How Was Their First Prayer Room?

Part 1 of an interview with Graham Singh, Pastor of Lakeside Downtown in Guelph ON after their first prayer room last spring.

Graham, what was your first experience with a prayer room?

“My first experience with a prayer room was at Focus, which is Holy Trinity Brompton’s (England) week of conference and holiday that they do every year. The idea at HTB was to get everybody away to a kind of festival type of thing. And as church planting spread out one of main reasons people wouldn’t agree to go on church plants is because they’d be missing their friends. So, the idea of Focus was to have a place where everybody came back together for a week every year with fantastic speakers and really to kind of model sometimes where church becomes kind of fringe in the core. This was to kind of model how does a disciple of Christ lives for a week together. So, the idea of prayer being absolutely fundamental there. At HTB there has always been a Tuesday morning dynamic prayer meeting at 7 0’clock in the morning, fantastic prayer meeting, very vibrant, and out of that kind of 24-7 prayer when Pete Greig joined. And even before Pete Greig joined we were kind of getting involved with 24-7 prayer. So at Focus that went from being not just a 7 o’clock in the morning prayer meeting and then you know day of conference worship but  actually a 24-7 prayer room there as part of the conference. 

You’d been at Lakeside Downtown for not that many months and you guys decided to have a 24-7 prayer room over the Easter weekend. What motivated you to do that? Was that because you brought it with you from HTB?

I think that’s the main reason.  I think it’s a kind of rhythm of life that for me has been really important. Not just personal prayer that I struggle with like anybody else but actually corporate prayer. And for me, corporate prayer is what inspires my private prayer. For other people it’s the other way around. Their deep personal prayer life really inspires their corporate prayer. I find that corporate prayer really is something that fires me up and the best form of corporate prayer for me is in the same too that’s in dynamic prayer meetings and prayer rooms. I love seeing the combination of both you know, where sometimes there’s some real everybody together in one place kind of prayer at the same time. And then stretching out into that place of prayer. It’s very much a rhythm and reflex for me to want to do that. I also have been at Lakeside for a little while now and Lakeside comes from what I would best describe as a kind of Willow Creek type of tradition so there’s lots of strengths with that – a very servant hearted church, very good practical teaching on Sundays, very inviting, and we obviously do have a kind of backbone of prayer to the church but I wouldn’t say it’s as obvious as I would like it to be. And I think that the average new person, I’m not sure where they see corporate prayer or rhythm or a discipline of prayer. I don’t know where they see that at Lakeside so a big part of my objective was that we would create a place where God could hear us but also that we could see each other in prayer.

 What was the reaction like here getting people involved doing a prayer room? Was it a completely new idea for most people?

Yeah, it was a fairly new idea for most people I would say. And there were obviously you know, some people who were immediately interested and signed up. I think we did, as many churches do when they’re starting, struggle to get those middle of the night slots filled. We’ve resolved actually in preparation for our next 24-7 prayer week which is going to be in September, we have resolved that the elders and staff are all going to take one difficult spot in that week of prayer just to help get us going that way.

But we found that once people were in the prayer room they said the other thing which I have heard said at many 24-7 prayer settings, which is “the first hour was not enough. It was just wasn’t enough. I only got to just settle myself down.”

They wished that they had two or three more! Now thankfully we didn’t have all the spots filled by the time we started the week so that was good that the spots finally did fill up in the end. 

Check back for part 2 of our interview.

Lakeside Downtown is the venue for a week of prayer running Sunday September 28 to Sunday October 5. What’s been fun is having people from a mix of churches create prayer stations as part of a united citywide week of prayer called SEVEN.

Signups are at http://www.24-7prayer.com/signup/db01e4


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