Introducing Our New National Coordinator: Rachel Dhillon


Hi, I’m Rachel, the new National Coordinator for 24-7 Prayer Scotland. I wanted to take a moment here to share something of myself, and to tell you about the process of transition we have just been through and my heart for the future of the movement.

My journey to faith began at the age of ten. Coming from a non-Christian family I made the decision to follow Jesus after being shown love and care from a local youth group. It wasn’t a straightforward path, and at fifteen I was frustrated, angry and confused at the injustice I saw around me and the unanswered prayer I was wrestling with, so I went to a church where no one would know me and began chatting to a youth leader. During that time, while I explained my crisis of faith, the youth leader suggested that I should read Red Moon Rising. This was my first introduction to 24-7 Prayer, and the point where God began to stoke a passion for prayer in my heart.

Six years later, after going to Uni, qualifying as a social worker and getting married I found myself volunteering as a youth worker and working in child protection. All the while God continued to stir my heart for the marginalised, the poor and those left behind by our society. During that first year of marriage I went interrailing with my husband. What I thought would be a restful holiday turned out to be a pilgrimage. I still remembered reading Red Moon Rising and had bought Dirty Glory when it was released, but in between work and the rest of life I had put off reading it, so I threw it in my rucksack as we left, and all of a sudden I found myself weeping as I read this book in the closed compartment of a train crossing through the mountains between Germany and Austria. The same deep convictions that were there at fifteen were still there then. We stepped off the train in Salzburg and began to wander the town, and soon I found myself in a prayer room below a very old and beautiful church, with a stained-glass image set in the doors. It was a still place and a Holy place, and as I prayed and worshipped there I couldn’t shake the deep desire to see a place in my city dedicated to night and day prayer. I explained my longing to my husband, and he said let’s go for it.

So we began to explore creating a prayer room. We saw that Thy Kingdom Come was about to start, but we couldn’t see a registered prayer room in our city, so I contacted our minister and asked if it was something our church could do. He gave us the keys to our church offices, at the side of a bus depot and a scrapyard next to the Clyde, and he put me in touch with Crystal. We met up once I arrived back home, with six weeks to make prayer stations, reach out to churches, and fill those church offices with ten days of uninterrupted prayer, and by the grace of God and with the help of many friends, students and members of other churches in the city that’s exactly what happened. We saw young people and students and families praying together from multiple churches, in a wonderful display of unity. But it wasn’t all easy. In the last few weeks before we opened the prayer room my Dad passed away, and so that prayer room for me became a space where I wrestled with deep grief, where I asked questions, where I was free to lament and weep and ultimately, where I made the choice to lean into Jesus amidst the heartbreak and hardship of unanswered prayer.

From that point I began to connect with the wider community of 24-7 Prayer Scotland. I met people who shared that heart to see churches and communities engage with prayer, mission and justice, and shortly afterwards I joined the 24-7 Prayer Scotland team. It really has been a joy to work with the team, to share vision, to pray for communities and to serve churches across Scotland over the last seven years.


When Crystal asked me to take over as National Coordinator I was 4 months into my maternity leave after giving birth to our only child. My life at the time was about enjoying time with family and learning how to be a parent and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t really thinking about what came next. We agreed that I would take until October to weigh that decision, and after many conversations with my family and others, and many prayers uttered on long walks and during night feeds and on a sunny Ayrshire retreat to the Prayer Van, I made the decision to accept the role as the National Coordinator. It meant leaving behind my old job for another which was not yet fully funded, where we would need to rely on God to sustain us. At the beginning of this handover, we agreed with leadership input from 24-7 Prayer International that we would undergo a six month transition, beginning in October 2023 and ending in March 2024, just before the Scotland National Gathering. I am incredibly grateful to Crystal for the work she has done for 24-7 Prayer Scotland over the last decade, and for the many hours she has spent with me in person and on Zoom over the last six months, as we have prayed, shared our hopes for the future, and dealt with the many, many administrative tasks that come with running a charity.  She won’t want me to make this about her, but it truly has been a privilege to walk alongside her for the last six months, and the years which came before.

Our Hopes Going Forward

So what comes next?

I want to see the church in Scotland on fire for Jesus. I want to see people all across our nation, those who already know Christ and those who don’t, praying and coming to meet with him face to face.

I want to see unity across the body of Christ in Scotland. We have begun to see that already at our last Scotland Gathering and at International Gatherings, but I believe there is still so much more to come.

I want us to pursue Prayer, Mission and Justice with our whole hearts and see lives and communities transformed for the glory of God. When I was discerning whether or not to take on this role a friend of mine who wouldn’t describe herself as a Christian told me that we need people who will be authentic to the challenges of faith and the truth of Jesus, and I believe that is a good description of the sort of people we need to become for this time and place.

More than anything, I want all of us, both young and old, to encounter the Father who loves us.

At the Scotland Gathering in 2020 in Dundee, I shared this poem:

“Ah’m wantin tae see revival o’er oor land.

Fur oor folk tae staun on the shudders o’giants.

Fur bairns tae nae langer sit unner th’ breid line.

Fur ilka body tae huv a hame.

Fur Scotland tae wance again be a steid o beauty n justice.

 And sae th’ day, we staun ‘ere n say, that in this land, oor God reigns.”

That future, that Scotland, begins in the place of prayer, where we cry out Lord, Your Kingdom Come, and that is my hope as we press on into the next season of 24-7 Prayer Scotland. We would be blessed if you would come with us.

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