Tuesday, June 26, 2007


During our time of 24/14, it was amazing, the community that was created in a room of people who, although not necessarily interacting with one another, were able to feel and experience connection with one another as we individually fellowshiped with the Lord. Becky wrote me an e-mail during those weeks, and beautifully put her impressions of this sense of community into words:

"Tonight as I was sitting in the center area of the sanctuary journaling a prayer to God (in the form of a story--very fun) I found myself comforted by the presence of ODF "family" members moving quietly around me. You, and others at ODF, have probably noticed this connection quietly being formed at ODF in the last week. I feel as though I am sitting in a giant house with a vast support system of extended family when I am at church. There is a kitchen where we can go to eat, places to lay down and rest and a wonderful "living/diningroom" where we are living out life in the form of converations and communion with our closest family member in the room---our Father. It is a beautiful thing to watch. I feel a strong sense of safety and belonging there.

It makes profound sense to me why this is called the House of the Lord. I am praying about how this experience will change the way I relate to my brothers and sisters at ODF, particularly after experiencing so much loss in my family this year. I don't think I have realized what I have in my ODF family and how it is significant that I learn to give of myself to them and love them, believing that they really are a family to me instead of focusing so heavily on what I do not have. "-- Becky

(The photo at the top of this post is of some of our youth worshipping together one evening. When it was time for them to leave and continue their youth group activity, many of them were reluctant to go. As one of them, Josiah, said later, "I thought that the experience was so spectacular. I felt like we finally had God on our minds at all times.")

Monday, June 25, 2007


Robin wraps up her stories on the stations she was involved with with these thoughts:

It is indescribable being able to be used of God to accomplish His will. This time of prayer dedicated to seeking the heart of God has fulfilled in me ideas that God has placed in my heart for many years, but it wasn’t until now that I was commissioned by God to bring those ideas to fruition in this season. The main idea is doing creative things solely for the purpose of drawing others to the love of God. I feel like I can die now that I have done something my spirit has yearned to do for so long.

Along the path I learned many things personally about listening, about seeking, about asking, about humility, about obedience, about networking, about discipline, about purity of heart, about God, about waiting on Him, about spiritual warfare. One of the main lessons I have learned is that it is all about God and His glory. When I focus on Him, He takes care of all that He desires. When I focus on Him being the highest power in the universe, He wins the battles, He removes obstacles, He changes hearts, He will do what brings glory to His Holy name. I just need to join in with His Holy agenda. I just need to step into His glorious plan. He will do it. He is so good to use us in the process.

On a purely practical note, it is obvious the sheer amount of hours that went into all the stations and the hours that went into maintaining the stations. The few stations I worked with took hours to maintain in making copies, folding, stapling, keeping water in the fountain daily, water and bread in the “God cube” for partaking of, fabric for weavings, papers refilled, making more prayer soldiers, figuring out lighting and such. It was a real delight to be a doorkeeper at the house of our God. The prayer focus basically took over my life for two straight months. I was living, breathing, completely focused on the prayer stations. It was a joy for my children as well. As a home school mom, I made a choice to let some school go as we relished this season of prayer.

Each station truly had a sense of the divine hand of God upon it. Each station has a story to tell and people to glow in the sharing of God putting it together. Each station was a work of God through simple servants just seeking the glory of God to shine forth.


Robin tells the story of the youth station, which consisted of a board covered with dozens of black and white snapshots of our youth group, and then the tree which had many though-provoking and in some cases very touching prayer requests:
My daughter Mia was involved with the youth station. Nicole Hunter and Mia gathered and printed out pictures and prayer requests from the youth group. Mia and Nicole cut and glued the collage together. They had in mind a tree theme. The afternoon of set-up they were seeking God for a tree. As they were driving about, they came across a family who was trimming their front yard. Nicole asked if they could have a tree (that was dead). They said it was fine. Praise God, He provided this really wonderfully shaped tree. They cut the prayer requests into leaf shapes and strung them up on the tree for people to take. An extra table and chair set got placed with the tree and collage making for a really wonderful place to linger and interceed for the young people. It was amazing to see God orchestrate the little details of this seemingly last minute thrown together station.

God works with weeks and months of planning and preparing and even in the last hours of the set-up afternoon to provide a perfect tree. He is the One to do it all for His glory and to shower us with His love.


Robin tells us of the last station she helped create:

The final station I was involved with was the military station. Jan Potter is really the point person in our Pray for our Troops military ministry, but her father passed away in January and then her stepmother passed away on the weekend of setup. I know what it is like to lose a parent, so I jumped in to help make Jan’s ideas come to reality. We brought in a tree using yellow ribbons to tie on paper ornaments that had the names of soldiers on them. Jan made a wonderful picture collage. Natalie Clark and I made name tags with the soldiers’ names and tied the names to plastic toy soldiers. Those toy soldiers were flying off the table. Praise God! In total, the toy soldiers and ornaments that are in people’s homes being prayed for are in the 400-500 range. Donna Caudle and others really made the table come together with all the little details being displayed so nicely. -- Robin

We heard a number of stories of people who were very touched by this station. One was a husband and wife who visited the prayer room at different times. They each came home with a soldier, and when they compared them, they realized that they had ended up with a husband and wife who were both in the military -- she got the wife, and he got the husband.

Dona, mentioned above, was so blessed to recognize on the tree the name of a young soldier who was the son of someone who had blessed her greatly years ago when she was a young believer.

This station was, as one can imagine, a great and meaningful favorite with the kids. Many members of our military have been showered in prayer as a result of it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Robin continues (see June 15th post) to tell us about the prayer stations she created for our weeks of prayer. She says:

Another station the Lord laid on my heart was a suffering station. I did not have any particular ideas in mind, but I knew the Lord had commissioned me to do this. So I set about to talk with people about it. One of the first people I talked with was Trish Wiesling. In our conversation she mentioned something about a weaving; immediately that reminded me of a weaving idea I had seen at a children’s historical museum. Next I talked with several people who had been through some very poignant suffering and took notes about their experience. It seemed fitting to use "speak bubbles" (like in cartoons) to communicate about the feelings and process of dealing with suffering. Angie Warren offered the book “Streams in the Desert” to be used at the station. Frederick Moor built the wooden frame for the station. Several people offered fabric scraps. Judi Clark helped me wire and bead the speak bubbles to the frame. Angie Platten offered a frame and paint. Bit by bit it came together. Collectively three beautiful weavings were completed over the two weeks. It is a testimony of God’s love and redemption to use this station for His glory in our lives. -- Robin

I thought it would be helpful to explain how the station "worked," in terms of the weavings. Below the frames, or looms, there were baskets of strips of cloth. Each basket had strips of the same color, and each basket was labeled with a different type of suffering, for instance, "abuse," "death," or "persecution." The idea was to come before the Lord and allow Him to speak to and reveal to and minister to you, and then weave a strip or strips into the corporate weavings that represented your own suffering experiences. Another one of my deeply moving "snapshot" moments was seeing a young person who had recently gone through incredible loss come in and spend time in front of the suffering station. I know this was just one of many who came through the doors and were ministered to by the profound "meeting-place" this station created between ourselves, our pain and loss, and our Comforter. -- Paula

(The photos above show the sign on the station, the empty looms and station on the first day, the baskets of cloth stips, and the full and finished corporate weavings as they currently hang in our sanctuary foyer)

Friday, June 15, 2007


One of the artists who became deeply involved in the preparations for our week(s) of 24/7 prayer was Robin. She was also a member of our Thursday night prayer group "family", where much of the dreaming, brainstorming, planning and interceding took place during the 9 months leading up to our house of prayer. Robin was involved in several of our stations and I've asked her to share her story and how these stations came about:

Robin says, "What a joy it has been to serve the Lord through the 24/7 prayer focus!

When the prayer focus began in the summer of 2006, I knew that it was the one thing I could commit to at Open Door Fellowship because it was simply focused on seeking the Lord. This rag tag group met together with the pure hearted agenda of seeking God as to what we could do to make a place for prayer, a place for people to draw near to the heart of God.

Step by step, the Lord worked and moved providing the whole auditorium at just the right time of the year and for 6 weeks of messages focused on prayer during our Sunday morning worship services.

Each week at our Thursday night prayer time, we simply worshiped the Lord and asked Him for what He wanted. Each week the Lord would answer with guidance and direction for the next step.

For me personally, early on the Lord gave me an idea to do canvas panels that would be interactive about who God is. As I talked with people about it, people gave input. Susie Folz offered to involve the Fifth grade Sunday School class in sharing the names of God. Frederick Moor suggested I use PVC tubing and to wrap the canvas around the tubing, as the tubing would be somewhat unsightly. At first it was just three panels, then the Lord showed me a cube with each wall being 7’x7’. A prayer partner suggested I use the “I am’s” in John to express the panel about Jesus. An email that I received had a scripture on the Spirit (Isaiah 11:3). From December on I had tasks to do each week whether it was to buy fabric with a 50% off coupon or if it was painting on the primer. The Lord also brought together several bistro tables, a fountain, lighting, an interactive art piece by Angie Platten and several paper handouts with scripture.

People called this “the tent” or “the cube.” I called it “the God station” or “the Abide station.” This place that was created was an expression about God, for His glory, done in response to His instruction and guidance. The night before I did the final painting, the Lord led me to simply minister to Him in prayer for quite some time in the middle of the night. When I woke up to paint in the morning it was as if the Lord was full in me and I was simply doing what He wanted. For me this is the fullest and best expression of art and creativity, me just doing what He wants to be done to draw others into a fuller revelation of who He is." - Robin

One of the beautiful "snapshots" in my memory from those weeks was seeing a group of young adults, friends, sitting in a circle on the floor of the God station together, arms draped around each other, no one speaking, but you could just see them soaking together in the Lord's Presence, sharing that special time with each other. It was beautiful.

In the next post (above), Robin will share about one of the other stations she created.

(In the photos above, the young woman is writing her prayer or praise on the outside, and in the second photo, the man is sitting inside the cube. See the post from March 3rd for a poem written by a dear brother at our church, inspired by the God station)

Sunday, May 27, 2007


I mentioned in that last post about Steve's website, www.outcastpress.org. Steve has had a ministry for many years to thousands of those who "dwell in the shadows" -- especially youth: the street punks, the cutters, the goths, the addicts. This website is just one expression of that ministry. It is not created for "church folk;" it is created for the very ones Jesus would have walked the highways and byways and back streets to find.

Steve is always looking for ways to reach out, minister, create an opportunity or a connection. He's been a great catalyst in our group in this way. One of the latest vehicles he is using to do this is through what he calls "disposable art." He is inviting/challenging our group to do what he has done -- take simple rectangles of cardboard, maybe 6 x 10 inches or so, and paint them with . . . well, with whatever the Lord gives you. Maybe something uplifting like rainbows or butterflies is your style. Maybe you would feel led to create something more somber that might reflect the pain of the hurting person who may find this. Artistic talent is NOT a requirement; but what is helpful is tuning in to the Lord, and asking for His guidance and compassion as you work.

On the other side of the cardboard, Steve encouraged us to put a verse or some words of encouragement or comfort. These will be taken to downtown spots where the homeless and hurting are known to frequent, and either handed out or left, in the hopes that the Lord by His Spirit will speak through them, and that the prayers that have been prayed as we create them will be answered. A finishing touch is a piece of wire attached to the top so the "art" can be hung somewhere.

Steve and Amber and Rusi and Ali have already handed some out. The photos above are of the front and back of one of Amber's. Making these and handing them out -- it's a simple thing. But it's something. The Lord encouraged us in scripture with a simple thing -- a cup of cool water. These pieces of disposable art in their own way may be just the refreshment and hope that a thirsty, hurting soul might need.

Steve is also a writer. Here's what he had to say about today, The Global Day of Prayer:
"I think it's cool that as the American church has lost it's focus on the real issues (prayer, outreach, seeking Christ with passion) that there is a remnant, a vibrant strand across the country and globally that is not contained by church walls. The prayer movement has many diverse expressions. It bridges the body, seems to be rising up from ground level, not top/down. Prayer is much deeper than postmodern, emerging church, seeker sensitive techiques designed to 'grow'churches. I love the fact that people are seeking the most fundamental element of the faith...to pray, to sit in God's presence."

I guess the best line to sum up this post, and maybe Steve himself, is the old bumper sticker:

Think globally; act locally.

Friday, May 25, 2007


Over a year before our weeks of non-stop prayer, I visited the prayer room at Pure Heart several times during their week of 24/7. The Lord met me each time. One of the days I was in there alone, just worshipping, listening, allowing God to speak to me through the things they had around the room, as well as the prayers, words, and pictures others had brought during the week.

They had a large cross set up, and at one point I was just kneeling in front of it, thinking of the Lord. In that moment, He gave me something I hadn't expected: a heart for the city.

I have had a heart for those who don't know Him; for the hurting; for the least and the lowest, but I can't honestly say that I had ever before had "a heart for the city" - for this city, for Phoenix, where I was born, and where my church is located.

I can't really describe what He gave me or how He gave it, it just felt like all of a sudden something became much more tangible and clearer and specific.

You never know HOW God will touch you when you come into His Presence and consciously allow Him to speak to you and minister to you. The prayer room at Pure Heart didn't have a "city station," and yet that is what God most impacted me with, His heart for this city. He used the space they had set apart, and the things they had added, to draw my heart to Him, and then spoke to me beyond what was even in front of me.

He's good like that.

Fast forward to our preparations for the week of prayer at our church. I knew all along we "had" to have a station on God's heart for the city. I had several ideas, and as time got closer I kept expecting someone, or maybe several "someones'' to come alongside me and make this station happen, as I didn't feel I would have time to on my own. So many of the other pieces I had hoped and prayed to see as part of the prayer room were coming along; but time continued to go by and this one just wasn't coming together, no matter how much I felt that it was "supposed" to or prayed that it would. I think part of me, finally, that last week of preparation, began to resign myself to the fact that it just perhaps was not going to happen.

BUT . . . at the last minute, almost literally, it came together. I had asked KT, a young woman from our church, to take some photographs for this station, months ago. And she had. I still needed some type of a structure to put them on, and a unifying theme. The structure came together in my minds eye and my husband and 16 year old son constructed it the day before the week of prayer began. It was a tall, black, two-sided free-standing board that I had them paint with black magnetic paint, which could also be written on like a chalk board.

I realized the theme had been there inside me all along -- God's heart for the lost, the hurting, the marginalized, God's love and light reaching to dark places where it was needed most. I printed off verses, as well as poems and quotes from my friend Steve's website (www.outcastpress.org - more on this later). Nathaniel, my son who helped construct the station, felt that the words, "The city is sleeping - awaken it with prayer" should be on the board. I gathered all the papers and magnets to go on it, and arranged for KT to meet me the next day with her photos, and I would arrange them and assemble the station.

It turned out that I was busy overseeing and helping the other artists and contributors as they set up their stations in the sanctuary after Sunday service, so KT pitched right in, along with my niece and some others, and after hearing my vision, totally put it all together. KT's photos were amazing, and she added other touches, like hand-lettering the saying about the city in chalk, as well as the Phoenix skyline. We also had more chalk available, as well as slips of paper and magnets, so people could add their own thoughts and prayers alongside the verses, poems, and photos.

I loved how the Lord brought it all together at the last minute, and it ended up being, as all the stations were, something that deeply impacted people, and drew their hearts to pray for others.

By the end of the two weeks the station was covered in chalk writing, and other prayers and heart-cries written on slips of paper and stuck on with magnets. One man shared how touched he was to see the words of compassion that his own young son had written in chalk on the city scape. Another young girl added her own chalk drawings of Jesus in the midst of the poems and photos reflecting pain and isolation. A woman shared the story in Sunday service of how she had spent time in the prayer room, praying for our city in front of that station. Later, as she was driving, she saw the very part of our skyline that KT had depicted in chalk on the board. The woman was so moved, she turned her car around and drove back to the church sanctuary to pray some more.

The addicted. The abused. The abusers. The lonely. The children. The elderly. The mentally ill. The bitter. The poor. The isolated. The frantic. The hopeless. The lost.

The city is sleeping. Awaken it with prayer.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Wrapped in Prayer

Angie (see previous posts) writes about a unique way we prayed for someone dear to her at a recent prayer night:

"I recently read a book entitled FABRIC OF FAITH about a prayer ministry of quilting. The concept is fascinating to me. I love the idea of someone hurting receiving a special lap quilt made just for them that was made with prayers “stitched” in as well as prayers “tied” in with the ties of the quilt. I decided to take this concept and make a small quilt for my 6 year old cousin, Kayla, who has a rare form of brain cancer and does not have a good prognosis. She just went through her first week of radiation, which is a total experiment since the doctors have little faith it will do anything but it’s ‘something’ to try. So, I made this quilt and prayed for Kayla and her family as I sewed it together. I then took it to our Thursday night prayer meeting and had everyone ‘tie’ their own prayers in as they helped tie the quilt with me. I will send it to this coming week so she will know that she is literally being covered in prayer just as the quilt will cover her tiny, sick body while she goes through cancer treatment. It is something tangible that she can keep with her. I pray it brings her incredible comfort and peace as well as encouragement. My greatest prayer is that she and her family feel God’s love and presence wrapped around them every minute of every day as they walk a journey of suffering they never would have chosen. May they know that God’s peace and strength in their weakness.
The photos above show the quilt, and then a close-up of one of the ties which was tied on with prayer by one of the members in our group. It was a special experience to touch this fabric work of art that Angie had lovingly pieced, as we prayed aloud and each tied several ties, knowing it was going to dear little Kayla. What a sweet hands-on expression of the compassionate heart of Jesus. May she feel wrapped in His love.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Highest Adoration

Years ago, Kit Danley spoke at a women's retreat and highly recommended "Disciplines for the Inner Life" by Bob Benson Sr. and Michael Benson. I searched high and low (the edition I have is out of print), and finally found a copy of it, but it was years until I really began to use and enjoy it. It is both a daily, as well as topical devotional, full of many wonderful and thought-provoking quotes and passages from a wealth of Christian writers and thinkers; it is also, in another sense, a prayer book.

As I mentioned earlier, I shared with our Thursday night group not long ago some thoughts on worship, and here is the quote from page 81 that I shared with them:

". . . the highest adoration is not occupied with the recollection of favors received and mercies extended, though they do help one be aware of the true nature of God. There is still, in all such recollection, a remnant of that self-centeredness which it should be the purpose of prayer to escape. In it, we are still thinking of God in terms of something done to "me" and for "me." We never really adore Him, until we arrive at the moment when we worship Him for what He is in Himself, apart from any consideration of the impact of His Divine Selfhood upon our desires and our welfare. Then we love Him for Himself alone." -- From An Autobiography of Prayer by Albert E. Day, quoted in Disciplines for the Inner Life

How do we ever arrive at such pure adoration? I notice so often in our prayer meetings, our times set aside for worship turn quickly into thanksgiving for blessings, or even supplication or petition or intercession. Our private prayer times are not immune from this either. It is easy to say what we want, or even to thank for what we have received; why is it sometimes hard to just focus, and worship HIM, apart from my interests?
On our own, we can't even muster the faith or sight to truly engage in worship this pure. It takes His grace, a vision of the One we love, and the cultivation of a heart that leans towards and longs for Him.

Lord, give us eyes to see YOU - Your beauty, Your power, Your glory, apart from the me-centered context we so often put You in, and therefore see You in. Help me see You for Who You are -- and not just for what You do, or for what You have done, for me.

Day's quote goes on: ". . . it is not what He has done for us or what we expect Him to do for us, but what He has been from eternity before we existed, and what He will be forever whether that "forever" includes us or not -- it is that which captivates us and evokes from us the selfless offering of self in worship. That is pure adoration."

A Prayer Quilt for our Nation

We had a great National Day of Prayer service. One of the ways we "prayed" together was to write our prayers for our nation on pieces of patriotic colored and themed scrapbook paper, which were then assembled into a prayer "quilt" and hung on the wall. Thanks, Robin, for the creative idea, and all the work cutting and assembling. Dona, who helped put our evening together, said it was so wonderful watching people, including children, come and write such heartfelt expressions for this creative corporate prayer.

Monday, April 30, 2007


This Thursday, May 3rd is the National Day of Prayer. Join us in the Open Door Sanctuary for an evening prayer service. The sanctuary will open at 6 pm for personal prayer and reflection, and the service will begin at 7 pm. Come join us as we worship, and pray for America's government, families, education system, media, the church in America, and our military.

The photos above are from our weeks of prayer. We asked Cheryl to put together a prayer station focusing on praying for our nation. She came up with the unique approach of using the prayers of our Presidents as the focal point and encouragement for our prayers. Some of these prayers were printed up and posted on the board for all to read; shorter excerpts from the prayers of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and others, were printed on small slips of paper and put in a bowl for us to draw from and take. During the weeks of prayer, the bowl had to be refilled several times. It was powerful not only to read, but also to pray along with, these leaders of our nation. Click here to read some other prayers of our nation's Presidents.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Written Expression of Prayer

Sheri shares how her personal experience was the catalyst for one of the prayer stations (one photo shows the station itself, and the other shows a woman sitting right next to it, journaling). Sheri says:

"Many have asked about the origin of the stations.....I wanted to share the background for the station, "The Written Expression of Prayer".

I went through a long dark time when my life was pain, exhaustion, disappointment, bills to pay, health problems, and inadequacy for the needs of 2 high capacity kids. I don't remember when, but I discovered journaling. I found verses in Philipians 4 that talked about "in everything", "anxious thoughts", "petitions", "thanksgiving", "requests"....along with the promise..... "and the peace of God which passes all understanding, shall guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus".

I began pouring those things into my journal. It was a physical release for emotions, petitions and praises. And...it never failed that after I was poured out, the next sentence was something of the Lord that I could never have imagined for myself. It became my tool for clearing distraction, pouring out my heart, and becoming available to hear God's voice.

I prayed that just one person would discover that "release and revelation" through the journaling station the Lord encouraged me to create. I have been soooo blessed to hear of many more than one.....children, teenagers, men, and women. Sharing it has made me realize what a deep blessing it has been in my life.

And now, I can one day leave those 2 kids of mine a mountain of written prayers... and of God's faithful answers."

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Here's Angie's story on how one of the prayer stations, "The Offering," was created. To learn a little bit more about Angie's creative process and prayer journey, see the previous post.

A few weeks before our 24/7 week of prayer, I had the privilege to be invited out to my friend Michelle’s house. She is a gourd artist and I’ve wanted to learn some basic skills for carving and how to use the various tools so she volunteered to teach me and let me play! The day before, however, I had no clue what I was going to make. As often happens to me when God wants to talk to me about art, He woke me in the middle of the night. I told him of my excitement but that I had no idea what I was going to make and asked Him what He would have me do. God gave me an immediate clear picture of a carved gourd with reaching hands. The inside was to be collaged with various reds and golds representing fire. God instructed me to have His names written on the side in Hebrew, and to title the piece “The Offering”.

I went to Michelle’s the following morning and was able to get the entire gourd carved but brought it home to finish cleaning it out and creating the remaining artwork on it. When it got to the Hebrew writing, I began getting very nervous since I’ve never even tried to write Hebrew! I began a mild argument with God trying to persuade him to let me do something different on the gourd but He does not change his mind. And He always provides help! My best friend Fran, is Jewish and her mother-in-law is a Hebrew teacher so I was pointed to some internet links for Hebrew names of God and Fran gave me a few pointers in the writing.

By the time the piece was finished, it was clear that it should be part of the 24/7 week of prayer. It gave the body an opportunity to give their own “offerings” to God by writing them on strips of red paper and putting them in the center of the gourd. This represented the fire for burnt offerings as they were offered to God.

Blessed be the name of the Lord, the One True God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever!

It was awesome to see, day by day, the gourd fill to overflowing with people's "offerings," the red slips of paper. The creative process, the result, and what it inspired in others, truly were all offerings to the Lord.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Could this be prayer?

One of the things we want to do on this blog is share some of our stories of how God sometimes invites us to hear His heart in a way that we may not identify as prayer, but is prayer, just the same. Angie is one of the artists who is part of our Thursday night group, and our 24/7 team. A few years ago, she lived on my street, and we would have conversations about prayer and our relationships with God. "I don't have much of a prayer life," she would tell me. Ten minutes later she would be sharing a story about God waking her up in the middle of the night to give her ideas for her next piece of artwork, down to the details of color, and subject matter, and who she was to present it to when she was done. It was a dialogue that would take place over time, sometimes weeks or even months, as she would inquire of Him and He would continue to speak to her heart about what she was creating. It took her a while to realize . . . hey, maybe, just maybe, THIS is prayer. Since then she has grown to purposefully seek God and to partner with Him in many more creative endeavors.
In the next post she will share how God led her to create one of the art pieces that was used as one of the prayer stations during our weeks of prayer.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Center on Christ / Love One Another / Pray Big Prayers

Center on Christ

Love One Another

Pray Big Prayers

I am thinking that these three statements could make a wonderful mission statement/outline/progression/philosophy/modus operandi for our Thursday night prayer group. We are a group of ragamuffins (ala Brennan Manning's RAGAMUFFIN GOSPEL) who have met together weekly since last June, praying, dreaming, planning and creating for the weeks of prayer in February and March. We have grown from mutually interested attendees to a community of heart-connected friends with shared hopes and dreams.
I'm not trying to come up with a vision of purpose statement, or define us, but I thought of those three statements (above) as I sat here at the computer and reflected on our meeting this past week, and I think that pretty much says it all, and is the essence of our most precious and powerful times together.
Like Thursday night. We focused on scripture about Christ, and then responded to what we read through worship prayers. Then we shifted gears into petition/intercession, asking God to make Jesus, and prayer -- our vehicle of connection with Him -- more truly central in our lives and in our church. I talked about corporate prayer being more effective when we all are attentive to the conductor (Holy Spirit); are sensitive to the unique contribution each of us "orchestra members" had to make; and following the same "melody," played in harmony with one another, rather than simply playing - praying - a series of solos.
We also welcomed a friend of Jan's, Juanita, who was there for the first time, affirmed and prayed for Lyle and Margee, who are leaving next week and will be gone until December, and then sang "Happy Birthday" to dear Deb.

It was a simple time but rich and sweet.

Center on Christ.
Love One Another.
Pray Big Prayers.

I like that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Sanctuary open on Good Friday

GOOD FRIDAY, April 6th, 2007
Our Open Door Sanctuary will be open from 10 am to 7 pm for prayer and reflection
Followed by the Good Friday service at 7 pm
Come reflect on the gift of the Father
and the sacrifice of the Son

Saturday, March 3, 2007


A dear brother in our fellowship wrote this after spending time in the "Abide" prayer station
(see photo to the right - click to enlarge):


Take a step into the Name of God,
Into His power and into His beauty,
Witness the passion of His kindness and majesty
As you step into the Names of God!

The presence of the Lord is all about His own
Whether seen or unseen, known or unknown.
His Name is shrouded in Awe and in Mystery,
He has placed upon us His Name and His Glory!
The covenant of the Lord is an Everlasting one,
Sealed forever by the Blood of the Risen Son!
All who belong to Him are never alone or cutoff,
He stands guard continuously, always near, never aloft.
REJOICE for your names are written in Heaven above!
BE GLAD for the Lord unto you has declared His undying love!
His unmerited favor is always always always with you!
HE CANNOT FAIL, He can only be Faithful and True!
We are so blessed oh sons and daughters of the King,
Now enter into His courts and let our hearts sing –

As we step into the Names of God,
Into His power and into His beauty,
Witness the passion of His kindness and majesty,
Step now into the Name of God!
Amazing is the Lord!!!

2/27/07 Bill Folz Jr.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Our prayer as we began . . .

In January, we began a teaching series on prayer, knowing that it would lead into this time of 24/7. This season has been preceded by months of planning and praying for the teaching series and week(s) of prayer, and many more years of prayer that God would touch our hearts with His and draw us to Himself through prayer.

At the beginning of our teaching series, this was our desire:

break us out of the box we have put prayer in.
Break us out of the box we have put YOU in.
Replace our faulty theology, bad past experiences, disinterested complacency, insecurities and inhibiting misbeliefs with Your freeing truth, so we may not only understand and experience prayer anew, but may understand and experience YOU in new and deeper ways as well.

We want to know You.
Lord, teach us to pray.

He has been answering our prayer . . .


Below are some photos of people engaged in the prayer stations last week. It's an amazing thing to feel the love of God and the love of those who invested their time, gifts, talents, heart and soul into preparation of the various stations for this week. It's immediately evident the minute you walk through the door. Click on the photo to see greater detail, and feel free to leave a comment. (Thanks Nancy for the photos)

prayer stations

Here are some photos of the prayer stations that were set up for our 24/7. There are some really awesome projects where people from our church invested a great amount of time, energy and love, like the tree below that has dozens of leaves with items to pray about for our teenagers. Click on the image to see an enlarged version and feel free to leave a comment about the prayer stations or your experiences there. (Thank you Nancy for the photos).

Monday, February 26, 2007

Life Stories: Feeling God's Presence

I came into the building today hurried and distracted, but when I entered the room something was different. The presence of God was so thick and so real--I felt completely enveloped in peace. As I sat there, still.... just absorbing Him, listening to Him, He moved in a beautifully intimate way, and answered one of my deepest heart-cries.

Thank you for being a community of people who is so hungry for the presence of God.

24-hour prayer continues....

Open Door Fellowship is continuing another week of 24-hour prayer (Feb 26-Mar 3). We will remain open 24 hours a day to anyone who would like to come and pray. There are 'Prayer Stations' inside the auditorium which are designed to enlighten, challenge, and draw us to prayer and a deeper understanding of the power and privilege of prayer. There will be worship each night led by artists and worship leaders from throughout the Valley. Come and join us to pray and worship. Stay for an hour, a day or the whole week. It is our hope that in making the sacrifice of prayer we will be drawn to a deeper intimacy with God and experience His power and heart of love for the people of this city, the nation and the world.