I groan and reach to turn off the alarm clock. Five-thirty comes far too early after my late night of studying, although my reason for setting it motivates me to quickly rise from bed. I switch on the hot water plate before slipping into my clothes and splashing cold water on my face. Ten minutes after the alarm's first ring, I head out the door with schoolbooks in my backpack, Bible under my arm, and tea in hand.
Fog hangs in the chilly morning air on the darkened streets of the southern Welsh town. I hurry through familiar streets toward the large church on the corner. Although built late in the nineteenth century, modern updates give the building a cheerful appearance. Slowing my steps, I look down at my watch. Still ten minutes before my day truly begins.
Sipping the tea, I pause outside the door. Lord, prepare my heart to meet with You.
Our busy Baptist church has committed to spend one month in constant intercession, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Members believe that beginning the year 2009 with devout prayer and fasting can literally effect massive change within our town, nation, and the world. I know God has called me to make a difference through prayer, even if that means missing one hour of sleep before school.
Two weeks have passed since I began rising for the morning shift that goes from six to seven, and though my body complains every day at the alarm, my spirit relishes the precious moments I experience when I enter the prayer room. After the initial moments of waking up, I eagerly anticipate this time of communion with God, and I do not consider the day started until my time of prayer begins.
Revival always presses to the forefront of my prayers, as my friends and I long for the kind of change that swept our country only 105 years prior, beginning in another small town just west of our own. At only twenty-six years of age, Evan Roberts inspired a generation of young people to live fully and completely for the Lord. Drawing from the historical spiritual traditions of evangelism by Whitfield and Wesley, and inspired by his own personal revelation of holiness, Roberts' powerfully anointed preaching drew the attention of the world. Known as the “Welsh Revival,” the effect of this massive turning toward God included many conversions, and even cultural transformation.
Yet our revival of the early twentieth century depended greatly on intercessory prayer, which paved the way for such work. Today, midway through our month of constant prayer, I join the many people of my church, both young and old, who seek to see that kind of change once again. With a culture that not only denies God's existence but also denies the sanctity of human life, radical transformation of hearts and lives is needed if we are ever to experience God's blessing of our nation.
The two night shift intercessors step out of the prayer room, their faces bright, as if the glory of God had literally saturated the place. After a brief greeting, I hurry through the door and make my way to the centre of the room. We call it “the Boiler Room”, in congruence with other 24 hour prayer rooms across the UK and Europe. Not only do our hearts burn with the fire of passionate prayer, but the boiler room also signifies the centre of the house, where the real work is done.
The prayer room walls overflow with Scripture, prophetic revelations, soul-searching questions, and even artwork. A boom box plays worship music softly in the corner. A bottle of oil stands in the corner, and I can see traces of oil at various points around the room.
Some of my time will focus on reading the Word. Other moments I will worship, and still other moments I will quiet my soul and listen for His voice. I may walk around the room, danse in my worship, or lay prostrate on the floor. No matter my activity or position, God hears my prayers as I earnestly seek His face.
I open my Bible and begin to pray in my spirit. Light the fire of holiness in my heart and soul, Lord Jesus, even as I seek You. May You pour Your revival upon our land!
Now my day can begin.
Boiler Room: A 24/7 house of prayer (http://www.24-7prayer.com)
Welsh Revival: From 1904-1906, characterised by a multitude of conversions and transformation of whole communities into obedience toward God (http://www.welshrevival.com)
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