24/7 prayer: A banner of love
24/7 prayer banners travel the Western Territory.
by Carl Darby –
In connection with the Western Territory’s 24/7 Prayer initiative, banners adorned Salvation Army corps across the territory. To illustrate the prayer emphasis, from September 2007 through January 2008, 24/7 prayer banners, in both English and Spanish, traveled to 21 locations throughout the territory. Here are reports from various corps on the effectiveness of 24/7 Prayer.
Compton, Calif./Mesa, Ariz.: “We partnered with the Mesa Corps to ensure that we were able to fill most of the slots. Our entire corps got involved with the effort, and we felt that it was a good experience for everyone,” said Compton Corps officer Captain Tory Ross. “It has inspired us to continue to involve the corps in praying for our community and individual needs and concerns. Another all night prayer emphasis is scheduled for March 7. Sometimes it’s hard to see the tangible results of prayer, but I know that God is working in the lives of the people here.”
Klawock, Alaska: Because the corps is in a small community on an Alaskan island, Corps Officers Captains Ronnie and Debbie Davis made 24/7 Prayer a community event. They met with the island’s ministerial fellowship, and members helped spread prayer week information and resources. Each of the participating churches set up a prayer room. “We prayed for our families, neighbors and friends, churches, communities, schools, and whatever was on our heart,” Captain Ronnie Davis said. “Our biggest prayer was that we would see God moving in our lives. The week was such a success that several people asked if we can do it again.”
Pendleton, Ore.: Captain Martha Sheppard indicated that she couldn’t wait to get back for another two-hour prayer shift, emerging invigorated and changed. “We have started praying at 8:12 each morning. We go around our block and pray at all four corners, remembering the prayer requests that were given on Sunday or other needs that come to mind. We pray for The Salvation Army and its leadership. This set time has enriched our corps programmingand has become one of the foundations that we rely on for spiritual strength,” she said. “I also need to remember that it’s the availability of God that is 24/7, not the physical presence of a person in a specific room.”
THQ, Long Beach, Calif.: The chapel set up for 24/7 contained a variety of prayer focus opportunities but the one most meaningful to Major Ralph E. Hood Jr., territorial secretary for personnel, was a draped fish net with baskets full of paper fish. Instructions were to pray for an individual or group whom the Lord laid on your heart and to write their name on one of the fish. The major wrote the name of a high school friend, Vince, on a fish, hung it on the net and prayed for him. Ralph and Vince had not been in contact for over 30 years, but when Ralph returned to his office, there was a voicemail from Vince!
Vince had found Ralph through one of his sisters. After experiencing several difficult years, Vince knew Ralph had become a pastor and would have a receptive ear and gentle heart. Ralph put Vince in contact with the local Salvation Army; he attended the service on Sunday and accepted Christ at the altar that day.
The banners will now travel to another 12 locations throughout the territory including the Western Bible Conference. As they travel, may they be a banner of love for us all. Visit the territorial website www.24-7uswsaprayer.org to read more prayer testimonials, learn about the initiative, and see where the prayer banners are headed next. Pray for the corps, community, families, and corps leaders.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should” (Colossians 4:2-4).