|Prayer warriors in action|
Guardian Lifestyles Reporter
Published: Jul 05, 2012
In the wee hours of the morning when most people are still asleep, the most dedicated warriors are already up and about preparing for the spiritual warfare of the day. They are people known as prayer warriors. When they get down on their knees and praise the Lord, the devil shudders. When they open the Bible and speak the Word, evil falls back in their wake. It is with this in mind that Golden Gates Outreach Ministries opened its recent 4 a.m. Wednesday prayer meeting.
Prayer meeting allows church members or anyone who wants to get something off their chest to come out and just pray in an intimate and personal way. It allows them to speak blessing over others who have lost their way.
Prior to attending a spiritual encounter like this, most people would think being a Christian is all about Sunday worship and Sunday School, but the Pentecostal church wanted to prove the typical Christian wrong by engaging their members and the public in a different experience.
“Midweek services and meetings are nothing new to most churches but we wanted to do something a bit different,” said Bishop Ros Davis, senior pastor at the church on Carmichael Road.
“I feel that ensuring people get a dose of the Word more than once a week is key in deepening spiritual growth and happiness. And while some churches remedy this by having formal midweek services we chose to focus on a much-neglected aspect of the Christian life in their midweek meeting — prayer,” he said.
I was taken on a personal journey of my own needs, spirituality, downfalls and blessings when I visited the service recently — before the rooster had even crowed. The first hour was devoted to personal prayer and reflection. Whether people chose to pray alone and confess all in a private moment of spiritual conversation or they wished to take the time to speak to and pray with the minister all was welcomed.
It was not the typical Sunday service with its formality. It was about having time to worship in a private and intimate way and for people to speak to a spiritual leader about what is on their heart for their life and the nation.
After a personal encounter with God, a half hour was then dedicated to reading and studying, which brings into focus why prayer is so essential. It also increases a believer’s biblical knowledge as well. There was nothing more peaceful and enlightening than reading the Word and getting the personal advice of a spiritual leader to get the day started off right.
The prayer meeting ended at approximately 6 a.m. with a circle of prayer. Everyone that attended connected their hands and sent out prayers for those in need and for the social ills that plague the nation.
“It’s not formal or anything to make people feel they have to be a certain way,” said Pastor Alan Strachan. “The meeting is one where members of the church or those who just need to get things off their chest come out to and just pray.”
He said it is done because there is a need for people to get back into praying and worshipping in this intimate and personal way and at the same time, speak blessings over people who have lost their way.”
The people that participate in morning prayer at the church ensure that their hearts are right, their minds focused on positivity and that their spirits are equipped to take up the armor of God. The order of the day for them is to make it their duty to pray on behalf of others. Speaking into existence the healing and redeeming presence of God into the situations that trouble the nation, the family and individual believers at large motivates the prayer warriors at the church.
A need to be in God’s presence
“There is something serious happening in our land and it’s about time that we as a people get together and really start praying for our nation,” said 72-year-old Alfreda Fernander, an early morning prayer warrior.
“People may not know it, but these early morning meetings are lifesavers. It is what I feel stops this nation from falling completely apart. I personally come because prayer and devotion are a part of my life. And I need to be in God’s presence as soon as I arise. Being able to do this with other people some mornings is a wonderful blessing because the more who are gathered have even greater power to pull down the strongholds of the enemy and pray our people through these hard times,” she said.
Although the meetings occur hours before most people have even started their daily routine, the prayer warrior said she doesn’t mind the pre-dawn experience as she said it is best for spiritual reconnection. The tranquility of the morning she said made the perfect atmosphere for talking to God and hearing Him clearly without distractions in the way. And on those days when she can’t make it out to the church prayer meeting she said she still arises early to greet the morning and put on the armor of Christ.
Shirley Barr, 65, is not a member of Golden Gates World Outreach Ministries, but she still attends the morning prayer meetings. The Baptist church member said prayer for her is like sharpening her sword, and she makes it a point not to miss a day or moment to strengthen her walk in Christ. Prayer may be a personal quest for many people but she believes that people who pray should do it for others as well.
“There are so many people who need prayers, so coming out here to pray is just as much for me as it is for them. I pray for forgiveness and strength, but also for God to bless the young people and those I know so they can also do better. We have to care for our neighbors and others in our mind and cover them in our prayers. We can save people through this because although the person may not know or care about God themselves they are still covered in His protection because you keep praying for them.”
Young people should care about their salvation
It is Barr’s hope that more young people would participate in the prayer meetings so that they learn how to pray and praise God the right way. She said older people care about the spiritual well-being of the young now but that it is time for the young people to start caring about their own salvation and wanting to be in God’s presence.
Although the meeting is in the wee hours of the morning, she said spending time fellowshipping with like-minded people and talking with the Lord in an intimate and calm manner is a good habit to have.
Pastor Strachan has led the prayer meeting for 10 of the 20 years. In the beginning the prayer meetings were for his own sake but with the problems occurring around the country, he said using his strength in prayer to intercede for those in need came in handy.
“This nation needs healing and it can only come through prayer. It is the root of our faith and reconnects us with God which is why we all should aim to do it everyday,” said Pastor Strachan. “For many of our people that faith and connection with God is lacking. We are facing so many problems and we need to continually get God’s blessings to get us through what we are going through. Prayer is an essential ingredient to getting this nation back on track. It is a core problem-solver and we need to be doing more meetings like these formally and informally.”
And even if only one or two people show up for the meeting, the marathon of prayers still goes on. The meetings, which used to only be for one hour from 5 a.m. until 6 a.m., have now extended due to the intensity of the need for prayers and spiritual intervention in the nation. Prayer meetings at the church also occur on Fridays at 10 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m.