Saturday, January 31, 2009


From the flame on the altar in the temple, representing the prayers of the saints; to Joshua lingering in the Lord’s Presence in the tent of meeting; to Jesus’ 40 days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness, and His nights spent in prayer; to the 100-year prayer meeting of the Moravians in the 18th century; to the modern day 24/7 prayer movement spreading among youth across the world; and back to the book of Acts, where the early church began in a prayer meeting, God’s people have repeatedly been drawn together for extended times in His Presence, alone and with others. 24/7 prayer sets aside a day, a week, or more, during which individuals and groups commit to a time slot to come to the same, set-aside location to be with the Lord.
We are aware of our need of Him, and so we too are setting aside time to be with Him. This year's week of prayer at Open Door will be March 20th-28th, and the theme is The House of Prayer.

The Real Deal

2007 was when we had our first week of non-stop prayer, although we actually started praying for and planning for it in 2006. A young man in our fellowship, Christopher Sugata, was very instrumental in bringing the passion behind it to our body. He had heard Pete Greig speak in person at a conference and also been deeply touched by his book, Red Moon Rising. Christopher said, “I have read better written books on prayer, but I’ve never read one that touched me so deeply.” We met with the elders and proposed a week of non-stop prayer, and much to our surprise they not only agreed, but suggested that while we were at it, we might as well do it right and use the sanctuary to have it in!

It was an awesome season of preparation and the week of prayer exceeded all our expectations, as God met with us so powerfully and sweetly. His Presence was so tangible, and it was as if He exposed our dryness and need of Him and opened up a spring in our midst, to minister the Living Water to us. At the end of the first week, we felt Him moving us to extend it another week, and He continued to bless and minister to us and touch our hearts. Many of us said “our lives were changed” during that time, as He revealed Himself to us in personal and intimate ways like never before.

If you go all the way back to the very first blog entries on this site, you will see they are from that time, and describe the making of many of the “prayer stations” that were created for that first year’s week(s) of prayer.

Baby Steps to Non-Stop Prayer

Over the years, God had led me to incorporate a number of prayer initiatives into the life of our fellowship, for various times and various reasons. Looking back, although at the time we would have never felt ourselves ready for a week of non-stop prayer, God was actually nonetheless preparing us, little by little, baby step by baby step, for just that.

We encouraged our body to pray for our elders when they went on retreat, and one particularly critical year, I asked our body to sign up for round-the-clock prayer for that two-and-half days that the elders were together. People could pray at their own homes or wherever they were, and the time slots were only 15 minutes long. Our body responded; we prayed; and God worked!

Another time, the elders impressed the body with the need to pray for two critical issues: the purchase of a piece of property for our new church location (we were meeting in a school – and tired of it!), and the recruitment of a new “senior leader”. I asked the body to consider committing to one day of prayer and fasting regarding these issues during that time. Day after day that whole season of several months was filled with people making that commitment.

Over the years, we also had several overnight times of worship and prayer in our church sanctuary. In 2006, we stretched it out a little further, and had a three day special event over Easter weekend, starting on Good Friday with the traditional service, and then an additional service after, followed by a worship time around a bonfire out on our property. The sanctuary was open from then through Sunday am, Easter morning, and people were able to come and go during this time for prayer and meditation, as well as some additional times of worship, followed by a wonderful Easter morning service and baptisms. The theme of the weekend was, “To Be With Him,” and even that name was designed to encourage our body to begin to see prayer as more than just the “saying of prayers” but as being with Jesus.

There were a number of times when I asked God about us doing a longer, even week-long, round-the-clock prayer event; I remember in particular several conversations Ryan Thurman and I had about it; but it never seemed like the right time . . . yet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Everything you wanted to know about 24/7 prayer at Open Door, but were afraid to . . . oh, you get the idea!

Pictured above - Count Zinzendorf
Our week of non-stop prayer for 2009, or “24/7” as we call it, is coming up soon! It has been such an amazing and beautiful time for our body the last two years, and yet there are many at Open Door who have never been, and probably are not really sure what it even is or entails. And, there are probably others of us, who although we have participated, still have some questions. The next few posts will give some background as we move forward towards this years’ week of prayer.

The idea of God’s people praying together, one after another, hour by hour, is nothing new. Here is a link to a brief historical overview – it’s worth taking a quick look at, especially the info on Count Zinzendorf and the Moravians: This link is from the website of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO, where there has been non-stop worship and prayer, yes, NON-STOP, 24/7/365, ever since September 19th, 1999.

Ironically, during the same month that year, God was doing something very similar and yet unique in England, where, as the website tells it, for them, “24-7 prayer started by accident in September 1999, with a bunch of young people in England who got the crazy idea of trying to pray non-stop for a month. God turned up and they couldn't stop til Christmas!” It goes on to say: “From there the prayer meeting has spread into many nations, denominations and age-groups. Hundreds of non-stop prayer meetings now link up here on the web to form a unique chain of prayer. “ The story of this modern day movements’ origins is told in founder Pete Greig’s compelling book, Red Moon Rising. It is well worth reading; also check out the website for a broader view of the global 24/7 movement among youth around the world in our day.

So how did it get to Open Door? Read the next post above . . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thank you Lord for meeting with us!

Thanks to everyone who participated in our day of prayer, and Sacred Space for January. It was a neat time to be with the Lord in the peace of the sanctuary. I loved the quiet, holy, familiar feeling during the late night hours, the stillness and the Presence of the Lord. We also had a wonderful time of live worship Friday night. Thanks to Betty and Lori, both from other valley churches, who signed up for an hour during our day/night of prayer. It was also a sweet time of preparation for our team as we look ahead to our WEEK of 24/7 prayer in March! More info on that coming . . .

Sunday, January 4, 2009


Join us for our new Sunday morning "non-class," 9:45 during second hour in F1.
Each month we will open up a new exchange of ideas, questions, hopes and truths regarding our own journeys of seeking to know God through prayer.

january -- honesty
february -- relationship
march -- community

It's the prayer class for those of us who don't like classes . . . and aren't too sure about prayer either.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

24-hour Prayer this week at Open Door

24 hours of non-stop prayer at the start of the new year – at Open Door Fellowship -- Thursday, Jan. 8th, 7 pm, through Friday, Jan. 9th at 7pm.

Please join us as we begin the year by coming to the Lord on behalf of our own lives and loved ones, our churches, cities, state, nation and world. By His grace, He is revealing our need of Him, and the only response is to come into His Presence, call on Him and rest in His love and power.

This is also part of AZPray’s 24/7 prayer initiative again this year throughout the state of Arizona. They are desiring to start 2009's year of prayer by having a different church from a different area in AZ take one day each of the first full week of the year, January 2nd through January 9th. Open Door has been asked to take one of the 24-hour slots, representing Phoenix.

We will be hosting non-stop prayer for 24 hours, from Thursday night, Jan. 8th at 7pm, until the next night, Friday, Jan. 9th at 7pm, at Open Door Fellowship.

Please sign up for an hour time slot to come to ODF and pray by commenting below. This is such a wonderful opportunity for our own fellowship to be in prayer, and also to welcome and partner with others from around our city as well by opening our doors to this 24-hours of prayer.

ALSO: Overlapping the end of our 24 hours of prayer will be the start of our January Sacred Space, which will be Friday the 9th from 6pm to 10pm. Our theme will be JESUS - THE SAME, yesterday, today and forever! Join us for a contemplative atmosphere of soft lighting, simple prayer stations, and live worship, where you can come and go as you please for a time of personal worship, prayer and interaction with the Lord.