In 2 Chronicles 16:9, we read that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” (ESV). Several years ago, I read this verse and thought, what if we could be THAT people? What if, when God’s eyes come across us (my local congregation, Grabill Missionary Church), he would strengthen us and support us? What developed out of that simple thought during a morning devotion became the template for the prayer ministry I believed we at GMC had been called to initiate. On my first Sunday at Grabill, I asked anyone who believed prayer was the most important ministry of our church to meet me after the service. About a dozen people met with me and quickly formed the base of our Prayer Team.
We then set aside a space adjacent to our worship venues that would be a place where anyone could go before, during, or after any service or event. We asked that this prayer room be staffed with people who prayed specifically for the services and the people in them and that volunteers would also be available to pray with and for people who visited the room. This ministry has expanded to include a rotation of individuals, small groups, and teams of people who consider it an honorable calling to intercede in these moments.
Soon, we began to realize the need to call, equip, and send more people into the ministry of prayer. I reflected on a prayer ministry that some of my family and friends had experienced at their church in Birmingham, Alabama, called 21 Days of Prayer and decided to implement it at Grabill. We set aside 21 straight days to gather as a church and pray. We built prayer guides that taught various ways to pray, devotions on prayer, and specific templates to pray. Everything from church, family, friends, work, community, nation, you name it, we covered it in prayer. We met at 6:15 a.m. each morning on Monday-Saturday and assembled at our regular Sunday service times with specific emphasis on prayer on those three Sundays. People asked, “Do you think people will come to church at 6:15 a.m. to pray?” The answer was a resounding, “Yes!” Literally hundreds of people gathered each morning both at our campus and online to sing, learn, and pray!
So many stories have emerged from these last two years of 21 Days — too many to write in this space. I will, however, share this: hundreds of people have begun to see God’s power through his promises as they have sought to be the people found by God in the Scripture mentioned above. Do you believe that God is still looking for people to strengthen and support? If you do, let’s get serious about praying!
Dr. Christian Nichles
Grabill Missionary Church