A Day in the Life

What do urban monks, House of Prayer people do anyways? People have a hard time wrapping their heads around our vocation (most Catholics get it right away), so from time to time I find it helpful to post what a day looks like for me.

6 am. I’m in The Nook, a prayer space I created in Kirks and my room. We live in an intentional community with a bunch of other adults, so private space and time is precious and hard to come by. Kirk sleeps later than I, so early mornings are the best time for me to be alone with Jesus. I read, journal and pray.

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8 am. Heartwatch is our weekly Benedictine prayer time at the Vine, our prayer space. Brother David Peter leads us in singing the psalms, interspersed with times of silence and intercession for the city. Two young ladies from Sister Care join us after an early morning working with prostituted women on Barton and we pray together for the sisters they have grown to know and love. My heart is heavy. Today I’m feeling the weight of the loss of a friends grandchild, and the loss of one of our youth at the Living Rock. Too many deaths in our community these days. We cry it out, and trust that the ground is being watered by our prayers and tears, and that life will spring up.

9:30. On reconnaissance, prayer walking and checking out potential new office space for GOHOP. For the last several years, Hughson St Baptist has graciously donated us space, but renovations are coming, so I’m on the prowl for new digs.

10:30. Planning our Internship for the fall, with Peter Giokas, our Internship Director. Dreaming up wild plans for the future, expansion of our training arm. Over the last couple of years, The Lord has brought quite a few academics on our staff of urban/prayer missionaries. We have five folks with M.Divs, and one Doctor of Theology! I find that perplexing and amusing, cause all I have is half a degree of nothing. Jesus, how do you want us to share our gifts to serve the city and the large prayer movement? We are starting to get an inkling of what He is up to but shhhh, it’s a secret!

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12:00. Over to the Living Rock, a ministry to street involved youth in Hamilton. We’ve been partnering with them for years. Tough day today. One of the kids died last week. “I hate this part of our job,” one Rock volunteer shared, “we loose too damn many of them!” The room is full of candles and grieving staff and youth. We sit, pray, listen. Such a privilege to be a gentle witness in these times of loss, to be the loving presence of a people of prayer in their midst. Lots of good connections and conversations with youth happen.

2:00. Still at the Rock. The kids are gone, and we pull out our guitars and spend an hour in worship and intercession for marginalized youth and next generation leaders in our city. Throughout the day I had been checking Facebook for updates on a pastor in our city who was in ICU at a local hospital, and we pray for him as well.

3:30. Yes we do house calls! A friend is struggling with chronic health issues, so our team goes over to her house, anoints her with oil, and prays for her. She explains that she’s been sick on and off since her family moved into this house, and her kids too. “Why don’t we come back and bless and pray through the house?” One of our team member suggest. “Maybe there are some historical and residual spiritual issues at play here that we can deal with.” We make a plan to come back next week to do the house blessing/house cleaning.

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4:15. I’m feeling like a wrung out dishcloth. Such an emotionally and spiritually intense day! Time for baby therapy. We are trying to share life together more as a community, and among other things, that looks like sharing child care. So while our friends Andy and Gwen spring clean their newly purchased Community House, Hannah and I toddle off to the park with their baby and toddler, and introduce them to the wonderful world of slides. “Again! Again!” I can feel the stress slide away and my spirit quietens.

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6:00. One thing I love about intentional community is that I only have to cook one night a week! We come home to a lovely dinner on the table (thanks Mary!) and some wonderful dinner guests. A lovely evening chatting about life and ministry. We take time after dinner, around the table, to thank God for the day and to pray for the needs we are aware of.

“We live very simply,” I explain to our guests. “But it’s a good life, and very very rich!”

Yes it is.

Quebec House of Prayer: Strategic Partnerships Bringing Strength to the House

I visit QHOP once or twice a year. It’s fun to see leaps in growth when you drop in regularly, but periodically. There is definitely an increase in folks in the prayer room, and a decrease in the average age.

“Why is that?” I wanted to know.

When Brian and Tanya Allatt started QHOP, they initially attracted people like them.

“Middle aged!” they grinned.

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Sherbrooke is a college town, and they wanted to draw younger people into the prayer room, so they invested in bringing a young man, Mitch, on staff. Mitch’s job? Worship and prayer and making connections with twenty-something believers in the city.

Their investment has brought good returns, and now QHOP is drawing a younger crowd.

The other thing Brian and Tanya did was formalize a partnership with Iris Ministries. Very bravely, they took their family of four children to Mozambique to Heidi Baker’s school there. They survived rats and all manner of creepy crawlies. The friendships and connections they made the have brought prayer missionaries from all sorts of far flung nations to roost and nest like sparrows near the altar of The Lord.

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The QHOP gang

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Bringing the glory..

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O look, Jesus is coming!

I always say, work your strengths and staff your weaknesses. The Allatts have reached beyond themselves in some strategic alliances, and for QHOP, its paying off.
;

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!

Pneuma climatologists

“I don’t know, Bob,” I hedged. “I’m not sure it will work.”

I was chatting with Bob Ekblad, who is visiting GOHOP this week. We were preparing to minister at the Meeting Place, which is the congregation that has gathered around the chapel at Mission Services. Bob wanted us, during a time of worship, to lay hands on each member of the congregation, praying silently for the Holy Spirit to fill and bless them, before Bob began to teach.

“I’m not sure they will like someone touching them, especially a stranger. They might be really uncomfortable. Safety is an issue for lots of them, and they are kind of jumpy. But Rev. Sue is the team leader, so just check it out with her and see what she says.”

Sue didn’t share my skepticism and gave the go ahead, and before I knew it I found myself laying hands on my Mission Service friends, one at a time. I was amazed at their openness, and receptivity, and the reverent silence in the room as we moved quietly from one person to another, while Ellis played the guitar. I looked up from the one I was praying for, and my breath caught as I saw different ones weeping, soft and vulnerable.

In those moments the whole spiritual climate, the atmosphere of the room changed.

Later over dinner, one of our friends from the meeting, said, “Whooooa, that was intense!”

Something so simple. Silent prayer. An invocation of the Holy Spirit. Changing everything.

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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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