Friday 13 March 2009

Thin Places and 24/7 Prayer

My friend John Stevens, a biology teacher did a one week fast openly and all blogged up here:

But at the bottom of his blog he expalins the double meaning behind thin places.

During the summer I read a number of books doing the rounds such as Blue Like Jazz (which I enjoyed immensely) and The Irresistable Revolution (which I admired). T.I.R. attempts to recapture the radical monastery life of centuries ago and re-package its call and relevance for us in the 21st Century. It tells us the Celts located their monasteries in places were the presence of God seemed unusually real. And that communities grew around these sites. What a refreshing modus operandi that could be for current town planners to consider!The Celtish Christians called these 'thin places' where the normal divide between earth and heaven seemed to grow thin.

So just about the time that us charismatics/pentecostals/Norman Grubb readers satisfy ourselves that God is to be experienced everywhere...and is the same everywhere...just then we read in Acts that people are healed by the shadows of apostles as they walk handkerchiefs anointed with oil....then certain places as I describe below on John Stevens blog

Oh and.....regarding thin places...they really exist. A client who is not overly spiritual says that he knows when he is near a closed order monastry on the way to Henfield Sussex, because the whole area feels different.Dunno about that. it's not my patch. but even I experienced this a bit at last year's RiverCamp see 2009 It is on some land that has been used continuously for prayer....including as a Christian healing centre for decades...and it's that much easier to hold Christian events here!!!!

Then as if that is not enough, Theresa in Havant Church goes into Sacre Coeur at Place du Montmartre, Paris and is overwhelmed by the sense of prayer in that place. Nuns have been offering up prayers continually here since well over a hundred years ago.

Grace people in general don't talk much about discipline. This word covers a lot of things. But here it refers to a repeated activity. Self-control is a Holy Spirit fruit...and you need a bit of that when undertaking anything in a continued and persistent fashion. The idea of crafted prayer...or a prayer like the prayer of a prayer that is formulated hopefully in the Presence of God, then prayed consistantly until a change occurs. Actually The Lord's Prayer is such a prayer. These type of prayers , because they originate in God, actually themselves, unfold like a snail shell, and are packed with meditation power....unfolding and unfolding.

All this to say that the Moravians who had a 100 year prayer meeting were the inspiration for a movement originating here in Chichester called Prayer 24/7.

Over this weekend Havant church are setting aside a room for 24/7 round the clock prayer from tonight until Tuesday. As I was struggling with a seized up lock on a piano...I was hit by another example. A lock that is repeatedly used locks easily and smoothly. If people regularly walk across a strip of grass, a pathline emerges. So I guess in the Spirit, that is the secret behind an Open heaven being over certain places...or being experienced in any of our houses....wherever Kingdom activities are being conducted...wherever heaven is being accessed.

Pray for us....that we do access heaven...and may it have effects for you.


Leonard said...

I enjoyed blue like jazz a while back myself.
Best to family

Anonymous said...

So how was the 24/7 prayer time? Our church is going to be doing something similar next week. I read through Helen's message just now and loved it. (I know that you were hoping for comments earlier, not sure if I should add comments down with the actual post or not). I laughed when she said that she had quite frank conversations with God (talking about Brother Laurence), because I too, and it's so funny how God responds, he can be pretty frank back! I found her section on discipline pretty helpful. I don't think that I realized it until I read it but I have been focusing on ariving somewhere (an encounter) as opposed to what she described as a way of living in God's glory. Yeah, that whole part was great, and I could really relate to it. The Russian doll image was really cool too. Do you think it's a little over simplified though? In John 14:10 Jesus says that he's in the father and the father is in him. The russian dolls are much easier for me to get my head around, that's for sure.
Going farther back...... when Peter Stott talked about decrees (Ester section) really peeked my interst. It reminds me of chapter 2 of "yes, I am" where Norman Grubb talks about Jesus decreeing "let there be light". I had this experience last fall.... I had had a very terrible two weeks, facing things that I had seen no victory in for many many years. We were singing this older song at church "let there be joy, let there be peace, let there be power, let there be praise,etc..." hopefully you know it. By the end of the song I felt such faith that I prayed out something to the effect "as the son of God said let there be light and there was, I say let there be joy and peace, and power and praise, and I know there will be". The next evening there was a breakthrough, as clear as night and day. It was amazing, I was at the end of my rope, had no idea what to do to fix things, it was such a roadblock, and then it was gone.... just gone. That may be an example on a much smaller scale of what he was talking about. Anyway, I think it's something that God would like to teach me more about. And the nice think is that John Stott said that authority comes from a place of intimacy with God, yeah, sounds good to me.

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Shawna,that's a great testimony...I'll probably feed it back to Helen too.

A similar thing occurred to me when I was at university to do with glandular fever.Trouble with this fever stuff is it keeps recurring and you get flashbacks even once the fever is over. In fact you are not really encouraged to give blood, because it is still kind of dormant in your system. Well, one day, my friend and I really got angry with its debilitating ongoing effects...and from that day to this I never had it again. But this was like a declaration that rose up in our spirits...and we both agreed on it.