Clare Goes to the Gathering

“As with many others, it started by reading a book, by hearing someone else’s story.

I’m new to 24-7 (but not to prayer!) and came to the 24-7 Prayer Scotland Gathering on the 24th February not knowing anyone……but I did!
The day was one of reconnecting. I met two people who had past links with me and each shared their story and what was on their heart. It was a privilege to hear what God had done and was doing in their lives.

This theme of stories and connections ran through the whole day. Prayer has united churches. People hungry for God to move among our communities have gathered together to pray and to serve those around them whether it be coastal towns, rural towns, in cities or in other countries!

The picture that had the biggest impact on me was of a young lad in Spain who attends a school for troubled teenage boys. He was kneeling in front of a picture of a cross in a Prayer Space. It resonated with me because I struggled as a teenager and was very aware of my guilt and shame. The opportunity that this teenager had to encounter the forgiveness and acceptance of Jesus is such a wonderful thing. I hadn’t come to the Gathering to learn about Prayer Spaces in Schools but that burden to pray for these places, where young people can encounter the presence of God and the truth of how valued they are and have hope restored to them has stayed with me.

I loved hearing that God’s presence is reaching those who need Him through prayer spaces/rooms in various communities.

The encouragement to pray and keep praying was helpful; I keep returning to Carla’s Trumpet and Torch analogy from Gideon. To be aware, keep praying and be bold in sharing the hope which we have in Christ Jesus.

The hospitality was wonderful, the presence of the Spirit was a joy (thank you worship team for leading us into that place) and it was a blessing to be with welcoming people who are expectant and hungry for our generous, loving Heavenly Father to reveal Himself more in Scotland.

Thank you for organising it 24-7 Scotland team!
Clare”

Yet another Ulster export to Scotland, Clare has ministered to children in various guises, within and outwith church, all her Christian life. She currently finds herself as part of a family who fosters and resides in a friendly coastal town in Fife. Loves ANYTHING that involves being outside!

Finding Beauty On the Streets of Ibiza

Ibiza is a place where God is moving powerfully.
There is never a doubt that God will show up in a situation. We have seen His miracles time and time again in our work – whether that be miraculously finding someone’s hotel, watching a person instantly sober up, or getting the chance to pray for someone in the middle of chaos.

The main aspect of our summer work in 24-7 Ibiza is night-time street assistance for clubbers in the West End of San Antonio. Every night and every hour is different. When you start, there is always an anticipation, an excitement for what God has in store for each of our teams that night, the people that we’ll meet and the situations we’ll help with.

We hit the streets in pairs from midnight to 5am, alternating every hour between the prayer room and the streets. This rhythm of an hour in the prayer room and an hour out is our way of breathing God in, allowing Him to refill and refresh us before breathing Him back out again on the streets.

Our objective is two-fold:

1. To simply pray and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit 

2. Showing kindness in whatever way that is needed by those we meet on the street.


Showing kindness in Ibiza can look like sitting on a cold pavement for an hour at 5am trying to sober someone up to find out their hotel name. Kindness can look like calling an ambulance to get them the medical attention that they need. Kindness can look like holding the head of a person who is having a bad reaction to drugs they have taken, to help prevent further injury before the ambulance arrives. Kindness takes many forms. But it is kindness we are there to freely give. It is in such a place, where drugs are normal and it’s ‘all you can drink for an hour for $10 a head’ that kindness is necessary. We show kindness and love to everyone we meet – because He loved us first.
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

One night last summer my partner and I saw a guy sat outside a chippy, so we headed over to chat with him. As soon as we sat down and said we were Christians, “James” asked if we could pray for him about University. Immediately after we’d prayed he exclaimed that he was an atheist. I love that his first response to us was to ask for prayer and then to remind himself that he didn’t believe any of it! After chatting for a long time, it turned out James wasn’t really an atheist, he just was a bit lost and confused about God.

It is moments like these, shining a bit of Jesus’ light into people’s hearts, that make losing sleep, cleaning a person up after they’ve been sick or desperately trying to get someone who’s had too much into one of our wheelchairs all worth it.

The 24-7 Ibiza Team always remind us in every orientation that our time in Ibiza will test our patience, our ability to keep on loving, our levels of grace and some weeks more than others, our energy – mentally and physically. And that’s so true! But no week is the same, and neither is any day! Which is why I love the work out there. You can have a rubbish hour on the streets and then suddenly have an incredible conversation about who Jesus really is and be able to bring truth into someone’s life. Or you get the opportunity to stand and pray with someone in the middle of the West End, and in that you get to teach that person how to pray, to be a part of their secret history and journey with God, and it’s beautiful..

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love… For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103: 8-12

Kathryn Ritchie is a final year student in Religious Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She has lived in Edinburgh for three and a half years and is part of Central Church. An interesting part of her degree is that her final year dissertation is on the Harry Potter series and its relationship to Christianity. Kathryn has been out to Ibiza over the past 3 summers which has included 2 short-term mission teams and 2 long-term mission teams.

If you would like to join Kathryn this summer in “shining a bit of Jesus’ light into people’s hearts” then Tamsyn Radmall, student leader at Central Church, would love to hear from you as she is putting together a “Scottish” Summer Mission Team for Ibiza. You can contact her at tamsyn@centralchurch.co.uk.
And to learn more about what 24-7 Ibiza do check out www.24-7prayer.com/247ibiza

Scotland & Prayer Spaces in Schools

Debbie Meehan is part of the 24-7 Prayer Scotland team and oversees Prayer Spaces in Schools in Scotland. She shares here what has been happening with Prayer Spaces in Schools across Scotland.

“What’s been happening in Scotland with Prayer Spaces in Schools? Lots!

As Spring arrives and we see new shoots coming from both old and new bulbs, so it seems to be with Prayer Spaces in Schools. So many exciting opportunities coming from both old and new connections.

We’re seeing a number of people move geographically and so taking their experience and involvement with Prayer Spaces in Schools to a new area, new schools. We’re seeing instances where a change in leadership within a school has led to a long awaited and prayed-for open door.

We’ve had invitations to lead Prayer Spaces in Schools workshops for small numbers of people as well as for large national conferences.

We are hearing stories of school staff who, having been initially skeptical about Prayer Spaces, are now absolutely onboard and fully supportive, having seen the positive impact of the Prayer Space on their pupils.
We are hearing how our resources are being used to bring comfort, value and confidence to children and young people in an increasingly fearful world.
As one pupil said through tears in a Prayer Space last week, ‘I just don’t know how to respond, I don’t know what to say… no one has ever told me why I am valuable to my face before’!
What a special and beautiful moment.

One of our Prayer Spaces in Schools Networkers was reflecting last week on the impact a Prayer Space has had on one girl. From an initial conversation around a prayer activity within the Prayer Space, she then started going to the school’s SU Group, took part in and brought friends to an Alpha course, and now four of them are signed up for a week long SU camp. Amazing!

We’d love for you to share your stories and your hopes and plans with us so that we can cheer each other on, as well as give you any support you may need!

All of our resources are free to download on the website – www.prayerspacesinschools.com.
Also, registering your Prayer Space opens up the possibility of further support.

All of our Networkers‘ experience and expertise is there for the asking, whether that’s with a supportive phone call, meeting up for a chat, or providing more formal training for your team. We’d love to hear from you.”

If you would like more information, to discuss the possibility of training for your team, or something else related to Prayer Spaces in Schools, you can contact Debbie at debbie@prayerspacesinschools.com

Prayer, Justice & Students

“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may wish for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”

(Common Prayer: A Liturgy For Ordinary Radicals, Shane Claiborne and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove)

Lately this prayer of blessing has really struck me. Its words have been catching me by surprise and holding my attention. I recently read it aloud at the end of a training event I facilitated for Just Love groups based in Scotland. While reading it, I felt the words hold a powerful authority over the room of 30 students. The blessing resonated with many there as it proclaimed God’s hope, grace and truth. This prayer has become my prayer for Just Love. I want students to believe and know that they not only have influence, but that they can and will make an impact in this world.

Since graduating in June I’ve been working for Just Love as their Scotland Coordinator. My role involves supporting and engaging students to pursue God’s heart for justice. While I have only been in the job for six months, I believe I am witnessing the start of a shift in student culture. I’m starting to see a generation of students awaken to injustice in their universities, cities and world.

Over the past six months the story of Just Love in Scotland has been wild and unexpected. We’ve seen two new groups start in Dundee and Edinburgh, while our groups in Glasgow and St Andrew’s have grown in confidence and depth. In every community there are students who are deeply passionate about building God’s kingdom. What I’ve noticed, however, is that justice is being etched out through rhythms of prayer and sabbath. Students I work with are seeking God out in varied, creative and authentic ways as they look step into the chaos of injustice.

Of late the Just Love group in Glasgow organised a retreat based on the theme of sabbath, taking 40 students away to explore how prayer and reflection could enhance their campaigns. While in St Andrew’s, the community, alongside the Christian Union and various churches, held a week of 24-7 Prayer as they sought prayer for their friends, their town and global justice issues.
Attitudes seem to be shifting and hope seems to be mounting. Students are realising that change in Scotland and beyond is possible. But amidst all this are individuals who value and seek prayer, tuning into what God is doing and where God is moving. I have had countless discussions with students who are desperate for Jesus to be at the centre of their campaigns, events and communities.

A recent conversation I had with a student involved in the new group in Edinburgh resonated with me. He stated that his desire for their group is that they would be “praying without ceasing”. He wants Just Love Edinburgh to be rooted in prayer, not wanting it to be side-lined. He recognises that transformation of issues such as global poverty, homelessness, climate change and addiction cannot be done unless God is there.

As I look forward to next year I do not know what shape Just Love in Scotland will take. I hope that it is formed through prayer and reflection. What I do know is that this movement is so much bigger then me, than one individual student or even one group. God is in this and that means anything could happen. I am merely a steward who has enough foolishness to believe that we can make a difference in this world, hoping that we can do what others say cannot be done.

Fiona is the Scotland Coordinator for Just Love, a charity working across the UK to inspire and release Christian students to pursue the biblical call to social justice. She lives Glasgow, having recently graduated from university with a degree in Theatre Studies. Fiona loves creativity, casting vision and developing leaders. She also enjoys coffee, theatre and simultaneously wearing several items of denim.