Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rhoda's House

We pray when there’s a crisis – well, at least when there’s a crisis near us. We pray when we need something from God. In our churches, our “Intercessors” pray for the anointing of the Holy Spirit to invade our services. And sometimes we reluctantly pray, “Thank you, Jesus”, when we avoid some bad thing, or when that bad thing is over.

After 9/11 I prayed on my face with tears for more than a week. During that time I asked myself – and God – “What would happen if there were Saints/Intercessors in our churches, whose assignment would be to watch the news, and for every crisis, every emergency, every tragedy, pray specifically for those people? What if there were Intercessors assigned to pray for countries, for leaders, for groups of people – like abortionists, or people trapped in cults, or child molesters, or Conservatives/Liberals, or terrorists?

When we were starting Destiny, in Ohio, I envisioned a Ministry I called “The Upper Room”, a place where there would be intercessors, praying, 24 hours a day … seven days a week. The idea was not unique nor was it original. In my early years in ministry I read a book by David Y. Cho, where he talked about a similar Ministry at his Yoido Full Gospel Church, in Korea.

In 1973 they created Prayer Mountain – a full-time retreat where Saints can go to pray ( Prayer grottoes are open to guests 24/7, and they can pray in the grotto for as long as they wish.

What I saw was, of course, a variation on that theme. What if we could have Intercessors on standby, 24/7, to pray not only for the things I mentioned above, but also to intercede for anyone who needed it at any time? At Bethel we had a Prayer Line, where people could call any time and hear a pre-recorded message of encouragement. What if they could talk to a person, instead?

I realized, of course, that a vision of this magnitude was ambitious – at best – for a Ministry that hadn’t got off the ground; but how to involve other Saints?

The devastation in Haiti brought this Ministry to mind, again: wouldn’t it be AMAZING if God could bring this prayer Ministry to life through the cooperative efforts of a few friends on Facebook? Not just to pray for Haiti – though indeed we should pray for Haiti; not just to pray when there’s a crisis or a tragedy – though indeed we should pray then, too. But ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, SOMEBODY would be “on duty”, praying.

When Bishop McKissick was having trouble sleeping, I thought, “ask the Saints in China to start calling him up in prayer first thing in the morning. That would coincide with the evening in the U. S., meaning he would be saturated with prayer, right about the time he was trying to go to sleep.

Some of you stay up late and/or get up early. Many of you know brothers and sisters who live on other continents. We could make this a STRATEGIC project: I’m reaching out to you, you reach out to whom you know, they reach out to someone else, and – as the TV commercial used to say “and so on … and so on … and so on”!

So whaddaya say? Will you help?

"… I will bring them to My holy mountain and let them rejoice in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar, for My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." Isaiah 56:7 Holman CSB
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12
Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church … And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognized Peter's voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. Acts 12:5-14

p.s., I know there will be an urge to admonish me regarding my theology (LOL), so let me say at the onset, I KNOW it wasn’t really Rhoda’s house: I just thought it’s be a nice name