The Prayer Watch of the Jesus Fellowship
Churches need to pray. There's a spiritual battle going on between the forces of light and the powers of darkness. Christians are front-line soldiers in the battle!
Praying must be "within the vision". When apostolic and prophetic leaders of the church confirm the Holy Spirit's direction for advance, then the prayer 'warriors' unite with the vision, hold it on their hearts and join with the other ministries in "taking the ground" [Eph 6:18]
There must be some structure for prayer to make sure the battle is fought thoroughly. The Moravians, for instance, were a church movement which started in the 18th century. They had a prayer chain which started in a time of revival. A series of volunteers prayed by turns each hour round the clock non-stop -- and it kept going for about 100 years! No wonder they were very effective at spreading the gospel at that time.
Invitation to prayer
In the Jesus Fellowship the Prayer Watch is a vital weapon in "winning the war". Jesus said, "Watch and pray". [Matt 26:41] When His disciples slept in the garden of Gethsemane, He asked, "Could you not watch one hour?" [Mark 14:37] We invite volunteers to pick any hour in the week (night or day!) to pray for the church and its work.
New people starting out might take a half hour spot at first, while more experienced prayer warriors sometimes cover more than one hour! Our aim is to cover all the 168 hours in the week with two or three people praying. One part of our praying is to "shadow" our leaders. They appreciate constant prayer support. We have about 350 people on the Prayer Watch.
"Give Him no rest"
This is part of what the Bible says about prayer:
- "Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith." [Matt 21:22]
- "You who put the Lord in remembrance, take no rest, and give him no rest, until he establishes Jerusalem [the church] and makes it a praise in the earth." [Is 62:6,7] "Disciples ... ought always to pray and not to faint [give up]." [Luke 18:1]
- "Continue steadfastly in prayer." [Col 4:2]
- "Prayer is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings," wrote John Chrysostom, one of the early Church Fathers. "God does nothing but in answer to prayer," said John Wesley.
We need to fight against spiritual attacks -- sickness, discouragement, backsliding, difficulties in administration, new friends' problems and so on. We must intercede for street evangelism, breaking Satanic strongholds and claiming towns and cities.
The Prayer Watch is called on to fight back. Phone messages are rung round the church houses when there's an emergency. One example of this was when there was a big fire at our farm with the wind blowing it towards the houses. We prayed all round the church and the wind changed.
Just one week
The Jesus Fellowship is pressing forward, evangelising new areas and making disciples who will follow Jesus fully. In one week recently the Prayer Watch covered marquee site arrangements, the special weekend festival, London street evangelism and contacts, overseas members, our church businesses, members and new friends in prisons, people preparing to get baptised and join the church, finding new church houses, the team visiting West African churches and much more!
Hundreds of answers to prayer
Does it work? Yes! We've recorded hundreds of answers since the Prayer Watch started in 1982. Here are some recent ones sent in by Watchers:
Successful kidney operation; found staff for businesses; literature fruitful; campaign problems overcome; insomnia healed; received the gift of tears; heavy drinking stopped; youth with leukaemia improving; 13 week premature baby doing well; woman freed from cancer; victories at Christian event; friend with AIDS finds Jesus and some healing; woman liberated from witchcraft; African team met right people; three new church households; many young men find new life in Jesus.
Calling fire from heaven
There is a call sounding in the UK and Europe today. The call to a life of fellowship with God, in worship, intercession, confession of the church's sin with a heart that cannot rest until revival comes. This kind of praying will keep the powers of darkness bound and call fire from heaven.
Jesus said, "Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it". [John 14:13]
"Ask, and it will be given you." [Luke 11:9] He's doing it! He's bringing the fire! He's building His church!