Our family took the red-eye shift at the local 24-7 Prayer room on Saturday night. We tagged teamed all night until 6 in the morning. Our kids slept in their sleeping bags until they were tagged. They did well. And they loved it. A lot more colorful and interactive than the boring prayer meetings I used to attend. Not complaining . . those were good times too.
Funny how 24-7 Prayer rooms around the world all look the same. There is always a Bible, a map, coffee or tea, cd player, either paints or pencils, blank paper on the wall with doodlings from previous pray-ers.
It was nine years ago when Pete Grieg started the first one in Chichester. A few months later, Pete was showing me around the prayer room which by then was absolutely stuffed full of art and sculpture and grafitti. The English tend to be messy pray-ers, compared with the other countries who are often hesitant to throw paint on a wall. I took some video of that original prayer room because I thought it was an historic moment. And it was. 24-7 Prayer Rooms have popped up about 63 countries.
Its a great movement and I always appreciate when I get invited to speak to the 24-7 Prayer leaders, esp. that wicked cool time in Spain. I might go up to England next Feb for their Ten Year Birthday bash called IAM10.
Now don’t be confused! There are at least two movements with similar names: 24-7 Prayer and 24/7 Prayer. Here’s the difference:
24-7 Prayer is a movement that started out of England with my scruffy mate Pete Grieg and a bunch of other misfits and lovely peole. I have been a HUGE cheerleader for 24-7 Prayer ever since the beginning, as well as their Boiler Rooms. We have partnered with them on a number of projects.
The 24/7 Prayer movement started in Kansas City and is led by Mike Bickle. International House of Prayer [sounds like Pancakes – which my kids, upon hearing it for the first time last week said it was “clever for about 5 minutes”] is an American based movement that is probably more top-down and traditional in its approach but also has impacted thousands of young people. I really don’t know much about IHOP except for a few friends who have been a part of the IHOP movement.
Mike Bickle entered my radar recently when he was critical of the “emerging church”, although its not clear how much he knows about it, and judging from his recommendation of relative EC books, he might have been misinformed. I would say more but my wife suggested strongly I dont. So I wont. IHOP have a meeting next month called One Thing where, according to an open letter last week, they hope to give “an answer to the confusion and deception that is coming from some of those associated with the Emerging Church”. Well, I look forward to hearing what that answer might be.
There are other movements with the 24-7 Prayer tag, like the Salvation Army 24-7 prayer, which was influenced by the English 24-7, but I wont confuse you anymore.
Great to see so much prayer. We need to pray more often and more intelligently but shouldn’t get stuck in first gear – lets also send the next generation out of the prayer rooms and into the world out to start fresh expressions of the Kingdom. Like 24-7 have done with their Boiler Rooms. All good. Nuff said.
Related: Check out my night of absolute terror as I get stuck in a 24-7 meeting in London and end up taking a vow!