10 Years of 24/7 prayer awakening!

Since the beginning of 1990, the establishment of day-and-night prayer altars seems to have shifted gears world-wide. This movement, inspired by God, is spreading over the world at an ever increasing pace. By the middle of the 1990’s, there were only a few dozen active 24-hour prayer watches we knew about in the world. Within less than ten years, this number has grown to a few thousand. And still there is no sign that this movement are slowing down, with many prayer watches added almost daily.

A renewed vision of 24/7 prayer came to South Africa during the year 2000. We saw small beginnings in a few places where people started to gather in purposefully building 24/7 prayer altars. At the beginning of 2004, we knew about only 20 such places across the nation. Then suddenly in the middle of the year the National 7 Days Initiative of night and day prayer came, involving different cities and towns across the nation each taking a week during the last six months of the year. During this time the youth 24/7 took off in Boiler rooms all over the country, although most of these were filled with people of all age groups. At the same time a strong movement of 24/7 prayer chains started in Townships all over the country, especially in the Gauteng Province. The exponential growth of this 24/7 awakening resulted in an explotion of prayer watches being established from 20 at the beginning of 2004 to more than 7,000 in 2010. Most of these are local churches becoming Houses of Prayer according to Isaiah 56:7. The aim of these 24-hour prayer watches is to place watchmen on the walls: to mobilise churches, regions and nations to approach God in praise, worship and intercession, day and night.

Churches, towns, cities, countries and continents are learning to stand before God’s throne 24 hours a day to praise and worship Him, and to plead for the nations. Intercessors pray for revival in the church and for world evangelism, as well as for the transformation and healing of cities and nations. In this way the Great Commandment and the Great Commission are fulfilled. God seems to be fast-forwarding 24/7-prayer in most nations of the world!

A small room with a big vision!

Global Prayer Watch, a 24/7 prayer initiative of Jericho Walls International Prayer Network, was launched on 1 September 2000 as such place of prayer in Cape Town, South Africa. In the first 6 months of its existence Christians from different churches in Cape Town gathered for prayer in the prayer chapel, contributing to an average of 12 hours of prayer daily. In February 2001 the “Harp & Bowl” concept of intercessory worship was introduced, inspired by the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. Throughout that year, teams from more than 50 local churches attended workshops which introduced them to this concept of day-and-night prayer and worship.

During March 2001, 200 local congregations in and around the city of Cape Town joined forces in a day-and-night prayer initiative of 21 days for the city. This event was part of a national prayer initiative called “Day & Night 21” and preceded the first “Transformations Day of Prayer” on March 21st, 2001, when 45 000 Christians gathered in the Newlands Rugby Stadium to pray for the city.

September 2002 marked the birth of the first Watchman’s School of Prayer and Worship, bringing together and training 120 musicians, singers and intercessors from different places in South Africa to experience “Harp & Bowl” intercessory worship. This has since become an annual event focussing on developing a deeper lifestyle of prayer, as well as establishing 24/7 prayer watches all over the world, specifically in Africa and the Middle East.

Young adults arrive with new fire for the night watch!

In the beginning of 2004 the added dimension of full-time prayer missionaries were introduced with the Face-2-Face Internship for young adults. These were a number of young people giving there lives for one year of training in a 24/7 lifestyle of daily ministry before God and unto people.

By February 2006 we found much grace in “closing the gaps” and so every hour of the day were being filled with at least one person on duty in the prayer room. (Ezek 22:30) This grace for prayer continued up till today with people from different churches and cultures engaging in daily “Harp & Bowl” sessions, as well as doing Word Watches (reading and declaring the Scriptures).

As we continue to pray and stand before God 24/7 we are expecting His promises in Luke 18:7 & Isaiah 62:6-7 to come to pass and His kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven (Rev 5:8).

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