Family Circus Night at the Prayer Truck

Prayer Truck is for families too!

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Here’s a report from Nick and Rachel King who brought the whole family out to play/pray!

What happens when you forget it is your shift at the Prayer Truck? You can’t find a baby sitter and you drag your three little kids down town at bed time to hang in a back alley and chill with the “local colour”. Norrie defaced the prayer wall with her art, Abigail adopted a “baby rock” she found in the alley that she insisted on repeatedly licking and Molly barfed on my last clean shirt. They didn’t want to leave to go home to bed and it was SUPER cute watching them eagerly handing water out to some of the roughest looking characters I have ever seen. It turned into the Family Circus Night at the prayer truck, but it will go down as one of my favorite memories with them. Thanks for loving Hamilton with the Prayer Truck GOHOP!

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We run until July 23, so there is still time to bring your families out to the truck!  We’re behind 30 Wilson St. (the Living Rock).

On Wednesday July 23 at 7 pm we’re closing it out with a celebration and a free barbecue!

 

 

Seasons Changing

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Its summer. Finally! My tomatoes are growing, and Kirk is industriously expanding our garden beds. I’ve pruned my roses, just like my mother taught me, and I’m looking forward to the flourishing of new growth.

I (Jill) am in a bit of a change of season as well, as it pertains to my role with GOHOP. Over the last few years, God has assembled a “dream team,” a skilled and passionate cohort of leaders who long to see water levels of prayer rise across the city and justice roll like a mighty river on its streets.

Consequently, I find myself shifting into a more “Executive Director” type role, where the team is carrying much of the responsibility for GOHOP, and I serve them and make sure they have what they need. I get to spend more time developing strategic partnerships and using my “schmooze anointing” (as Kirk calls it), increasing our organizational capacities, leadership development, strategic planning and exploring the “growth edges” of where God is at work in GOHOP and in the city. I’m finding it very stimulating and exciting, and have the sense of “firing on all cylinders” in a way I haven’t experienced at work before. All that, my regular blogging on prayer, mission and justice at http://www.gohopchick.wordpress.com and making sure that I get several hours of prayer daily is keeping me happily occupied.

In addition, I have been increasingly stepping into a role of bringing encouragement and resource to other prayer community leaders. I have found that there is a felt need for someone outside your community, who “gets” what a House of Prayer or Urban Monastery is about and can understand the dynamics. A “soul friend” of sorts to communities and their leaders. Mostly I listen, pray, and sometimes help in discernment processes. Always I feel as enriched by the encounter as the one(s) I’m meeting with.

Also, in September I start school! I’ve been accepted into a part time leadership development program called “The Transforming Community”, and over the next 2 years I will be commuting to Chicago for a series of 9 leadership retreats, and will have distance learning in between.

Master and Commander of Spaghetti
Kirk continues to enjoy chef-ing and hosting our Spaghetti Tuesday nights, serving at the Salvation Army Soup truck, and web developing. He’s counting down the days until Prayer Truck – his favorite time of year! We had fun as a couple going on two ministry trips together – to the Stockbridge Boiler Room in Grand Rapids Michigan, and then up to the Quebec House of Prayer in Sherbrooke, stopping at many Houses of Prayer on the way!

Resourcing the Movement
I (Jill) was trying to think about how we would finance the increased expenses around my going to school and travelling more for work. Should I get a part time job? So I asked the Lord for $400 worth of speaking engagements each month, and so far He has answered! Let me know if you would like me to come teach about prayer, mission, justice, intentional community, spiritual formation, or radical hospitality.

First Day of the Prayer Truck

Prayer Truck started yesterday at 7 am!

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We chose the theme “Beautiful Things” after a Michael Gungor song that we’ve been singing over the city for several years. One line in particular really strikes us…

all around, life is springing up from this old ground, out of chaos life is being found in You“. We are seeing this in Hamilton, and want to continue to pray it into being!

Before I had been there an hour, people were coming by to pray.

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Maddi, one of the Rock youth, and one of the creators of the Prayer Truck this year, thought the truck was very relaxing…

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Several have already written their prayers on the walls..

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At one point, a woman in a minivan full of children, drove by and yelled out of her window, “I need prayer! I need prayer!”

Don’t we all?

Later on, after my shift, I saw evidence on Facebook that things were going strong at the truck.

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At 10 pm I popped over to the truck to drop something off. It was jammed full of young people, and my husband Kirk was ministering to someone on the sidewalk.

A full and fruitful first day! Looking forward to the rest of the month! You can just pop by and pray, or sign up for an hour in the truck at http://www.24-7prayer.com/signup/0521a0

Obed House of Prayer in Victoria, B.C.

I first met Mary and Doug at the National HOP Summit in Winnipeg.

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“We’ve just been appointed Directors of the Obed House of Prayer. We’ve been HOP Directors now for about a week!”

“Might as well jump off the deep end,” I grinned.

We hit it off right away. Even liked the same books!

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Red Moon Rising just wrecked us, and set us on the path to the House of Prayer.”

It made sense then, when I next visited the west coast, to go visit the Obed House of Prayer in Victoria.

I spent the afternoon on the beach with Mary and Doug, praying, chatting about all things House of Prayer, watching the curious seal that kept swimming by to investigate us, and telling bad seal puns. “It’s God’s seal of approval!”

Later in the evening, we went to their prayer facility on, wait for it…

Obed street.

There I met other members of the community.

There was Jeremy, with a cherubic grin, and hair buzzed into a Mohawk. He is a frontline street worker, bringing food and the presence of Jesus to the transient and gang related youth in the city.

I met Stuart, a local pastor who had given over his sanctuary for Obed’s use all week long. He and several members of Obed demonstrate their love for Jesus by serving the city and cleaning out the houses of local hoarders. A job that the city couldn’t afford to do, and couldn’t find anyone to do. I heard stories of them climbing over four foot walls of garbage, cleaning inches of sludge off bathroom floors, and making a birthday cakes for one of their clients.

After coffee, strawberries and conversation, someone pulled out a guitar and we got down to business.

Almost immediately, the sweetness of His presence descended on us.

They weren’t in a rush, but just lingered quietly in His presence. Hushed and reverent. As a community, they had a tender sensitive posture towards The Lord. Loving Him and knowing they are loved by Him. They were as equally open and tender hearted to me as well, making me feel very loved and welcome.

The Biblical meaning of the word Obed is worship and service.

They are, in my estimation, aptly named. And I look forward to a long friendship.

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Your Voice is Sweet, and Your Face is Lovely

A wise man once said to me, “put us in the right situation, and we are all insecure!”

My right situation?

I found myself teaching at Bob Ekblad’s ministry, Tierra Nueva in Washington State.  After his visit with us in January, Bob invited me to come visit next time I was on the West Coast, and teach his team about intercessory prayer.  I really wanted Bob to meet Aaron White, the leader of the 614 community in Vancouver, our sister prayer and missions community through 24/7 prayer, so I invited Aaron along for the ride.

“Sure!” he said.

Which meant when it was time to teach, I had to teach in front of him.  And Bob.  Both of whom I considered vastly superior in intellect, gifting, and experience.  Both of whom had been my teachers, and who had shaped my growth and spiritual formation in significant ways.

Insecure?

You bet I was!

So I gave myself a talking to.

“Self, you need to get over yourself!  It’s not about you!”

Not massively inspiring.

Fortunately, Jesus gave me a talking to as well.

“Jill, let me see your face, let me hear your voice.  Your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.”

So I let Him hear my voice.  I shared my story, and tried to be a faithful witness to what He’s done in my life and in GOHOP.

A few days later I found out that I had to speak at the House of Prayer National Summit.

In front of Kirk Bennett, a senior leader from the House of Prayer in Kansas City.

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Whom I considered vastly superior in intellect, revelation, gifting and experience.  Who had been my teacher, and who had shaped my growth and spiritual formation in significant ways.

You would think because of the revelation I had the week before, I would have felt bold and confident!

Aaaaaaaaand?

Nope, not one bit.

Insecure?

You bet.

I also felt insecure because GOHOP is a mutant House of Prayer.  We’ve grafted in DNA from several prayer streams, including Benedictine spirituality and the 24/7 Prayer.com folks.  Which means that we don’t look like a typical (is there such a thing?) “HOP”, and I don’t sound like a typical HOP leader (Not sure there’s such a thing as that either).  Did I have anything relevant to say even?

Fortunately, Jesus gave me a talking to again.

“Jill, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely!”

My heart was re-oriented.  Away from self consciousness and insecurity.

He wanted to hear my voice.

So up on the platform I spoke to Him.  As my offering, my obedience, and my worship.

And He released this amazing, supernatural sweetness in our midst.

His voice changes everything.  I love His kindness…..  His tender invitations invigorate our hearts.

 

Report on Canadian HOP Leaders Gathering from Guest Blogger Bryan Neisteter

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I’ve just gotten back from Winnipeg, where we had a gathering of House of Prayer/Prayer Community leaders from across Canada.  I was going to write a report on it, but then my friend Bryan wrote a fantastic one, so I think you should just read his instead.

From the Ends of the Earth We Hear Singing: Thoughts on the Prayer Movement in Canada

From Thursday to Saturday of this past week I was a part of the Canadian Prayer Leader’s Summit held at Sanctuary House of Prayer in Winnipeg. About 30 prayer community/House of Prayer (HOP) leaders from around Canada joined together to be empowered, encouraged and to build relationships with each other, and it really was a great experience. I knew there were many HOPs in Canada, but had met very few people from outside of our little sphere at Sanctuary House of Prayer in Winnipeg. There were many houses of prayer that weren’t able to be represented, but I was so encouraged to see so many who are labouring for the same purpose, to release worship into the heavens across our nation and to see cities, regions, and ultimately our nation transformed by the power of God.

Something truly remarkable is happening in Canada right now. The Lord is putting His hand on men and women across this country — often completely independent of each other at the start —  and placing in them a burning desire to see night and day worship established in their region. I’m not sure that something like this has ever happened in the history of our nation.
Right now we are seeing many Houses of Prayer in their early days — Greater Ontario House of Prayer would be the oldest in this particular stream of the prayer movement at 12 years. Many of these HOPs are small, many don’t have their own buildings and are using churches with free space or anything else they can find to begin to release worship to heaven. Others have started and then stopped but in their place more are popping up — something bigger is going on.
I believe the Bible prophesies an end-time worship movement. In Isaiah 24, a chapter about the Day of the Lord and the shakings on the earth in the last days, we see one of these prophecies released right in the midst of it:

“They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: “Glory to the Righteous One” (v. 14-16a).

This passage is clearly highlighting a singing and worshipping Bride in the midst of the darkest days the planet has ever seen.

Malachi says this:

“My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations.” (1:11)

Incense in Scripture is associated with both worship and prayer — and I believe when Malachi says that this is going to be released across the nations it is more than just people converting to Christianity — I believe He is talking about people who are wholehearted lovers of God, and that throughout the nations praise and worship will arise before His throne.

More than having a few Bible verses for it, though, I’m seeing it with my eyes. Right now God is doing something unprecedented across the nations. Day and Night prayer ministries, Houses of Prayer, and Praying Churches are arising in a way that has never been seen, and it is happening in our nation as well. We are at the early stages, but I believe that something bigger is going on in our nation than we even understand right now.

Although there are several Houses of Prayer over 5 years old, I felt in my heart that what happened this weekend was actually the beginning of something. It doesn’t look glamorous right now. There’s a lot of people putting in a lot of hours and making big sacrifices to be before God in prayer rooms that are often mostly empty, but there is something bigger going on than what we can see with our eyes.

And so in this hour we ask Lord, establish your House as a House of Prayer for all nations. I ask that in the nation of Canada you would raise up a symphony of worship and prayer, from the north to the south, from the east, to the west. Raise up singers and musicians, raise up intercessors, raise up a people who are lovesick for you who would not cease to cry out until you split the sky and return. Release buildings, release finances and release grace from sea to sea, in Jesus’ name.

Bryan Blogs at http://sendyourfire.blogspot.ca/ so make sure you check out his other writings about revival and the prayer movement!