Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Houses of Prayer - Different Communities; Much Creativity

Creative Approaches to Houses of Prayer

“One of the things that often take people by surprise when they create space for 24-7 prayer is that there is an instant explosion of creativity. Instinctively, it seems, many people choose nonverbal ways of communicating with God the moment they have the opportunity. Suddenly prayers are painted, drummed, enacted rhymed, choreographed, and even sculpted… The creativity of God is evident all around us, as is the inadequacy of speech amid the mysteries of life. How then can we reduce something as profound as prayer to mere words? Loving God demands the whole of our being: emotion, imagination, and personality.” Peter Greig

Dear Intercessors and Worshippers,

It is exciting to see how creative 24/7 Houses of Prayer are that are now springing up throughout the world. Think about it. If you have children, do you want them to all be alike? No! You probably delight in their unique design. One likes to paint, while another likes to read. Another child is good at sports and handiwork. Their unique gifting and expression of life is a delight to your family. If everyone in your family were exactly alike, it certainly would be boring. We need diversity to compliment our unity. And together you as a family with a wide array of unique looks, personalities, gifting, and talents make a solid family unit that is such a delight to our creative God. The prayer room is like a uniquely created family. It’s a dynamic place where the united creativity of God is expressed.

“Creative and unusual environments can be highly conducive to prayer. The prayer room enables people to pray nonverbally by posting artwork, poetry and graffiti on the wall. The environment can be designed artistically to stimulate and direct prayer.” Peter Greig

Perhaps you are thinking of starting a House of Prayer in your church or city.
If ever there was a time when 24/7 prayer was needed in our cities, it is now! The alarm is definitely ringing everywhere! I feel in my spirit an urgency such as I have never felt before. It’s time - not only to prayer personally - but to exhort others to pray. God is up to something big!

As you begin, realize that there are so many creative approaches to Houses of Prayer. The same Spirit works in so many different ways. Some examples of various places are homes, basements, shacks, chapels or church buildings, offices, shopping centers, prisons, and dedicated prayer rooms. The important thing is to pray and ask God where He wants you to have it. We suggest a neutral location for a citywide 24/7 House of Prayer. This is because it belongs to the city and not one individual church. But realize that God is using a variety of places - He loves creativity and variety - He loves to use our various gifts.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good” (1 Corinthians 12:4-7).

Ask God to show you the right timing, and carefully plan.
Ask yourself, “Is this the best time when people will be in town?” Look at the big picture in your city. Are you building up to something bigger evangelistically in your community or church? We had a month-long House of Prayer in our city right before the 400th anniversary of our nation and a big evangelistic Graham Celebration. We chose this time very carefully, and it fit perfectly into what was happening - not only in our city - but also in our nation.

Maybe you are thinking about a continuous 24/7 House of Prayer in your city and want to start by creating a short season of prayer and then doing longer ones later. Remember that the local church is the primary cornerstone of the House of Prayer. Some churches and cities like to look at the seasonal approach to prayer. It’s better to quit when you’re ahead than to drag it on too long. You want to leave people hungry and eager for the next time.

Not only are there a variety of places, there are also a lot of different approaches to Houses of Prayer.
Some like to sign up for one-hour slots and fill in 24 hours. Some like two-hour slots. Think about how long individuals should be in the prayer room at one time. Perhaps 1-4 hours should be the limit in the prayer room at one time, though this isn’t a fixed rule. We have been involved in all-night prayer vigils in the prayer room, and this has been a great blessing. Some churches like to cover a week of 24/7 prayer or one day a week for a few months that can later grow into more days a month systematically. Churches can then come together with other churches that are doing the same thing. They can each take one day a week for an entire year. This becomes a 24/7 365-day prayer watch that goes all year.

Young people are starting Houses of Prayer on college and university campuses and even children are mobilizing into prayer watches. People all over the world are becoming willing candidates for full time prayer for various periods of time. God is presently raising up prayer missionaries who make prayer their full-time occupation. I know some of these individuals.

Even the names vary for Houses of Prayer. They can be called prayer rooms, 24/7 watches, houses of prayer, prayer chains, boiler rooms, prayer towers, powerhouses or prayer mountains. And the focuses might vary from praise and worship, intercession and warfare, praying the Word of God, silent meditation and soaking prayer, praying for the nations, the needs of the community, the national needs, the local church, or a combination of any of these. There is extreme creativity and uniqueness to each House of Prayer. Let’s not institutionalize what God is doing according to what we think is the right and wrong way of doing it. God is doing something that is fresh and alive, full of variety and creativity.

A United Tapestry of Creative Prayer

God is putting this together into a united tapestry of creative prayer all throughout the earth. This is exciting! Each prayer meeting is a creative expression of God’s glory. He is a creative God. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two prayer meetings are exactly alike either and each one is beautiful in its own way. We can go to prayer with anticipation, and ask, “God, what are you going to do today? How will you lead us? Show us your glory and majesty as we pray.” We may have a plan, but God expresses it in His own way through our prayers and worship.

We must learn to celebrate the united creativity and diversity of God as Houses of Prayer spread worldwide. Some people have thought that 24/7 Houses of Prayer have to be exactly alike. The Holy Spirit is extremely creative! Each city and nation is different and is uniquely designed by God. Rejoice in different people and ways of praying. Rejoice in the different instruments and singers that God brings. Rejoice in God’s unity in diversity. Seek God for the perfect expression that He wants for you and your city and church. Don’t think it has to always turn out the same way or be done in the same fashion. The important thing is to begin so that you can take your part in the beautiful tapestry of prayer that God is designing throughout the earth.

A friend I was visiting had a big tablecloth with a beautiful design that she was mending. There were a few tiny holes in various places and instead of throwing it away because it had no use, she wanted to mend the holes. At one point she told me to take the two ends and help her hold it up in the light in order to look carefully for any holes that would be hard to see when looking at a small section. We held it up and sure enough, I found a small hole in one of the corners. She quickly mended the hole and there it was, a beautiful tablecloth!

The worldwide prayer movement is like this beautiful tapestry of united and creative intercession. Each piece is important. The entire piece makes a beautiful design for the world to see. Just as a tablecloth has a purpose for a family to eat and dine together on it, so the tapestry of prayer has a purpose for believers to gather to feast on the goodness of God and pray for the world. Its’ purpose and design will touch people all over the world with the glory of God and His salvation.

A tiny hole in this worldwide prayer movement will diminish the overall effect and purposes of God in that location. God is mending the nets and preparing the world for a huge catch of fish. It is time that we each do our part in bringing about this great design of creative and fervent prayer in God’s House. Let’s do our part and rejoice in the expression of God’s united creativity.

As you anticipate this beautiful tablecloth of blessing, go to prayer with great expectation.
Pray for God’s blessing in each prayer meeting you hear about, and pray for a great increase in 24/7 prayer in every nation. God is releasing a spirit of prayer throughout the earth, and He is raising-up Houses of Prayer with great uniqueness and creativity in every land. This creativity does not diminish our unity. This unites us more because we realize that we don’t have to be exactly alike. Our unique prayer meeting adds to the overall unity of the prayer movement. God-inspired creativity is part of God’s plan in the prayer movement (Exodus 35:30-35, Psalm 45:1, Proverbs 8:22-31). Ask God to show you a bigger picture of Himself through the diversity and creativity of 24/7 prayer. He is zealous for His House of Prayer throughout the world. He will take the full expression of His praying Church and make it a beautiful tapestry for the world to see and desire.

Intercessors Arise New
  • 24/7 Prayer Arise: Building the House of Prayer in Your City - Please pray for God’s help in the editing and final touches on this book and another one called Deeper Still: Secrets to a Deeper Prayer Life. Each of the 24/7 Prayer Arise books will have a DVD showing what God is doing in Houses of Prayer all over the world!
  • Intercessors Arise is in need of a secretary and website designer - This is a volunteer position for someone who has a passion for prayer, is gifted in web design, and wants to see prayer spread worldwide. Our vision is to develop and International School of Prayer. If you know of someone, write me at:
“The zeal of the Lord of Hosts is loose in the land. The power and anointing in the Church is escalating as God releases the zeal of the Father’s house upon His people. It brings holy boldness, (creativity) and an unquenchable spirit of prayer. It stems from a holy jealousy of God who is declaring in a loud voice, ‘I’m coming to take over My house and to claim My house for My own.” James Goll

Together in the Harvest,

Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise

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