365 PRAYER IRELAND

While the Global Call to 24-7 Prayer - A Day and Night Cry for Justice seeks to be an ongoing prayer initiative, there are already several Salvation Army centres with a sense of vision and calling to become Houses of Prayer (SA-HOP) - places where the fire of intercession never goes out and where God makes himself at home according to Isaiah 56:7 '...my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'.

 

The 365 days of Prayer in the Ireland Divison began in January 2012.
Read about their experiences here.

 

Background to 365 Prayer Diary

As a Divisional Team we’ve spent 2 years looking at our strategy – what is our purpose; what are the values; what is our vision?  We met with officers, local officers, and soldiers, adherents and friends in regional meetings and councils around the Division. Every group was asked the same questions and without fail every group came back with very similar responses.  There were no WOW responses, but all of them were about ‘getting back to basics’ - things like prayer that should be non-negotiable and entrenched in our DNA.

 

Method

The idea of a prayer diary was inspired through this – we would initially drive the idea from DHQ, and hopefully as the prayer diary became familiar around the division, it would be owned by the folk ‘out there.’  We wanted everyone to have opportunity to get involved – those who already met for prayer regularly and those who had never done.

The idea is that every corps / centre (and DHQ) would receive the prayer diary for 3-4 days, four times a year and engage in prayer, completing a response sheet which includes the following questions:

  • During your times of prayer, were there any verses of Scripture / song words that were helpful?
  • Did you use any resources / ways of praying that were particularly helpful?
  • Did the Lord make any specific revelations to those praying?
  • Are there answers to prayer that you would like us to give thanks for?
  • Are there any prayer requests that you would like to include?
  • Is there anything else that you would like to include to encourage?

 

This is to encourage others: to be more intentional with our prayers; to record answers to prayer and a reminder that we need to give thanks to an amazing God; to provide resources with different ideas to participants; to share scripture that had blessed and encouraged. We also include the General’s Call to Prayer / Vision (International Strategy); Territorial Focus / Needs; Local Focus / Needs.

We have all been encouraged by the responses made.  In our ‘Lifehouses’ our chaplains have used the prayer diary to engage with service users, and have written:

  • more people are taking prayer seriously (York House Lifehouse)
  •  … the fact that residents made use of the Prayer Room is wonderful, especially 3 of our younger mums (Glen Alva Lifehouse - Family Centre)
  •  … I thank God for signs of residents opening their lives up to a knowledge of God (Granby Lifehouse)

 

Within our corps, we are finding that the Holy Spirit has prepared the ground and there is a movement in many situations to sincere and intentional prayer.  Colleagues in Bangor write, ‘God is powerful and we saw Him at work in a mighty way on Tuesday evening’. – they are now including focussed prayer in all activities.  Friends in Ballymoney and Belfast North are taking prayer requests from the local community, whilst in Newry they write that this initiative has brought them, ‘closer together as a fellowship.’  Other corps have seen prayers answered and are committing themselves to more times of prayer.

Launch

Our 365 Prayer Diary was launched during a half night of prayer.  This took the form of the five pointers from our Divisional Strategy:

·         Reaching Up to Worship

·         Reaching Out to Save Souls

·         Reaching Higher to Grow Saints

·         Reaching Wider to Serve Suffering Humanity

·         Reaching Deeper to Give

 

The evening was split into 5 sections where 5 officers focussed on each section and then after each presentation people were given the opportunity to pray.  There were many ‘goose bump’ moments as people poured out their hearts and prayed with such passion.

Engaging in 365 Days of continuous prayer within the Division was one of the goals for Reaching Higher to Grow Saints.

As it has made its rounds in the second quarter of the year, things are becoming more exciting as people are beginning to see results, excitement and energy are growing as people see and experience real results and answers to prayer.

The resources that have been used are from the CSLD website, materials from my time in the International College for Officers, and officers sharing with each other resources that have worked in their setting.  We have seen prayer breakfasts, prayer meals, Sunday worship becoming prayer meetings and much more.  Prayer hubs and prayer co-ordinators are beginning to emerge spontaneously within the division.

The devil has tried to distract us with some major issues in the Division, but we have had confirmation again and again that we are doing the right thing and we keep focussed on doing what we believe God is asking of us.  We are beginning to see evidence of the Holy Spirit moving in the Division.

 

Majors Allan and Linda Watters

Divisional Commanders, Ireland Divison

United Kingdom with The Republic of Ireland

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