Recently in Whiteinch CofS, we have been exploring what it means to build rhythms of prayer into our congregation. This has resulted in us coming together to pray across 24 hours once a month.
Our community is about to plant a church in the East End of Glasgow, and as part of this we have been praying into unity and what it means for love to cover all, as in 1 Peter 4:8.
As we prayed for love and understanding, many felt called to pray for social justice. This began with a graffiti canvas set in a corner of the prayer room. One person said that they found this prompt very helpful to ask the question “What does it look like to love and pray for the brokenness in the world?”.
As we were stirred to pray into areas of brokenness, people began to declare freedom from addiction, homelessness, poverty, human trafficking, inequality, domestic violence, pornography, mental health and loneliness. These declarations are bigger than Whiteinch, Glasgow and Scotland as we believe that this freedom is available for all and that the freedom God brings is complete, as stated in John 8:38 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”.
In this, we found that the prayer room had become not only a prompt for bold declarations of freedom, but also a place where God was speaking to us as we chose to be vulnerable and step into His presence. The prayer room had become a place of tears, shouting, joy, dancing, resting and singing. A place where people meet with the Holy Spirit, share their hurt, write some requests for prayer and share their own breakthroughs.
One testimony stands out. A lady shared with us, “The last time I was in the prayer room God told me that He was bringing me into a new season of identity and helping me discover who I am in Christ.” Since then, she has been on a journey of God touching her heart and reaffirming her identity. Her communication with God didn’t stop in the prayer room.
So, if God doesn’t stop in the prayer room, what happens when we leave? When we step into God’s presence we are marked. We are challenged. We are shaped. As our hunger for prayer and intimacy with God grows, so does our heart for justice. As we believe that God is the name above all names, we begin to realise the joy and privilege it is to be used by God.
As we move forward, we are beginning to ask questions – how do we integrate prayer and justice? How does our youth work, our days in our jobs, school, college, shopping with our friends reflect our intimate space with God?
We are currently looking at extending our monthly “prayer room time” as it continues to fill up quickly; but it will always be important to remember that it’s not about the room, the lights, the paint or the words, it’s about God. It will always be about God. As God is, always has been and always will be the name above all names.
This story was brought to us by Rachel Dhillon. Rachel is married to Lal, has a wisdom beyond her young years of 23, deeply loves her city of Glasgow and carries a passion to see the Church praying and walking together in unity.