalities of this idea. We prayed some more. And when our entire team felt the Spirit’s leading to keep the prayer space open for another week (with modified opening hours), we committed to it. The fact that several people showed up to use the prayer space long after the room had originally been scheduled to close was just another confirmation that we were on the right track.

The first week had been beautiful. The second was, well, one person described the atmosphere of prayer room during the second week like this:

As a space, it began to sing—as if the prayers began reverberating off the walls and resonating in the air. As that increased, it was like a symphony began. As people from different groups and backgrounds began to worship and pray in the same place, it was like different instruments beginning to play out – a little foretaste of heaven.

Others described the prayer space during week two as “God-filled and peaceful,” a place that just sort of “draws you in and you don’t want to leave because it’s so nice.” One individual described the atmosphere of the prayer room “as breathing—like the sense of our breath and God’s breath meeting—communing with God,” and others described it as “warm,” “safe,” and “comfortable.”

Many of these descriptions could have (and did) apply to the first week of 24/7Prayer, but there was something about the second week, something about letting the Spirit lead in this very real and very unexpected way that gave the whole experience something more: not just a beautiful experience of prayer but a little foretaste of heaven. 

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If you’re interested in learning more about what’s happening in the Prayer Room, send us an email (prayer@staldates.org.uk) or give us a call 01865 791 073.

                  
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