Over the course of this outreach, most of our team has read Pete Greig’s book, Red Moon Rising, which documents the birth and supernatural spread of the 24/7 prayer movement around the world. In the book, he includes a poem that he wrote on a prayer room wall in Chichester, thinking never to see it again until a friend from Canada emailed it to him with the tag that it would be just up his alley. You can find the rather intense video form of The Vision here. As part of that vision, he wrote about what others have called the new breed, saying that “With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days,/
they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.”
While our days have not exactly been fruitless, we have definitely been living up to a small measure of that vision. This past week in Cambridge, we have been part of a 24/7 prayer initiative that takes place once per term (there are three terms and this one happens to be the one for testing). For this week, the focus has been on redigging the seven wells of mercy, mission, justice, wisdom, creativity, the Bible, and prayer. Our group gladly took the Nightwatch shifts, covering a variety of hours from midnight until six in the morning every day with prayer through the night. It has been a good time, but tough. After six nights of doing this, we’re all feeling the drain, but we wouldn’t really have had it any other way. Every day evangelizing or ministering in some fashion, every night spending time in the quiet hours of the night with God, and yeah, we could all use a full night of sleep, but as Derrik said last night, there’s an exhilarating sense of actually needing every second of rest that we get. It’s what my high school headmaster, Mr. Cote, called living purposefully, when everything we do including our rest is toward a greater end of glorifying God.
Just to give a window into what that has looked like for our days, yesterday we were doing a Christian heritage walk around Cambridge on the theme of mercy. Toward the end of our tour, we happened to run into some individuals who are always hanging around Great St. Mary’s and King’s College advertising punting on the River Cam. One of them was quite friendly and outgoing, eventually asking us what we were doing here if not studying or being tourists. We ended up having a half hour long conversation with him about experiencing God (and a lot of tangents that were ultimately not very useful).
When I was at IMPACT 360, I had quite a few classmates who lived by the maxim that they would sleep when they were dead (and, by inference, not before then). While I become an ogre without an appropriate amount of sleep, I have come to appreciate the realization that there are many things in this world that are worthy of the sacrifice, be it pushing dinner back a little while longer, standing out in the blazing hot sun for just a few more minutes, or pressing into an awkward conversation to see the territory of breakthrough beyond the moment. And so, even as we hit the home stretch with a mere 14 days left in England, we do not slow our pace but set our sights beyond the finish line and run all the harder because we’re not done yet and won’t be for many, many years beyond the ending of this short, blink-and-you-miss-it outreach.