The Haven

We chatted recently with Stella Campbell, formerly of Northern Ireland, now happily residing in Aberdeenshire where she is a Church of Scotland minister. We thought you might find her journey with prayer encouraging and inspiring.

Stella’s first encounter with 24-7 Prayer and the concept of a “prayer room” was in 2008 during a city-wide 24-7 prayer week in Aberdeen.

This encounter opened up new ways of praying & thinking about her spiritual walk and began her journey with creativity in prayer. The thought that there was creativity within her was a new thought and these new ways of praying were developing and releasing that creativity in an unforced way.
24-7 Prayer also brought her into contact with a more holistic way of praying, introducing her to other traditions & practices, such as contemplative prayer. This journey into prayer paralleled with her ministry training where she was coming into contact with similar practices, but she felt it was 24-7 that made her more receptive to what was given in the training.

One of the other, less expected results of that first prayer room in Aberdeen was meeting a small group of people who formed community around their shared heart for prayer and for the city and that community would become a lasting source of support for Stella.

Stella eventually became minister to two congregations in Aberdeenshire, where she didn’t wait long before introducing the idea of a 24-7 prayer week. She remembers with amusement that first prayer room she planned completely alone, working late into the night to get it finished in time, nervous and excited by turns as to how her people would respond.

Four years on, and Stella’s church just finished a week of 24-7 prayer in their now-dedicated space for prayer called ‘The Haven.’ What’s more, Stella had nothing to do with that week of prayer other than attend because the team made it happen themselves. They are now hungry to and asking how to encourage their people in their individual prayer lives and spiritual growth.

Stella has loved watching her congregation grow in confidence in prayer and openness to trying new ways of praying. Many members have gone from, “How will I ever fill an entire hour with prayer?” to the words prayer rooms are known for inspiring, “An hour just wasn’t enough time!” And as a result, the congregation has also become more open to the prophetic, to healing prayer, to creativity in prayer.

This past Sunday before the service, Stella went into ‘The Haven’ and was immediately aware of the sense that the room had been “steeped” in prayer, testament to just how much God has done through prayer in the past four years in a little church in Aberdeenshire!

A Tapestry of Prayer

You may have at some point heard of, if not seen, what is known as The Great Tapestry of Scotland. It is an incredible project – an artistic portrayal of the (hi)story of Scotland through the weaving together of panels that have been hand-stitched by residents of cities, towns and villages all across Scotland and was inspired by the beloved Scottish story-teller Alexander McCall Smith.

Storytelling has been a central aspect of community throughout the history of the Celtic peoples, taking a role in many parts of society such as community decision making and community cohesion, not just in history keeping and entertainment.
The Seanachaidh (storyteller) would seek, through the telling of their stories, to weave the listeners together, to give the people a sense of who they were, where they came from.

This is our heart as 24-7 Prayer Scotland for this blog site, that as we tell the stories, your stories, of what God is doing through prayer across this land, we will be woven together, reminded of who we are, where we have come from, and Who it is all for and about.

Over recent years we have heard stories of healings of bodies and of hearts, restoration of relationships, life-transforming encounters with the tangible presence of Jesus. And most recently, we are hearing and seeing a deep stirring, a growing hunger in God’s people across the land, from ages 8 to 80, for prayer, for greater unity, to come back to the main Vision, to the simple yet powerful truths that have time and again awakened and set on fire the hearts of this nation, for Jesus Himself.
As people are responding to this gentle, persistent drawing of Holy Spirit, stories are being written.
Leonard Sweet says, “The future belongs to the storytellers and connectors” and we believe this to be true.

24-7 Prayer exists to ‘Revive the Church and Rewire Culture’ and we seek to do that largely through inspiration, equipping, resourcing and connecting – relationship-building. And we are convinced that one of the best gifts God has given us to inspire and to connect with one another is the gift of story. So this blog is our gift to you. We hope you enjoy it and even more, are set alight by it.