BC Church Prays in the Upper Room
As I write this we are in the middle of our Fellowship Pacific Convention in Maple Ridge. As happens at every Convention, pastors compare notes and ask how ministry is at each other’s church. I can’t contain the joy that I have experienced over the two and half years that I have been pastoring at Richmond Baptist Church (RBC). I’m especially excited over what God has done through the 24-7 Prayer week. I don’t think there has been a more satisfying and impactful ministry experience in all my years of ministry.
Actually, I was sharing the experience with someone at the convention, and he asked me if I would talk to his pastor about the experience. He ran into the sanctuary where the meeting was taking place, pulled his pastor out, and asked me to retell our story. The pastor then pulled out his iPhone and asked me to tell it again while videoing me so that he could show his congregation. I felt a little self-conscious, but I did it anyway in the hopes that the prayer movement would spread.
I could go on and on. I think I will.
I saw God work in the hearts of people who apprehensively walked into the Upper Room for the first time not knowing what to expect. Most of those who participated confessed that, previously, they’d had a hard time praying for ten or fifteen minutes let alone a whole hour. They had no idea how in the world they could pray for that long.
Justin (our youth and young adults’ pastor) and I slept at the church. We set up mats in our offices and took turns sleeping. Actually, Justin graciously let me go home a couple nights to get a good sleep, especially Saturday so that I would be refreshed for Sunday. He was an amazing ministry partner.
We set up a special prayer room in our facilities that we dubbed the “Upper Room.” My favourite part of the week was escorting the prayer partners to the Upper Room, praying for them, and then meeting them when they were finished. They walked in, perhaps a little fearful, and they came out almost glowing with the glory of Christ. We prayed with most of the pray-ers upon their entering the room. We asked God’s Spirit to descend upon them. We asked that they would experience his peace and his presence. We asked that their hearts would be open to whatever God had in mind for them.
After the hour was up, we would escort the new prayer partner up to the Upper Room. I was always so eager to talk with the pray-ers who had just finished their hour and were coming out of the Upper Room. I wanted to ask them if God had met them in any special way. The first thing that they said was always, “Wow! That went so fast. I could have had another hour.” And then many of them went down to the signup sheets to see if there was more time available. Several people sort of collapsed in my arms weeping, not able to say a word. Almost all said that they were met by God and that it was by far the most special time of prayer that they had ever experienced.
I believe with all my heart that God’s Spirit is moving through our congregation. He is calling us to a deeper relationship with him. He is calling us to put aside those things that distract us from him so that our hearts will be aligned with his heart. As we do this, we will see God use us in ways that we could never even dream of.
He is going to open doors for the gospel that we thought were slammed tight. He will restore relationships. He will bring families back together. We will see answers to prayer that will display the glory of the risen Christ in the life of his church. The name of Jesus will be made famous in Richmond, BC, and beyond as we humbly submit to his Spirit in our lives. Joy will return to those who have experienced loss. Hope will be restored to many who feel that they have lost their way.
I am eagerly waiting for what God is going to do next. Let’s expect God to do a work in our hearts and in his church.