A Snowy November Night in Saskatchewan by James Simpson

The snow had begun to fall and it seemed that it would not stop. I shoveled the sidewalk in aniticipation of what Jesus was going to do in the next 24 hours. The worship/praise concert was about to start and there was a feeling of exhilaration.

The night before the youth had put the finishing touches on the prayer room, and everything was ready — the paper on the walls, the Inner Sanctuary, the Canada wall, the Persecution wall, the Wailing wall, the Clothesline which would soon be filled with art hanging from it, the Christmas lights/lava lamps, and the Cross with a crown of thorns representing how Christ has suffered for each of us. The youth had began to scribble on the walls and it was now the time to pray.

The praise and worship gathering went well and I wondered what would take place. The people would come and Jesus would meet them and He would do something in their lives. Many had never been to a prayer room before. They had no clue what to expect and when they entered they truly felt the presence of Jesus. Some sat on the couch next to the prayer bowl, some spent time praying for Canada, some went to the persecution wall and just stood transfixed at how many people had been imprisoned/arrested for their faith. Many came to the Cross where some stood, some kneeled and some fell down and worshipped.

As others went into the prayer room the Holy Spirit was already working and they began to see, write, create and pray expressions from what Jesus was doing in their lives. In the silence many could echo the words of the shepherd king’s son (Solomon),

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.

Do not be quick with your mouth,

do not be hasty in your heart

to utter anything before God.

God is in heaven

and you are on earth,

Ecclesiastes 5:1,2 (NIV)

Sometimes when we pray there in the silence there is a pause that Jesus speaks into so that we can hear Him and have the Spirit move within us. Prayer can be loud, it can be a whisper, but it can also be silent and there were many who just did not know what to say because there were no words. They were captivated by His Presence.

There were many things on the walls but whatever was written deeply touched me. There were scribbles about loved ones, friends needing help and new poems that came into being as the Holy Spirit moved.

One quote in a black marker went like this – “Jesus help me with my cutting…” It was a cry to the One who could put an end to the pain and agony they were feeling and that they needed to know that Jesus could put the broken pieces of their life together once more. Sometimes creating a space even for a moment brings out the pain inside. We prayed for 24 hours and during those 24 hours many lives were touched.

I remember two scenes in the prayer room. There was an older lady who came to the room and ended up at the Cross. We had pillows at the Cross and she was kneeling, bent over and hands clasped in front. She was spending time with Jesus; the fervency of her prayer made me think of how Hannah prayed. The quietness of the scene deeply affected me and I sensed this was a holy moment as she prayed to the Messiah. I was moved that someone in their twilight years was worshipping with a quietness, a stillness that permeated the room.

In the inner sanctuary where youth were praying to Jesus, we had a tent of the meeting.

Jim


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