Light the Fire: Try a Week of Prayer Station Based 24-7 Prayer in Your Church
"Revolutions seldom begin on your knees, but the transforming revolution that is most needed in this world--on fire churches, people regularly coming to Christ, and the completion of the Great Commission has to start with prayer.
--Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations--
Light the Fire IS Christ-centered, mission-minded prayer resonating in the heart of communities all over the world.
Light the Fire IS an unending season of day and night prayer with churches, campuses and missions organizations committing to pray towards the kingdom purposes of Almighty God, especially finishing the task of world evangelization. Each group prays for at least one week (168 hours total).
Light the Fire is NOT intended to be a program or an event, but an ongoing lifestyle of prayer for the glory of God that transforms people, churches, college campuses and organizations all over the world as they intercede for lost and unreached neighbors and nations.
Light the Fire is NOT legalistic or filled with rules…each group’s experience will be a unique reflection of their own Spirit-led creativity. Specific guidelines, resources, and training are available to help.
Since Light the Fire is NOT A PROGRAM OR AN EVENT, but a lifestyle of prayer focused upon kingdom issues dear to the heart of God, let's pray continually that the life of Jesus Christ will be evident in all of our churches, campuses and ministry organizations as we move forward. Un-ending day and night prayer will only be sustainable as we become the hands and feet of Christ, becoming the answers to the very prayers we pray.
What an awesome privilege the Father has given us - to participate with Him as He draws all people to Himself! We have the opportunity to see thousands of churches planted and millions drawn to Jesus as tools and resources are developed and servant leaders are raised up around the world. Prayer is the foundation upon which God's kingdom work is accomplished, and His chosen way to unleash us to fulfill His plans and purposes upon the earth.
Some of you have already had the experience of meeting with God in some kind of 24 hour prayer experience. Some of you have even done 24-7 for a week or longer! Many of you have never engaged the Father in this way before. Please know that moving forward, there will be no legalistic expectations - God is the initiator and the sustainer of every true movement of prayer. Every church, campus and organization will have a completely unique and different experience from others, as the Holy Spirit moves in your midst.
GUIDELINES FOR LIGHT THE FIRE 24-7 PLANNING
1. COMMIT THE PROCESS TO GOD: Ask the Almighty God to lead you by the power of His Spirit through the process and that He will show you His plan and purpose. It would be good to recruit a team of intercessors to cover this process and all of the people involved in planning, etc. in prayer.
2. STEP OUT IN FAITH – put a week Light the Fire on your calendar!
3. PLAN FOR A WEEK OF LIGHT THE FIRE: 24-7: Email your intent to take a week of prayer, and the week you have chosen to Kim Butts (resource person and coordinator for Light the Fire) at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can stay connected, and so we can encourage others through periodic reports and posting on our FB page. Try to schedule your week when there are not a lot of other conflicting activities so that your people can really focus on pressing in to God. This will also help you in recruiting people to sign up for time in the prayer room.
4. GATHER RESOURCES: There are some very helpful resources for the leadership of your church/campus/organization and your Light the Fire planning team to read in order to catch the biblical/historical vision for praying 24-7. Please don’t skip this step – having a vision of what God can do in your midst as you seek His face for the sake of His kingdom will be a huge part of your planning and will enhance the experience for everyone!
· A Good History of 24-7 Prayer:
· Ideas for creative prayer stations:
· Facebook page for Light the Fire – see what others have done (you will need to do a bit of searching through the archives. Our prayer is to see this grow and increase.): https://www.facebook.com/Lightthefire24.7.520
· Additional Resources: http://www.prayershop.org/Restoration-Revolution-s/55.htm
· Free Daily Prayer Devotional – Connection!
This free daily devotional is compiled for the purpose of helping God's people grow and mature in prayer. Connecting with God in a relational way throughout the busy-ness of our days is part of fulfilling the admonition to "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). It is also important just to set aside some time to connect with God when your heart is devoted only to Him. Wherever you find yourself as you read through these daily devotions, set your heart upon His and enjoy His Presence. May this divine connection give you a hunger to meet with Him again and again...and continually. It is available via email or RSS feed. Click here to go to the daily devotional page where you can sign up. The subscription information is on the menu bar at the top.
· PRAYERConnect Magazine – Connecting to the Heart of Christ Through Prayer: The mission of PRAYERConnect is:
1. To encourage and equip believers toward a deeper walk with Jesus Christ through prayer – our experiential connection to God.
2. To resource prayer leaders and pastors with tools to help them motivate, disciple, and mobilize believers in churches to be a part of an army that seeks to pray the purposes of God for churches, communities, and the nations.
3. To be a unifying force between prayer ministries, community transformation groups, and churches.
For more information: www.prayerconnect.net
· Harvest Prayer Ministries: Harvest Prayer Ministries exists to equip the local church to become a house of prayer for all nations, releasing God’s power for revival and finishing the task of world evangelization: www.harvestprayer.com
· Additional websites that focus on prayer and the kingdom:
· 24-7 Prayer: www.24-7prayer.com Sign up for the 24-7 Rewind email for lots of additional ideas and information.
· Joshua Project: www.joshuaproject.net - Joshua Project is a research initiative seeking to highlight the ethnic people groups with the least followers of Jesus Christ.
· Operation World Prayer Movement: www.operationworld.org/join-prayer-movement - Join people from every nation, praying for people in every nation; sign up now and pray that the glory of God would fill the earth! You will receive daily prayer reminders for a different country or need somewhere in the world. Through your prayers, you will change lives and nations.
· Window International Network: http://win1040.com - Their mission is to inform, equip, and mobilize networks of prayer around the globe to empower effective evangelism, church growth, and discipleship in the 10/40 Window.
· Campus Renewal: www.campusrenewal.com – The vision of Campus Renewal is to forge partnerships in prayer to build missional communities that transform college campuses with the gospel of Jesus.
5. PASTORS/CAMPUS MINISTERS/COLLEGE PRESIDENTS – Please consider preaching on prayer and encouraging your congregation/students in prayer as your week approaches...perhaps a series of messages. If you would like some sermon outlines on prayer, let us know: email@example.com. Consider some small group or all church/campus/organization materials on prayer. Here are a couple we would recommend, and a link to more:
Vertical with Jesus: A 30-Day Journey to Impact Kingdom Living
Revolution on Our Knees: 30 Days of Prayer for Neighbors and Nations
6. CHOOSE A TEAM LEADER FOR LIGHT THE FIRE – Choose one or two leaders who are:
· Passionate about Jesus, prayer and the kingdom of God
· Able to work with a team of creative people
· Able to be a liaison between the team and the church/campus/organization leadership
· Good delegators
· Good recruiters
· Able to communicate the vision and purpose of Light the Fire
7. RECRUIT A CREATIVE TEAM – intentionally look for people who can catch the vision of 24-7 and basically run with it! They should be passionate about creating a space where your people (young and old) can connect with the heart of God together and pray towards the completion of the Great Commission both locally and globally. Be sure to include college students/youth on your planning team to help make the prayer rooms inviting to all generations and families. Flexibility is the key! No rules and no legalism – just Holy Spirit! The rest of the steps listed below can be handed off to this team; however, it is crucial that the leadership team of your church, college or organization be in the loop.
8. CHOOSE A SITE for your prayer room. If you already have a prayer room, determine if you want to utilize it for this purpose during the week. If not, prayerfully set apart a sacred space for God’s use so that it isn’t shared with other things during that week (i.e., it isn’t used to store equipment or teach a class, etc.). Try to choose a room with easy day and night access, and one that will lend itself to good security if possible. Some churches are setting up prayer stations in their sanctuary and kicking off their week of prayer during a Sunday service. It is a great idea to allow your people to see the prayer stations/room ahead of time so they can catch the excitement for participating.
9. BEGIN SIGNING UP PRAYER WARRIORS FOR THE 168 HOURS! Recruit from the pulpit, in small groups, etc. Engage your young adult, college and high school age students. They will most likely sustain your night hours! A family might choose to take several hours together in the prayer room, or a small group might take the night hours together or separately. If you don’t already have a way to sign people up, a good source to use for on-line sign-ups is www.mysignup.com. This will allow you to create one sign up tool at no charge. Also, decide how you will remind people about their time(s) in the prayer room.
10. BEGIN PLANNING YOUR KICK-OFF: Many churches/colleges/organizations begin with a season of worship to celebrate and invite God to be continually present in your prayer room. This also builds anticipation and excitement for those who have not yet signed up to spend time in the prayer room! Be sure to keep this an intergenerationally friendly time! Our youngest need to be as involved as possible and need to feel welcomed.
11. CONNECT with Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
She will be your resource person, and be glad to answer any questions, give suggestions, etc.
12. ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS AS YOU PLAN:
· Many churches are also recruiting a gatekeeper for each day. These people will be available and on-call for 24 hours in the event that someone does not show up for a shift. Gatekeepers should be those who live close by and can easily fill in as necessary. Gatekeepers will also check the prayer room from time to time and be sure all supplies are replenished as needed. You may also wish to have night security gatekeepers. More information available if needed.
· You may also wish to have people reading through the Bible continuously – out loud – in your building during Light the Fire. It is possible to easily read through the entire Bible during the week.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SETTING UP YOUR PRAYER ROOM
Why is it important for everyone to come to a prayer room instead of praying at home?
There are several answers to this question. First, it was the practice of Jesus to go to several different places in order to pray. If He needed to seek out these sacred spaces for time with the Father, we should also find places to seek the face of God. Second, there are many people who cannot imagine how it is even possible to pray for an hour. A prayer room offers people of all ages a variety of creative ways to pray. A prayer room is a good teacher – people learn new, fresh and exciting ways to pray...ways they may never have experienced or even considered before. It is also a place where families, couples and individuals can come to engage the God of the universe in a holy conversation, or to simply sit and listen to His voice. Our prayer is that every prayer room for Light the Fire will have its own unique Holy Spirit-led design and expression.
Many people have asked for ideas and suggestions, so here is a sample way to set up your room.
AGAIN, THESE ARE JUST GUIDELINES – there are no rules, and as you begin to catch a vision for your own prayer room, let your holy imaginations take it from there! You can also go to our Facebook page to see pictures and read testimonies from those who have already completed a week or more of Light the Fire: https://www.facebook.com/Lightthefire24.7.520 Another suggestion is to take a look at the Resources available to give vision and help to your week of prayer. You will find them as you scroll down in this document.
Pictures and Testimonies
Please take pictures of your prayer room, people using the prayer room, etc. You can send all pictures, testimonies, stories, comments, etc. to: email@example.com. Please give permission to use them so we can put them on the website and on our Light the Fire: 24-7-520 Facebook page! Here is the link so that you can look at the experiences of those who have gone before you: http://www.facebook.com/lightthefire24.7.365
Please go to the Facebook page and “LIKE” Light the Fire so we can get more people involved. We want to see people interact with one another on thie page and share experiences, testimonies, pictures, etc. This is also a place where we can ask questions and glean information and ideas.
Guidelines, Suggestions and Random Ideas
· First, find a suitable room for your week of prayer. It can be an already established prayer room, or a completely different space set apart for Light the Fire. Take your team and pray through the room, dedicating and anointing it as you set it apart as a sacred space for the purposes of God. You may wish to do this again once everything is in place but before the beginning of your week of Light the Fire. Ask the Holy Spirit to meet with people in deeply personal ways as they seek Him in that place.
· It is a good idea if your creative planning team has some young people involved – especially high school/college age students. They are creative and enthusiastic, and will be very likely to sustain your “night hours” during the week!
· Make this prayer experience family friendly, so that there is something for people of all ages. Light the Fire is a wonderful way for families to engage God together. Some people will want to come with their children, with their spouse, and/or individually.
· Security and safety issues: Please be sure to have a security plan in place for your prayer room so that there are people to walk women to cars when it is dark, etc. Be sure that there is a plan also so that a woman and a man not married to one another are never alone in the prayer room, etc. This is all no-brainer stuff, but important to be sure you deal with as people sign up.
· We suggest lamps, floor pillows, plants, etc. Anything to make this sacred space an inviting place to come and spend time with God.
· Think creatively and outside the box to find to allow each person to meet with God in the way he or she has been created to. Have a wide variety of options that will leave people wanting more time with God than their hour! Trust us, many people will want to sign up again and again after they have had a taste of the Presence of the Holy Spirit in the prayer room!
· Develop prayer stations in this sacred space that will help every person to be able to meet with God in the way God has created him or her. Have something auditory, visual, tactile kinesthetic, etc.
· One very popular station to set up is an art station with all kinds of ways to express prayer through art, sculpting, painting, drawing, etc.
· Utilize your walls as well as the space inside of them. Designate each of your 4 walls (depending on space) as a separate area of focus. Prayer stations can be part of the wall, as well as within the room itself. Sample ideas for the walls:
1. Wall #1: One wall could be a confession wall. Team Expansion set up a curtain that people could go behind to set this wall apart. They had big pillow for people to kneel on before a cross placed on a table. Have a Bible open to a passage such as 1 John 1:9, with short instructions written at this prayer station how a person can meet with God during this time of confession and repentance. It is a good opportunity to prepare for the rest of the time of prayer.
2. Wall #2: Worship Wall – put up lots of Names of God and have an instruction card that gives some ways people can meet with God be worshipping Him for all that He is! It is good to have soft worship music playing with CDs available for a person to put on whatever he or she wishes to meet God with – sometimes it is LOUD music...but everyone is different! Here could be one or two small stations that focus on drawing the intercessor into the heart of God in worship. Put up a piece of paper that starts...Father, I worship You because...and let people be creative!
3. Wall #3: Wailing Wall – Put up a piece of butcher paper with markers and let students pour out their prayers for lost friends, family members, etc. Encourage them to pray over what others have written too! We have had a station with a small water fountain with smooth stones in a bowl next to it. Intercessors could pick up a stone and write the name of a lost person, a nation, people group, missionary, etc. and pray over it...then place it in the water. Others can pick up stones from the fountain and pray or put their own stone in....just a couple of ideas. The focus should be on the lost, or other issues on God’s heart as expressed in His word such as unity in the Body, etc.
4. Wall #4: World Wall – usually this is a great place for maps of your area, city, state, nation, world... Pictures of missionaries, profiles from Joshua project or Operation World, etc. We have seen “sticky note prayers” all over these maps at the end of the week. This is the place to press in for the nations! Set up one or two prayer stations to help people focus on this!
Have Bibles, journals and pens, sticky notes, Kleenex, perhaps an area for communion, etc. There have been some wonderful prayers and testimonies written into journals. Have someone put an entry into each journal to give people the idea. In our prayer room there is a journal at each station so people can write something if they wish. It is often an amazing encouragement to those who come through the prayer room to read what others have expressed. It is also a place to write prayers from the heart or Scriptures that the Holy Spirit has whispered.
We have had several groups who, in a separate room in their building/campus, have people reading the Bible out loud...they get through the entire Bible in a week just taking turns non-stop. Prayer and the reading of the word – a powerful combo!
People will be captivated by what God does in an hour! Many have said they could never have imagined praying in such creative ways and want to do it over and over again. Many will never pray the same again!
Remember, a support person is just an email away! Contact Kim Butts: firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have. She is available by phone, Skype or email and is also available to come to your church or campus to train you for expenses and a love offering to Harvest Prayer Ministries.