This year I participated in my first prayer vigil, and let me tell you, it caused me to feel the heartbeat of the church and to love the church in a way that I had never been able to before. Pastors from all Christian denominations from the Inland Northwest decided to have 40 days of continuous prayer for our city. Each church signed up for 24 hours of prayer, so that there was always someone praying during those 40 days leading to Pentecost. I was out of town on the day of Pentecost, so for me, the main event was the actual vigil itself, and how prayer for the specific needs from the people of my church caused me to have a supernatural love for them. I also felt an ownership and a belonging to the church where I had spent all night praying, and a greater responsibility to contribute to the needs of the body of Christ in that place.
There was a sign up sheet with one-hour increments where you could sign up for just one hour. It seemed strange to me because a prayer vigil was supposed to be a group of people that stayed up all night to pray. Most time slots only had one human. So I determined to go for 10 hours. I ended up arriving an hour earlier, so I prayed for 11 hours in the church, with different people who came and went.
It was interesting to be in the church building overnight. Because I understood the needs of the church for the first time, I was able to pray with all my heart and finally hear the heartbeat of the church. I tell you more about it in this audio:
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