The Creation of a Prayer Room

Tomorrow we launch two weeks of 24-7 prayer, and all this week, we have been preparing the prayer room.

Here is the room just as we got started.

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We turned our regular prayer room into the Vine Cafe, where folks can come hang out and drink coffee. Local artists have hung their work on the walls.

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Already the Vine is a hub of happy creativity. We can’t wait for the 2 weeks of prayer to start!

Have you signed up for your hour of prayer yet?

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True City Conference – Tale of Two Kingdoms Feb 21 & 22

It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

“Our churches are figuring out how to collaborate together around mission – we’re pretty good at that part.  What we need from you is help strengthening the prayer piece.”  Dave Witt, the leader of True City, explained.

“Hmmm, you’re probably better at prayer than you think you are.  Maybe you just don’t recognize what your prayer language is.”  I countered.

That was seven years ago, and over the last years we have enjoyed a fruitful partnership.  GOHOP teachers have been invited to teach at True City churches.  I’ve met with leaders on a consultative basis to look at strengthening prayer in their churches.  We are developing emergent leaders from True City churches in our 10 month Studies in New Monasticism Internship.  Many True City folks participate in the Prayer Truck with us each summer.  And together we have mobilized the one, and now two weeks of 24/7 prayer around the annual True City Conference.

This year’s conference is going to be a good one!  Check out the conference video and come join us as we learn, serve and pray together for the good of the city!  I’m helping to lead one of the workshops, which will explore “lifestyles of resistance”.

Two Weeks of 24-7 Prayer for Hamilton – Feb 21 – March 7

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Last year, over 500 people from 76 different churches joined together for 2 weeks of 24/7 prayer for Hamilton.
Join us for two weeks of continuous prayer night and day at the Vine from Feb 21st to March 7th following the True City Conference. The Theme for this year’s conference is “A Tale of Two Kingdoms”. Together we are sharing stories of how the Church (that’s you!) is subverting the empire of the world and welcoming God’s reign in our city.

Imagine this: a space where you can come by yourself or with friends, pour yourself a hot drink, and settle into a small table or a couch in conversation or with a book. Imagine now that it’s a free space, and that it’s open 24 hours a day, for two weeks straight. Enter, The Vine Cafe. If you find a friend in the prayer room (which often happens) or are meeting to pray with your small group, now you can stay and chat without distracting others seeking solace. Just a few feet from the prayer room, you can bring friends in to the space for a drink and to let them check out the space. We’re excited.

We love that people who don’t usually find time for prayer in their schedule feel drawn to the prayer space at the Vine. We want to celebrate this further by introducing a rhythm of common prayer throughout each day. We will be following the daily liturgies from the Northumbria Community at 9am, 12pm, 5pm, and 9pm. Inspired by Celtic Christianity and living with vulnerability and availability. Common prayer will range from five minutes to fifteen, and will be marked by a small bell five minutes beforehand.

If you’re searching for God in a world addicted to noise, distractions, and hurry, open our door and breathe deeply. Find friends. Find peace. Find God.

“I’m in. What’s the next step?”
Sign up at http://www.24-7prayer.com/signup/ca9a0b to fill an hour of prayer by yourself/with a friend/with a group.

Fires burning, fires burning, draw nearer, draw nearer

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I snuck in quietly. It was darkish. Fairy lights strung on the walls and windows.

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My friend Charlene worshipping soulfully on the keyboard in the corner.

Young adults curled up on couches.

Grey haired intercessors praying quietly.

Already, even after 14 hours of continual worship, it feels like a holy space, an open heaven.

Charlene passes the baton to my buddy Ryan from the Hammer House of Prayer, and the worship continues. 48 hours of it. 24 worship teams from all kinds of different churches and denominations in the city.

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In the back, people are writing their prayers on the wall.

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It’s going until midnight on Sunday, at the True City office at 500 James St. North.

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Come and burn with us!

48

Starting Friday night, January 31 at midnight (which I guess technically is Saturday), my MoveIn friends here in Hamilton are hosting 48 hours of worship, prayer, and street outreach at 500 James St., in the True City office.

We love these guys, and love the work they are doing in the city. They move to neighbourhoods (usually high rises) with a high density of new immigrants, and live, work, play and pray in that context. Incarnating the presence of Jesus and bringing forth His kingdom. Loving their neighbours in intentional and prayerful ways.

Here is the email blast they sent out…

Come and join the body of Christ in Hamilton in lifting up the name of Jesus and praying for God’s Kingdom to come bless and restore this city! God is worthy of all of our praise and adoration! He is glorious, lovely, merciful, just, holy and the Lord over all!

We will be praying and worshiping for a full 48 hours. There will be 2 hour time slots that will be posted on this event page in due time (so keep checking back), which will give a prayer focus for those 2 hours. There will be a worship leader and a prayer leader in the prayer room at all times. There is no need to sign up for specific times, come as the Spirit prompts you.

The 2nd day (Sunday) we will have outreaches after we have prayed in the prayer room. We will be filled up and sent out to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit in the streets of Hamilton (of course it is not an obligation that if you come to this prayer slot you must minister afterwards, but it will be a great chance to bless our city in the name of Jesus).

More information will be posted about the location and how to access the right door!

Feel free to extend this invitation to anyone who loves Jesus.

So look for it on Facebook. They will be posting more info as we get nearer.

It’s an answer to our prayers at GOHOP. For years we pray for …prayer. That the church would desire to dwell, gaze, and seek. Abide in His presence. We’ve especially focusing prayer on emergent leaders in the city, so we are delighted to see what God is raising up in our midst.

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Discernment and the Prayer of Indifference

As many ministries do, GOHOP sets time aside at the beginning of the year to listen to God together. Matt and Karen Lowe, who are founding Lectio House, an inner city retreat centre, led us through part of our process.

We began by listing the various dreams we had for GOHOP this year, things we would like to see happen.

They include:
– Two months of Prayer Truck this summer. One month at the Rock and one month on Barton East somewhere
– Another Pilgrimage
– Two weeks of 24-7 Prayer in February
– More community houses being formed and coming into relationship with each other
– More hours of prayer at the Vine. Expanded Vine hours
– Teaching prayer courses in lots of churches
– Expanding the Spiritual Formation department and making spiritual direction available to more people
– Visiting other prayer Communites
– A greater variety of styles and forms of prayer at the Vine

And many many other things. It was quite a lively brainstorming/sharing time!

And then we had a time of silence where we prayed the Prayer of Indifference, each in our own way.

Indifference? Waitaminit! We don’t want to be Indifferent! We want to be passionate! Full of zeal!

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But the Prayer of Indifference is a key practice that helps us not mistake our will for God’s will.

To discern between the good ideas and the God ideas.

In the Prayer of Indifference we let it all go. We lay down our dreams and desires, submit them to God; who is quite happy to refine our motives and intentions. His ways and thoughts are higher, and our minds cannot conceive all the amazing things He has in store for us, if we will only submit to Him.

My favorite Prayer of Indifference is an old Methodist Covenant. It articulates it far better than I ever could.

I am no longer my own but yours.
Put me to what you will,
rank me with whom you will;
put me to doing, put me to suffering;
let me be employed for you or laid aside for you,
exalted for you or brought low for you.
Let me be full, let me be empty,
let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and wholeheartedly yield all things
to your pleasure and disposal.
And now, glorious and blessed God,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
you are mine and I am yours.
So be it.