Asian Church Leaders Experience Freedom Through Prayer Room
The mountain hostel’s small meeting room was filled with twenty-two local pastors and church planters, all eager to learn and grow during our retreat. A national leader from another country in South Asia joined us to lead sessions on creating bigger vision as part of our “Breaking Tradition in order to Enter the Kingdom of God” theme. During one of our evenings together, we challenged these amazing leaders to seek God through a new form of prayer. Most had never thought of prayer as being creative or interactive, and freedom, joy and vision resulted as they experienced prayer and encountered the Father’s presence through the stations we set up around the small room.
At one station that explored our identity in Christ, Brother W, a rural Asian church planter who has worked among the poor for 20 years, stood before the mirror and asked the Lord how He sees him. He heard the Holy Spirit say one word: “Smart!” Brother W felt so happy and free as he wrote “smart” on the large white paper next to the mirror because he has been called stupid ever since he was a little child. At the end of our prayer time, the paper next to the mirror was covered with true identity statements like Brother W’s, and we left it up as a reminder for the rest of the retreat.
Another prayer station had four pots with different kinds of soil set out with an invitation to ask to the Lord about the soil in our hearts or the hearts of those for whom they wanted to pray. One sister, who believed her inner heart was filled with bad soil, received encouragement from the Holy Sprit that her heart is good soil and is producing fruit. She walked away with joyful tears in her eyes.
To replace the common habit of complaining to God in prayer, we challenged everyone to write down declarations statements and thanksgivings on a large piece of paper at another station. The room filled with a tangible sense of hope and faith, and at the end of our hour of prayer many cheerfully shared their encounters with the Lord.
We have been promoting 24-7 Prayer here for 5 years now, and the momentum continues to grow. During the second 24-7 Prayer Asia Gathering in June, I again had a strong sense that Father God wants to birth a new prayer movement in this Asian country. I confess that sometimes I wonder how this could happen in a nation this size. The people here are known around the world as people of prayer, particularly in intercession in the midst of intense persecution. Often, however, prayer takes the form of shouting a list of requests instead of interacting with the Father. Now, we regularly hear testimonies like these of local people encountering God and connecting with his heart in remarkable ways as they seek Him in prayer rooms. During the retreat, as we listened to leaders from all over the country share testimonies of how they encountered God, a friend leaned over to me and said, “This is how a fresh prayer movement begins in Asia!” Let it be, Lord!
By: Worker Serving in Asia