Sunday, December 10, 2006

Some Thoughts on 24 Hour Prayer

Recently, my thoughts have been on 24/7 prayer. Our home church will be having a time of 24 continuous hours of prayer from New Year's Eve into New Year's Day. We are seeking this to be a time to look to God with a heart and mind toward repentance and seeking Him in love and in holiness, on the individual, family, congregational and national level.

In helping to prepare for this time, I have found an excellent brief summary of the history of 24 hour prayer which can be found here. It is a practice which takes our earthly practices and matches them to the heavenly. In the vision of heavenly worship which John saw as recorded in the Book of Revelation, we find:

At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." (Revelation 4:2-11) Emphasis bolded.

The worship of God in heaven is happening non-stop. Those who have started 24/7 prayer in the past have tried to match this pattern.

One last point about this is that 24/7 prayer requires a community of believers. Even if each hour of a prayer watch is being prayed through with only one person per hour, it requires a community of believers to make this happen. It can present an opportunity for both solitary and corporate prayer.

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