I began Wednesday bleary eyed and on a train to Reading, trying very hard to focus as I chatted with God in my journal (Just to clarify - God doesn't live in my journal, more I write my prayers in there to him... I'm sure you were bright enough to know that, but I could anticipate the funny comments that sentence conjured). I was winging my way to the 24-7 UK Network day where 60 or so people gathered from round the country to pray and tell stories of what's been happening in our neck of the woods...
On the way I wrote, "I feel like I'm doing my job without a true understanding of (and hence lacking passion about) what God's doing through 24-7. If I could get my head around the ramifications of all this prayer, or even prayer itself, I wouldn't struggle with apathy and weariness... I'm craving ice-cold streams of water to course through my brain and dispel the fog. A jolt of exercise that would throw off the fatty weights around my heart..."
Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't doubting God, just looking for a reminder, a refresher, about what we're working towards; in a moment of weariness and honesty I asked God to be gracious enough to indulge me.
As I walked into the church in Reading I looked around and got my first surprise of the morning; I only knew three quarters of the room. I mean I didn't even recognise their faces! It was fantastic, I had to make new friends; there are more people than ever catching the bug and wanting to connect.
Toggers kicked us off with some prayer and Michaela (and band) rocked the place while we worshiped God. Then something really moving happened. One by one about 10 people got up and just told stories: stories of salvation, healing, amazing blessing, prayers answered, trails, troubles and the journey we're still walking.
I felt like a child sniffing sherbet powder! I was ingesting an intense jolt of e-numbers and sugar to my spirit. With each story, each person, I felt myself coming to life, thanking God, getting very giddy. He was answering my prayer big style.
Mike Andrea from Global Generation spoke about the INCREDIBLE favour they've experienced from the local police. They're getting funding, support and building friendships because they're "people of their word". Sarah from London spoke about the prayer clubbing she's been organising and giving people they've only just met words from God. (I'm hoping to join them in the coming months, anyone wanna come with?) The guys from 24-7 & the Salvation Army's brand spanking new Boiler Room shared how they have prayer, work with the elderly, work with the homeless, oh and a christian community happening in the one building. It sounded like a beautiful incarnation of God's Kingdom! Brian Heasley spoke about God calling him and his family to some amazingly exciting things. I can't say what but you're gonna love it! Brian and Tracy - you guys are rock n roll personified!
Man I could go on for ages, I already have, but the the day was so encouraging. It was a room full of people who love Jesus and are dieing to help him move. In the words of a good friend... Come on!