‘Pray hard, pray long, pray often.’
“Let us pray.” In too many prayer meetings around the world that has been the informal signal for duty-bound attendees to assume the ‘shampoo position’ (Major Doug Hammond). They bend over, elbows on knees, and their fingers thread the hair on their scalp as their palms hold up their foreheads.
This pervasive slouch shouts out our corporate lack of enthusiasm about prayer. How on earth do you expect us to pray non-stop when we can’t even get through the 30-minute prayer meeting without day dreaming or drifting off into the occasional nap?
Prayer is ubiquitously acknowledged as critical for the healthy Christian life, both individually and corporately. But attendance at the prayer meeting and vitality during it suggests that most people are advocates of prayer far more than they are witnesses to its efficacy.
A growing number of Christian communities have bucked that trend though, and, indeed, have started another trend by praying hard, praying long, and praying often, many without ceasing.
The House of Prayer movement that started in 1999 in Kansas City was accompanied, quite independently (except on God’s agenda), by the birth of the 24-7 Prayer movement in England.
This discipline of non-stop prayer has transformed the lives and mission of tens of thousands of Christians and thousands of Christian communities.
It is based on encountering God and is driven by the desire to have prayer and that God-encounter be central to authentic Christian community and mission. It involves worship, creativity, listening, and intercession.
Non-stop prayer dedicates significant time and space to that very challenge. It requires significant sacrifice and commitment, but it promises significant reward.
Non-stop prayer is just that extraordinary prayer that positions us at the feet of Jesus so that He can do whatever He wants to and with us for His glory. We are at His service, on His timetable, with His agenda. Worship, creativity, listening, and intercession are woven together into a strong fabric of intimacy with and obedience to God.
It can transform your life and warfare.
Captain Robert Evans recounts in this book the story of God’s guidance for a community to step into this ongoing season of extraordinary prayer, describing the challenges and joys, the faith-building and unity-growing, and the questions and answers that have emerged from this noble experiment.
What has happened in his experience can be replicated in yours. What is all that is missing? Only a passionate response to the challenge; ‘pray hard, pray long, pray often.’
God help you.
Major Stephen Court