Have you heard of the "24/7" prayer and fasting movement? It began in September 1999 when God challenged the young people of the Revelation Fellowship in Chichester, England, to commit to a month of continual prayer. Soon, a month became three months, and people throughout the Church were lining up to fill the sign-up sheet for hours of prayer.
Many who prayed and fasted experienced personal renewal; others found faith for the first time. Revelation Fellowship shared their experience, and before they knew it, 24/7 had become an international network of perpetual prayer.
Today, nearly seven years after it began, the 24/7 nonstop prayer meeting is still going on across many nations and Christian traditions. Participating groups pledge to pray 24 hours a day in a fixed location for anywhere between a week and a month. The prayer meeting flows between locations linked by the World Wide Web.
One church that's now part of 24/7 is The Salvation Army. The United Kingdom Mission Team launched a year of prayer in the Army's UK Territory at the Roots conference in May 2001.
During that first year (May 4, 2001–May 3, 2002) more than 200 churches and Salvation Army centers from the UK Territory signed up to pray. Other Salvation Army churches (corps) from throughout the world joined too.
All About 24/7
The big dream behind 24/7, say its organizers, is to "turn the tide in youth culture." The Body of Christ in the West is shrinking; particularly, it is losing its young people. Organizers say the 24/7 model has proved unusually successful at mobilizing people—including the young—to pray at a "new level." The 24/7 idea seems to capture people's imaginations. When people pray 24/7 in their churches, they are part of a larger movement, but many also link their efforts to community mission and evangelism.
The Salvation Army's "wing" of 24/7 is moving "across the pond" to the United States. The Army's USA Eastern Territory, which covers 11 Northeast states and Puerto Rico, has commmitted to pray 24/7 from Friday, June 9, 2006, to Friday, June 8, 2007.
How can we participate?
If the people in your corps want to join the 24/7 prayer USA East effort, visit www.armyonitsknees.org or www.24/7sa.org.use to sign up. If you are part of another Salvation Army territory or another church denomination, you can join 24/7 too. To set up your own 24/7 year of prayer, contact: www.24-7prayer. Be a history maker!
Major Janet Munn is director of prayer and spiritual formation in the Salvation Army's USA Eastern Territory.