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Source: (consider it) Thread: 24-7 Prayer Rooms
angelfish
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Anyone been to a 24-7 prayer room? (if you don't know what one is, have a look here https://www.24-7prayer.com/prayerrooms ).

We're creating one for a week at our church soon, but I was wondering what are the best things you have seen in a prayer room? Creative ways to pray, or just hilarious things written on the wall - I'd love to get some inspiration for making our room a brilliant place to meet with God.

You can also, if you like, start to argue about whether 24-7 prayer rooms are valuable and appropriate expressions of Christianity or a strange offshoot of the fundamentalist evangelical fringe.

[ 09. May 2017, 20:43: Message edited by: angelfish ]

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mr cheesy
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There is an odd feeling amongst some that in almost any situation says "we need more prayer!" as if the volume is somehow changing God or anything else.

Of course, this is a simple response solution to almost any problem because you can always have more prayer and more prayer meetings up to the point where you have a 24/7 prayer meeting.

Personally, I find the idea of a 24/7 prayer room appealing because I like sitting in silence and reflecting. I find that sense of space merges into prayer, meditation, waiting, boredom and nothingness. I like the idea of a space where one can go whenever one wants to.

But what I can't stand is the low evangelical unstructured prayer meeting. The idea of that fills me with angst, I don't need to hear that booming voice or that person banging the drum about his pet hate or that person passing on the latest gossip.

For me, I'd have the 24/7 room but ban anyone from leading it outwith of maybe set liturgical services.

[ 09. May 2017, 20:50: Message edited by: mr cheesy ]

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Martin60
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If you're an insomniac, or shift worker, go for it. Otherwise, why ruin your sleep and your day?

[ 09. May 2017, 20:57: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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Eutychus
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In a former life I led the church in a series of 7 monthly 24-hour prayer meetings in a special call to prayer for new premises (it worked!). We put together a file with various prayer topics and varied the menu depending on the time of day. I have (mostly) fond memories of it, although it was exhausting.

That said, I think the problems begin when people start setting these things up with an Old Testament lens of 24-hour temple worship or some such, and get into esoteric theologies of prayer, "prophecy", and demonology. The site you link to might not be into this, but the International House of Prayer movement, which they link to, certainly is.

As a church leadership I would keep a close lookout for the emergence of a pseudo-super-spiritual fifth column making the most of such a facility to implement a power grab.

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Lamb Chopped
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If you are planning a room where people can pray independently (i.e. not as part of a "led" service or group), then do some of them the kindness of leaving a bare wall or similar uncluttered area to look at. If you put inspirational or hilarious things written on a wall and I have to do some serious praying in there, I will see them, lose concentration, and depart cursing your name.
[Two face]

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Gamaliel
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Call me cynical, but I get the impression that the setting up of 24/7 prayer rotas and so on is more about creating a sense of community and a semblance of momentum and purpose than anything else.

I used to relish evangelical style prayer meetings but looking back a lot of it was about enjoying the sound of my own voice. I come on here for that these days ...

No, seriously, you'd have to drag me to something like that these days. But silence, contemplation, liturgy ... Now you're talking ...

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Nick Tamen

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So I guess this is a Protestant version of Perpetual Adoration?

I'm kind of "meh." I've got no problem at all with small chapels and prayer rooms—I've used them (well, chapels mainly) often—but I really don't get the 24/7 thing. If the goal is to have people praying every hour, why do they need to go to a prayer room to do it, especially in the middle of the night?

But if it's to be a room, I would echo LC. Simple is better, clean and simple. Art is good, but clutter and distraction (which is what I would find lots of writing on the wall to be) isn't, at least for me.

[ 09. May 2017, 22:17: Message edited by: Nick Tamen ]

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Pangolin Guerre
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I see a role for a 24/7 availability. As pointed out above, shift workers, for instance might take advantage of this. You never know when someone needs a refuge for prayer. But, please, no posters with an inspirational glop fronting a photo of the sun breaking through clouds.

A bit different. The uncle of a friend of mine was dying in Manhattan, and my friend went down from Toronto. The uncle died a bit sooner than expected, catching the family without a minyan. Another uncle knew of a yeshiva in Brooklyn that was open 24/7 for just such emergencies, so the men piled into a cab at 3am, and went to Brooklyn, went to the Yeshiva's library, and collected a minyan for kaddish.

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angelfish
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
...—but I really don't get the 24/7 thing. If the goal is to have people praying every hour, why do they need to go to a prayer room to do it, especially in the middle of the night?...

I think it's to do with community, as Gamaliel said above (although I didn't get the impression he thought that was a valid thing). Instead of all meeting together to pray in an excruciatingly dull, embarrassing huddle of plastic chairs, (and at a time that might not suit everyone), people can go alone, or with friends, to spend a chunk of time silently contemplating, shouting, dancing, lying down, sitting on a bean bag or whatever else they find helpful. Basically, setting aside some time and space to listen for that still, small voice. And if all go to one place to do it, even if individually, this unifies the church in the act of concerted prayer for a particular event or concern of that church. It also means that you only have to get one place set aside for prayer, rather than everyone having to create their own little shrine.

As for praying in the middle of the night, to be honest I think a lot of it is to do with the challenge - people like a challenge and might be more likely to commit to prayer if it seems a bit edgy. And of course there's the novelty factor - to get people interested in something that they might have become rather inured to after years of dull, lifeless prayers muttered into the space between their knees and the vinyl flooring of the church hall. And it shows a measure of determination to get hold of God and not to let Him go until He blesses us.

And yes, my cheesy, it will be a "non-led" form of prayer room - it will be up to the people who go there what happens during their "slot".

I seem to have started a silly number of sentences with connectives in this post.

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:
We're creating one for a week at our church soon, but I was wondering what are the best things you have seen in a prayer room?

An altar. A crucifix. An icon, perhaps.

Somewhere to kneel (pew, prie-dieu,...)

Silence. (You can't see silence, but...)

Fairly low lighting.

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Nick Tamen

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Fair points, angelfish.

And to be clear, I wasn't questioning praying in the middle of the night. I get the purpose and value of that. I was questioning the need to get out and go to a prayer room in the middle of the night instead of doing ones shift where one is at the time.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Ricardus
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I think if I was allocated a shift in the middle of the night, and did it at home, the temptation not to do it at all on the grounds that no-one would know would be overpowering ...

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Gamaliel
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Building a sense of community and common purpose is fine, it's the way it's done that bothers me ...

A church here displayed a 24/7 rota on a wall in the church hall and asked people to sign up for an hour or so. It struck me that having someone's name down for a 2am or 3am shift was somewhat contrary to the teachings and example of Someone who earned against practising our piety in public 'to be seen by men ...'

'Look at me, I've signed my name alongside the the 3am stint ...'

Also, there's this subtext that if only every single second of the day is covered by someone praying then it'sore likely to twist God's arm to answer our prayers ...

Then there's also the faddy thing about it ...yet another flash-the-pan evangelical trend that will be forgotten about when the next trite and flash-the-pan evangelical trend comes along ...

Anyone remember 'Prayer sticks?

No, sorry, I'm long in the tooth and have been round the block too many times to get excited by 24/7 prayer rotas or yo-yo prayers or standing on one leg prayers or stunts like 'Treasure Hunting' or 'Prayer walking' or whatever else the charismatic evangelical constituency get up to these days.

It's a great big yawn. Once you've seen this sort of thing a few times the novelty fades. If people want to sign up for some 24/7 prayer thing, that's up to them. Just don't expect me to put my name down.

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Gamaliel
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That should have been 'warned against ...'

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Eutychus
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The effort I organised was getting on for 20 years ago in the days when I was much more of a charismatic than I am now and we badly needed new premises.

I had recently returned from a conference at which the virtues of 24-hour prayer were extolled, and had been re-reading the story of Naaman having to dip himself 7 times in the Jordan. The result was a conviction we should do 24 hours of prayer and fasting once a month for 7 months, which I announced to the church as its senior pastor. All I can say is we did, and found premises within a week following the last session where none were to be found before.

It's easy looking back to see this as a bit of religious mania, spiritual fashion slavery, and a lucky break, but despite the various imperfections I still like to think there was an element of genuine faith in it.

I think thing start going wrong when there is an attempt to systematise, brand - and God forbid, montetise - something that was originally born of genuine faith. That's why Moses failed to make it into the promised land.

We're in need of new premises again now, but I don't feel inclined to repeat the procedure.

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MaryLouise
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When I've done stints during vigils, the quiet of the room or chapel has been important, not too many distractions. A single lit candle is helpful to focus on. When we were doing pre-dawn shifts, the priest or elder present suggested we all go outside just before starting (or halfway through if we were doing two hours) and do some stretching exercises, breathe in gulps of the night air to help us stay awake. At the end of the hours we had a closing prayer said aloud.

For those coming in from the workplace at 5-6pm, music was played softly for about 10 minutes to help people settle and transition from the busy day's preoccupations into the evening and a focus on prayer.

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cliffdweller
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We just had a 48 hour prayer vigil. What our participants appreciated was having some stations set up with instructions for simple self-led prayer- lectio, journaling, kneading clay, etc

On a more practical note think about lighting and safe parking especially for women coming to the church in the middle of the night.. We also had a parallel sign up for congregants to pray at home rather than coming to the church

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
An altar. A crucifix. An icon, perhaps.

Somewhere to kneel (pew, prie-dieu,...)

Silence. (You can't see silence, but...)

Fairly low lighting.

Even more important IMHO is heating, especially in winter. It may be worthy to subdue the flesh, but people can't concentrate if they are cold.

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Galloping Granny
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Silly me! When I saw the subject I immediately pictured something like the chapel/quiet room at an airport or hospital, where people of any faith could go to pray or meditate at any time in silence.
Listening to other people's wordy prayers I get the impression they're talking to a very different God to the one I listen to.
Would anyone like to try that sort of prayer room? Permanently available. Perhaps with minimal, occasionally changed decor: a draped length of coloured cloth, a bowl of water, yes, a candle. (Though I remember an airport quiet room where it was stated that health and safety didn't allow unattended candles but one could place a pebble in the bowl of water to signify one's prayer.)
GG

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
I think if I was allocated a shift in the middle of the night, and did it at home, the temptation not to do it at all on the grounds that no-one would know would be overpowering ...

Yeah but GOD would and He won't be able to reward your prayer of faith with whatever ineffable thing He was going to do!

These things are all about doing something because nothing is working ... because we won't, can't do anything that would 'work'. Nothing can. We need to collectively acknowledge the futility of having expectations of magic beyond ourselves. We are the magic. The Church.

I loved Gamaliel's point, was it, about 2 a.m. prayer slots on the wall for all to see being street corners.

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Love wins

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Eutychus
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As I recall, the only people who knew who was at our 2am prayer slots were those who showed up.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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mr cheesy
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I think it is possible to slip into judgmentalism here. On the occasions where I participated in prayer at 2am, it was because I'd been there all night*.

A name on a note on a wall might be an advertisement about how spiritual an individual is, or it might just an indication that someone is working nights, has a small child, is hoping their friends might come along and so on.

It really isn't necessary to read into absolutely everything the worst possible motives for things.

* I was young and with my friends - and it was better than getting drunk or doing drugs. Nobody got hurt.

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DonLogan2
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Shaped post-its (Hearts are good for adoration or torn in two for sorrow) luggage tags, pebbles and water, white board, etch-a-sketch or tray of sand for confession as they can be wiped clean...

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think it is possible to slip into judgmentalism here...

A name on a note on a wall might be an advertisement about how spiritual an individual is, or it might just an indication that someone is working nights, has a small child, is hoping their friends might come along and so on.

It really isn't necessary to read into absolutely everything the worst possible motives for things.


No, but it's fun though ...

[Devil]

Incidentally, I'm not impugned wrong motives to anyone, I'm sure the folk who pinned up the notice with the rota were being perfectly sincere and I'm sure it was done in good faith ...

But it does lend itself to self-advertisement. Look at me, I'm putting my name on the graveyard slot ...

I prefer Eutychus's anonymised model.

I hasten to add that whilst I can most certainly be cynical and snarky, I am not impugning the motives of any Shipmates here nor decrying the sincere efforts of those who organised a 24/7 prayer thing at my local parish church - which is where the rota on the wall thing occurred.

Just because it isn't 'my bag' any more it doesn't mean I'm 'against' anyone else doing such a thing.

I must admit though, it did feel intimidating having a written rota up on the wall ... as though not to sign your name on a slot meant that you weren't fully 'committed' to the programme / vision and so on ...

Well, I'm not. So it probably sends a message when I don't sign up for such things or turn up for the regular Sunday evening prayer slots that the vicar has set up by apparently popular request.

I don't have an issue for people rolling up to pray together on a Sunday evening but I don't feel any compunction about not joining them. It's not that I disagree with prayer meetings and so on but I've spent years and years of my life listening to 'Lord we really just ...' type prayers.

I wonder how the Almighty copes with it. I'm glad I don't have to listen to all that ... It just shows how infinitely patient, loving and faithful he is - unlike me.

I'd have zapped them all with a thunder-bolt before now ... "For the millionth time ... if I hear another, 'Lord, we really just ...' I'm going to resign ..."

[Help]

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Martin60
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At our church it was all on the sign up table. The 'righteous' stood out. I'd expect the leadership to lead from those slots. It's all good as an exercise in church building, but it actually builds the inner circle, the 'committed'. It's all part of living lives of quiet desperation.

It used to angrily amuse me when weekend 'leadership' sessions would start on a Friday night and there'd be even less volunteers for the Friday night homeless outreach.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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I'm sure you are both right a lot of the time. I'm not saying that there isn't a level of spiritual oneupmanship.

I'm just saying we shouldn't assume that's what is happening all the time. I don't participate in these things because I don't feel the need to - that's not to say that I never would or that those who do are doing anything wrong.

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Galloping Granny
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So what is prayer?
All I can say is my kind of prayer might not be your idea of prayer.


GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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la vie en rouge
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24/7 was big when I was a student. We did it a number of times and I remember it as mostly a worthwhile thing.

I think one reason it worked was that we opened it to all comers, so that you have might have the CathSoc saying the rosary for an hour, followed by the most out there charismatics praying in tongues and behaving oddly (this was the early noughties Toronto era). No one judged each other and we left each other in peace to pray in different ways. It made a very unifying event as I remember.

Our prayer room was the chapel library. We kept it pretty simple – chairs, and cushions for those who preferred to sit on the floor. A few art materials. Bibles. A CD player and a few CDs. An absolute must is a kettle for those who are there at ungodly hours.

It should be said that among a group of skanky students, taking the 3 am slot wasn’t regarded as all that heroic. Being out of bed at your prayers at 7 o’clock in the morning OTOH, was a sign of huge prayer warrior virtue [Biased]

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Snags
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Despite Gamaliel's apparent ongoing desire to piss on all the chips from his past, and despite acknowledging he has some valid points/issues ("up to a point"), generally I'd say go for it.

My experience of 24/7 prayer events is generally of those linked to the Pete Greig figureheaded 24/7 movement, which I think is the site linked in the OP. Some of them have been directly affiliated, some have simply utilised some of the resources and ideas that 24/7 make available.

All have followed the pattern of:

  • having a dedicated room set aside
  • decorating the room in some kind of special way ("softening" the space with drapes or hangings, providing a mixture of seating options, soft lighting etc.)
  • providing various materials to creatively support prayer which are all optional (e.g. post-its, paper, pens, art equipment, a 'wall' to write on or something to pin things to, a clear space that's kept clear, optional music, suggestions/guides on physical prayers, meditative prayers, some current events articles that might be provocative etc.)
  • passively or sometimes actively discouraging talking, other than briefly, if other people are present
  • absolutely no leading, no wind-bag prayers etc.

The intention has been to create a shared space where one can essentially "withdraw" but where one is also encouraged and enabled to pray in a way that most of us just won't do if left to our own devices. I might say I'll pray for an hour at home, but chances are I won't. There's also a factor of because it's a shared space, you are aware that you are part of a bigger whole in a more concrete fashion, even if you're there on your own (and generally I have been, when I've done them, as even in quite a large church, or an ecumenical event, people tended to pick times that were vacant, not all congregate together in a huddle).

Some practical considerations, at least in the UK in this day and age, are that you do need to think about safety provisions (general health & safety e.g. if you're having candles not having them near the voile drapes, and also the children & vulnerable adults side of things). I've seen this handled in various ways - sometimes by virtue of where the room is; sometimes by having appropriate people on hand to cover the whole thing in shifts; sometimes by e.g. getting the youth group to cover the overnight thing because that's exciting for them, and a couple of youth leaders suffer the consequences etc.

Like so much, what you get out will depend on what you put in, and how you approach it. There can be a lot of bullshit about it, and possibly a lot of hype, and maybe false expection. But there can be a lot of value too, and there is something intangible about praying in a place where many others have been praying too, even if it's only a temporary thing, and not a cathedral that's been there for 100s of years.

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Vain witterings :-: Vain pretentions :-: The Dog's Blog(locks)

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Martin60
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Pete Greig! Hadn't heard of him till yesterday. Just commented on his blog on the excellent Dr. Fry - whom we're discussing on the blasphemy thread - this morning. Then he's mentioned here.

do-do-DO!-DO!-do-do-DO!-DO!

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Love wins

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Snags
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Like all of us, he's a mixed bag [Smile]

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Vain witterings :-: Vain pretentions :-: The Dog's Blog(locks)

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Martin60
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Aye. Deeply conservative, i.e. trapped in the text and disingenuous with it. Perfect me.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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Hey Snags, I can piss where the hell I like as long as it doesn't splash up people's legs ...

But no, I'm with mr cheesy. If tpeopke want to do 24/7 prayer then that's fine. As long as they don't expect me to join in.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Snags
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<possibly unwarranted assumption for the effect comic response>
I suspect Mrs Gamaliel may have something to say about that [Smile]

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Vain witterings :-: Vain pretentions :-: The Dog's Blog(locks)

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Hey Snags, I can piss where the hell I like as long as it doesn't splash up people's legs ...


Well you can, it's just a bit tiring that your default answer to everything is (a) it's Orthodox and therefore Interesting or (b) it's a bit both/and rather than either/or, isn't it? or (c) it's Evangelical and/or Charismatic and therefore suspect.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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SvitlanaV2
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The MOTR church I go to had one of these not too long ago. I found it quite moving. But MOTR churches suffer, IMO, from a general shortage of heartfelt prayer (although there are of course the liturgical prayers), so I think extra dedicated prayer time is a good thing.

Prayer like anything can become 'good works' to be shown off the world. But in MOTR churches prayer isn't usually the means for such boasting. I suppose this is more likely in evangelical churches, where there's more public emphasis on having a 'personal relationship' with God.

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Gamaliel
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Heh heh ...

Well, ok mr cheesy. Guilty as charged but that's how I roll ...

I'll make comments in shorthand in future - 'It's a', 'It's b', 'It's c', 'It's a, b and c at one and the same time ...'

At least people know which way my piss is splashing and can avoid the spray ...

I'll get me coat ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Even more important IMHO is heating, especially in winter. It may be worthy to subdue the flesh, but people can't concentrate if they are cold.

I'd almost go in the opposite direction, especially in the middle of the night. If it's a bit cold, keep your coat on. If it's too warm, it'll be hard to prevent yourself from falling asleep.
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angelfish
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Thanks everyone. Some useful and encouraging words here. It's interesting that everyone focuses on the "middle of the night" thing (my church included) and possible problems arising there, such as danger, cold, tiredness - whereas to my mind the greatest difficultly will be filling the slots around commuting time - too early and late in the day for the retired lot, but totally inconvenient for the workers and parents.

Now all I have to do is preach a blinder next Sunday, that inspires everyone to get involved. Not feeling up to the task, which might well be the best position to be in I suppose. [Votive]

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"As God is my witness, I WILL kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!"

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:

Now all I have to do is preach a blinder next Sunday, that inspires everyone to get involved. Not feeling up to the task, which might well be the best position to be in I suppose. [Votive]

Or maybe you should be reminding people to go to their little room/greenhouse/shed alone, close the door and pray to God in secret as per Matthew 6:6

Given what I've said above, I obviously don't believe that the 24/7 prayer idea is completely nuts - but the one thing I'd not be doing is trying to inspire "everyone to get involved" and I'd absolutely resist any sense of assessing the "value" of the event in terms of how many people turned up at 3am, 5pm or any other time.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
The result was a conviction we should do 24 hours of prayer and fasting once a month for 7 months, which I announced to the church as its senior pastor. All I can say is we did, and found premises within a week following the last session where none were to be found before.

I think it's fine when there is a certain innocence to such things and when effectively what you do (as in the example you give above) is an expression of a faith felt.

The problem is when this kind of thing is arrived at more deliberately, or is an alien imposition from a context where it worked culturally (Koreans going up the mountains to pray being the canonical example).

I know someone who worked among Hindu converts for a while, and he'd would often extol how these converts always sought prayer when they moved into a new house, or found a new job and so on. Of course, he became less enchanted with the whole thing when he realised that he was also being called to bless new cars - effectively they'd taken the model of prayer in Hinduism and applied it within a Protestant context.

In the IHOP case - of course - they've gone with some fairly lose extrapolations from the OT and run with it (where what is prescribed may not have even happened).

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Martin60
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By this shall all men know us, that we went to pray silently, alone, in church at 03:00 so that others might join us.

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Love wins

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Lamb Chopped
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


'Look at me, I've signed my name alongside the the 3am stint ...'


It's incredibly easy to write one's name in such a messy fashion that the only thing anyone can make out is that the slot is actually taken.

I've done this in other contexts.
[Devil]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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angelfish
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
...but the one thing I'd not be doing is trying to inspire "everyone to get involved" and I'd absolutely resist any sense of assessing the "value" of the event in terms of how many people turned up at 3am, 5pm or any other time.

It's meant to be a corporate act, so we absolutely do want everyone involved. We're praying for the future of our church - everyone should take responsibility for that, including praying about it. And, should any assessment take place afterwards, I would be "assessing" its value on the basis of a deeper awareness of the presence of God in the lives of the people who take part. Is that ok with you or do you want to make any more assumptions about my motivation?

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"As God is my witness, I WILL kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!"

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by angelfish:
Is that ok with you or do you want to make any more assumptions about my motivation?

Your thread and your words. If you didn't want them discussed you shouldn't have written them.

What you do or don't do is clearly up to you.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Gamaliel
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Come on, Angelfish, it isn't only Bishop Brennan who deserves a kick up the arse.

If I were in your congregation and tried to inspire me with a 'blinder of a sermon' to join your 24/7 prayer thing I might be tempted to kick you in the balls as well as up the arse ...

Prophetically, of course ...

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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angelfish
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Why? Are you imagining a great big, hectoring bully leaning down from the pulpit shouting at all the old ladies to get up at 2am and come to pray?

I'd just like to inspire people to connect more meaningfully with God. That is all. If our prayer room is only used for half the week, my church will still have prayed more in that week than in any other in living memory. It really isn't a gimmick, or a vanity project or whatever else you might be imagining.

There's always been 24-7 prayer throughout church history, often with incredible changes in the lives of believers as a result. If you were in my church and objected to that, I'd be seriously concerned for you. However, I'd have no concern for my balls, as I've never been able to find them - so the chances of your foot making contact with them are slim.

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"As God is my witness, I WILL kick Bishop Brennan up the arse!"

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MrsBeaky
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I've been away this week so come late to this party.

I find this conversation fascinating as I prayed once a week for 3 months in the very first 24-7 prayer room founded by Pete Grieg and friends.
I haven't seen him for years but I know many people who know him well and who love him dearly. He is a theology graduate who would willingly meet any one of us who wanted to explore different approaches to both doctrine and praxis so I am wary of making judgements based on limited or old knowledge.

As regards the prayer room itself I think there are valid concerns about not self-promoting but equally there would be valid concerns about someone needing to hold a list about who is in the room at any given time for health and safety reasons. Security was a very real concern in that very first prayer room as many of the middle of the night slots were taken by young people.
The room itself was decorated by art students. There was a CD player for people to use and all sorts of art materials for people to use too. People could also post prayer requests/ intentions on a board (just as they do today in our Cathedral here).

I too cannot abide prayer meetings but that prayer room was available for solo or group prayer as people wished.
I know that many people found their prayer lives deepened by the experience, others not so much and still others never darkened the door!

So like so many things in church life it is a mixed bag.

[ 12. May 2017, 20:16: Message edited by: MrsBeaky ]

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"It is better to be kind than right."

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Gamaliel
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There have certainly been prayer vigils and round the clock prayer in monasteries and so on, but the only well-documented instance I've heard of in Protestant circles has been the almost continuous prayer sessions the Moravians held ...

Sure, a lot of revivalists went in for lengthy prayer sessions - but I'm too long in the tooth and been round the block too many times to get all excited about 'incredible effects / differences in the lives of believers' rhetoric.

I don't see a great deal of evidence of that - not that I'm against prayer or against prayer meetings as such ...

I'm sorry I rained on your parade angelfish but you were rather inviting an Eeyore response with all that malarkey about delivering a blinder of a sermon and so forth.

As I've often said here aboard Ship, 'It doesn't matter how wonderful the meeting / service is, you've still got to get up the next morning and go to work ... It doesn't matter how wonderful a time you had at the prayer meeting or worship rally, when you go to the toilet you've still got to wipe your arse ...'

It's nice that you'd be concerned about me if I were in your congregation. If I was there then I'm sure I'd be touched by your pastoral concern and I'd be far too polite to aim a toe at your arse ...

But don't expect a 'SWEG' either - 'Sickly Wet Evangelical Grin' - and don't expect bouncy spiritual enthusiasm either. Been there, done that. Expect support, expect practical help but also expect questions, expect challenges, expect reality.

No,I'm not a bolshy bugger. But I don't do fads and I don't over-egg the pudding.

I'm not going to roll up at any 24/7 prayer rota anytime soon. Give me a prayer book and a lectionary, the occasional Lenten study group or even a Labyrinth now and again ... But spare me the rah-rah-rah please.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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G. How much less than a great deal of evidence would you say?

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Love wins

Posts: 15961 | From: More Corieltauvi than Dobunni now. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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