There is a beautiful statement from the revivalist of the 1800’s, Charles G. Finney, that says, “Nothing tends more to cement the hearts of Christians than praying together. Never do they love one another so well as when they witness the outpouring of each other’s hearts in prayer.”
We were privileged to be witness to this truth while with two different prayer communities last weekend – one in Irvine and one in Dundee.
Jill Weber, Director of Houses of Prayer at 24-7 Prayer and Global Convenor of the Order of the Mustard Seed, made her way north to join us at 24-7 Prayer Scotland in visiting these two incredible communities.
If you were at the 24-7 Prayer Scotland Gathering this past February, you would have a heard a bit from both of these communities. We will also be sharing more of their stories and vision for the future on this blog site later this year so watch this space!
But in this story, we want to focus in on the beauty of the relationships within these communities.
The Irvine team are from different congregations, even different denominations, but for a good few years now they have been praying and working together to serve the local churches through facilitating some of the most creative prayer rooms you will ever see (one even included an actual boat!) and teaching others how to run a 24-7 prayer week. They have facilitated unity in prayer time and again amongst the churches in Irvine and they are able to do this because of the unity in which they walk with one another.
For this team, the task, the vision is not the most important thing but rather relationship – relationship with God and with one another. They care for one another, look out for one another and they draw near to God in prayer before stepping out into anything. As a result, their hearts are overwhelmed with God’s love for one another and for their community, especially for the young people and for those without community to look after them. They are actively seeking to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the lonely, broken and hurting in their community and are now dreaming around some new ideas and ways to engage even more.
One of those ideas is what could it look like for Irvine to have a House of Prayer, thus Jill’s little visit. And we are so excited to be asking that question with them as we reflect on these words from Scripture, “and My house shall be a house of prayer.”
Prayer Space Dundee began asking that question a while ago and the answer is beginning to take shape, though it is still very much like a part-finished picture on an artist’s canvas.
Again, what was beautiful to see was the interweaving of relationships – some new, some old but each with a sense of call into this network of relationships known as Prayer Space Dundee.
Some are local church leaders, some are in the medical profession, some are involved in schools, some in counselling and play/drama/art therapy, some in social enterprises – like providing jobs for people while teaching them to bake bread. Sound like a modern day monastic community? You wouldn’t be alone in thinking that! And to top it off, they meet for prayer in the wee chapel of Dundee’s old Franciscan Friary!
As we prayed and ate together, God’s presence and delight was palpable, as well as an overwhelming sense of hope and expectation for Dundee.
While waiting for the train that would carry us back home, our attention was captured by a wee paper with the words, “The Dawn of A New Era for Dundee” – we couldn’t agree more!
And we are convinced that this dawn has been brought about by the fervent, persistent, unified prayers of the ordinary, everyday saints of Dundee as they have responded to His call and allowed Him to begin building them into His House of Prayer.
*If you would like to connect with one of these communities, they would be happy to connect with you. For Prayer Space Dundee simply go to their webpage prayerspacedundee.org and for Irvine contact us here at 24-7 Prayer Scotland we will connect you.