Several months ago I was asked to write a short article about my somewhat extraordinary experience with 24/7 Prayer. It was never published, so here you go…
Summer 2001. Youth With a Mission, Ensenada, Mexico: It was the first night of a youth group mission trip. A British guy came on stage and shared ‘The Vision’. He said it came out of London, but no one really knew much about it. The words on that crumpled up piece of paper with the MSN logo at the top seared my brain and my heart. They changed my life. They made my palms sweat and my eyes water. At that moment I wanted to leap from my chair and sing, and shout… and yell… and get a tattoo. From that moment on I was different.
Fast forward a twelve years and I’ve just moved to London from California. I don’t know very many people but I’m determined to build a life in the city I’ve been drawn to my whole life. Happenstance and a Google glitch brought me to the youth service at HTB my second week in London. I stood awkwardly on my own waiting for the service to start when Bill Cahusac spotted me and made me feel welcome. Later that week the Cahusac family invited me over for supper where I regaled them with my life story. When I got to the part about ‘The Vision’ Bill stopped me— “You know my boss, Pete Grieg, wrote that?”
And suddenly the last twelve years make sense. The twelve years of trials and disappointments. The twelve years it took me to achieve my dream of moving to London. God was there all along. God’s plan was in motion.
I did not choose 24-7 Prayer, God chose it for me. Spending an hour in a room praying sounds intimidating, but from the first time I walked into the prayer hut in July, I wanted to hunker down and stay forever. Though we can pray from anywhere, to walk into this space is to walk where fellow soldiers of the faith, fighters of the good fight, feeble criers of desperation and earnest seekers of Truth have walked. It is a safe place where walls come down and insecurities lose their sting; where inner monologue quiets enough to let the Lord speak clearly. Stepping into the Prayer Hut is like being enveloped in a warm soft blanket on the couch at God’s feet. Something I desperately need, and have long been searching for.
I’ve been making my way towards this place for a dozen years and I am so thankful to have finally arrived. I’ve come home.