Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Prayer on the streets at Christmas

As I came out of the 24/7 Prayer Room at Colchester Baptist Church, Eld Lane a stocky man came running across the forecourt. I did not recognise him at all and thought he was either going to hit me or ask to come in. As he came closer, he seemed distressed and was pressing his head.

The man cried, "You must let me in, I need help".

"How can we help you," I replied. He showed me his forehead with a deep cut just above his left brow. Blood was pouring out. Immediately I helped him put pressure on it and pushed the buzzer for someone to come down from upstairs. Before someone could get down and you could say 'Christmas pudding', two Police Officers arrived, taking over the situation and questioning the man. Jamie McCallister was with me, talking to the military officers. Just as we were leaving the prayer room, Katy Smith arrived to take part in the adventures on that starry Friday night. In the next few minutes there was much activity, giving the injured man a warm and comfortable place to stay a while with coffee and medical attention.

So after we worshipped and prayed to Jesus Christ, the opening opening moments of praying for town centre revellers and party-goers were very busy. God continued to give us opprtunities to serve people of the town and pray for them on the streets between the twighlight hours of 11pm and 3am.

Jamie and I found the experience a little daunting at first, praying around the town on a busy night, starting conversations with people. We most definitely looked a little odd to some revellers in 4 layers of clothes wrapped up like very warm snowmen with scarves, hats and gloves. I still felt a little cold under all that yet people were charging and dancing around, singing under influence of alcohol just wearing thin shirts and skinny skirts.

Doormen became a captive audience for Jamie. He started chatting with them, asking questions, soaking up their stories of incidents that would make you either chuckle, cry or scream out to God. Outside a bar at the bottom of the High Street, I shared with a doorman (or ‘bouncer’ as some may call him) about serving God. I encouraged him that God loves it when people give up their time and energy to do good things for people. This conversation was inspired by Psalm 84, where David wrote he ‘would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of the Lord than dwell in tents of wicked’.

We gained much information from these chats. It was as though we were spying out the land getting inspiration for talking to God. I reckoned that to be the role of a priest. They hear people’s requests and troubles then take them to God on behalf of them.

While we were on ‘walkabout’ round Colchester town centre, Jamie and I had no clue as to what was happening back at the prayer room. Upon arriving back at 12 a.m. we discovered more activity. A kind man named Dave, on his way home, stopped to help an 18 year old recover from his long night out. Dave brought both him and his friends into the prayer room. They all had coffee and something to eat in a warm place while waiting for a parent to come pick them up. Fascinated by our decorated prayer room with lights, drapes as well as angels and sheep on the wall, they all kept asking questions. We chatted with the party-goers about Jesus, church, God and the universe, praying with them and for them. There were some really significant moments and conversations.

Katy seemed to build a good rapport with one girl. Katy shared stories of Jesus, stories of how she knows the King of kings. Our new-found friend opened up with her ambitions and dreams to be a writer. Dave turned out to be a writer too and a follower of Jesus, with a new-signed 5 book contract. He gave her advice and prayed for her dreams to come true.

These chats and prayers with walking carried on through the night til 3 a.m. It really felt like God had come and walked and talked with us on these adventures of Friday night. Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit and God the Father all joined the party! We want to do it again so if you love talking to God about people and love talking to people for God, sharing His love with miracles then please contact us. We are looking for a venue in town centre to use as a base for regular prayer walks on Friday nights.

Please contact Katy Smith for more details….
Tel: (01206) 522781 or e-mail kt_anywhere@hotmail.com

Much love from Michael Holden

No comments: