Be Part of Our Thy Kingdom Come Zoom Prayer Room
There is something powerful about people joining together in a relay of continuous prayer, according to Rev’d James Grier, the Diocese of Exeter’s Mission Enabler.
He is keen for as many church groups and individuals as possible to sign-up for a one-hour slot in the diocese Zoom Prayer Room, starting on Ascension Day (Thursday May 13) and finishing on Pentecost Sunday on May 23.
The prayer room is part of Thy Kingdom Come, the 10-day global wave of prayer, started by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and now in its 7th year.
James said, “The commitment of joining others in praying over a sustained period can be the catalyst to get us praying. We become part of something bigger. We unite with others as we turn to God.
“More significantly we know that those prayers will have an effect in the world.”
The concept for the online prayer room, which also ran last year, is simple: people sign-up for a slot at a time which suits them. They get sent the Zoom invitation and log-on about five minutes before their hour starts, the host of the preceding hour welcomes them and makes them the Zoom host as a way of passing on the baton, before leaving themselves.
People are free to pray however they choose, silently, out loud or in other creative ways, for people they know to come to know God.
There are around 100 hour-long slots in the prayer room still to fill.
Some people have chosen to book the same time every morning, other church groups have chosen lunchtime or late-night slots.
James said, “Most of us believe that prayer changes things. We know ought to pray. We may even want to pray. But so often we struggle actually to pray.
“Without prayer we act in our own strength without seeking after God and his intervention. The early disciples were told by the risen Christ to do nothing until they had been empowered by him.”
Growing in prayer is the first of the Diocese of Exeter’s three vision priorities. The Bishop of Exeter, the Right Reverend Robert Atwell, said “Worship and prayer are not optional extras: they are foundational. These things are not life-enhancing activities: they are life-transforming.”
James tells a story which was the inspiration for the 24/7 prayer movement: “Count Zinzendorf of Saxony had a dream of creating a religious community on his estate.
“By 1727, 300 refugees had gathered there to escape religious persecution, but it was a divided community full of disagreements and problems.
“On August 27 of that year twenty-four men and twenty-four women committed to spend one hour each day in scheduled prayer.
“Slowly others joined them, and they kept going for 100 years. In that time 300 missionaries were sent out by that community.”