Thursday, February 12, 2009

24-7 Prayer

A long time ago I did a post about the 24-7 prayer web community. Well, like all web-based things, it has grown and changed; so, I thought it was time to do another.

24-7 prayer has become many things. First, it is a clearinghouse for people to register and start prayer rooms to be continually filled with prayer for a period of time. It is also, a founder of Christian communities in urban settings around the world, leader of worldwide mission programs, a training resource for young, adult Christians interested in learning more about their faith and developing a real commitment to their faith.

24-7 Prayer began with a group of people in England who decided to try praying non-stop (in shifts) for a month. That was September, 1999. They didn't stop until Christmas. At the time I was writing this, their web site was tracking 75 groups in 13 countries staffing prayer rooms around the clock for varying periods of time.

Their point?
To turn the tide. The dream behind 24-7 is to turn the tide of youth culture back to Jesus. It's a big dream -- maybe an impossible dream. We recognize that the Body of Christ in the West is bleeding young people. Something has to change. But clever strategy alone is not the answer. Never has been. History shows that the tide turns when God's people pray. That is why God is mobilising prayer movements like 24-7 (and others). (Quoted from 24-7 FAQ.)
Any discussion of 24-7 prayer begins with the main International site, Here you can register a prayer room, check out the available resources for starting a prayer room, read through the online Wailing Wall; but don't go to the web site without checking out their Training page. Here you will find a description of Transit, their name for a 10-month residential program training young adults in the Christian faith, prayer, community and mission.

The meat of the community and mission programs is on the individual Countries' sites. Going to the UK site, for instance, leads to links to the UK Boiler Rooms -- urban centers forming the basis of a form of 21st Century monasticism. Clicking on the Mission Teams page takes you to the UK's short-term mission projects page.

The US page also has news of US prayer rooms, mission programs, plus shorter term training programs. The home page of the US site is worth reading through. I find the US page hard to use. There doesn't seem to be anyway of tracking down the various locations where things happen. For instance, at the bottom of the man page, there is a link for Transit Tulsa, a 9-month long discipleship training program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I didn't see a mention of Tulsa anywhere else. I know that they have boiler rooms in Minneapolis and Kansas City -- or have had. It appears that they still do from the bios of "The Team" which lists a lot of people living in those two cities.

I've never found the 24-7 web sites easy to follow, and I have yet to find the time to cruise through the 24-7 Salvation Army site -- sounds interesting, I just haven't gotten to it yet. However, I always find that it is worth the time to just start following links reading about young adults in this culture, and abroad, who are leading radically different, committed lives of prayer and service.


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