Prayer Room FAQs
Jump to the question that interests you by clicking on it in the list below:
- Why continual prayer in hour slots?
- Are we big enough to pray non-stop?
- Why do we need a Prayer Room?
- Wouldn’t we be better to build up to this gradually?
- Who can organise 24-7?
- How long do we pray for?
- What if we can’t stop?
- What about our other church commitments?
- How do I prepare and mobilize the congregation?
- How much does it cost?
- Any advice on where the prayer room should be?
- What if it doesn’t work?
Got a question not covered here? Email the team.
Because bold, persistent prayer is effective. First it changes us. Then it changes the world. Jesus told stories to encourage us to "cry out day and night" (Lk 18) and to persist in prayer. Evidence of the instruction and power of persistent prayer is found throughout the Bible and Church history.
- Pentecost came to a prayer room
- Paul urged the Thessalonians to "pray constantly"
- The early church "joined together constantly in prayer" (Acts 1:14)
- Celtic Monks at Bangor Abbey in Ireland prayed continually for 200 years.
- In Clonmacnoise (near Dublin) God led a young guy by the name of Ciaran to start a monastery that prayed for the best part of 1000 years and sent missionaries all over the world
- In the 18th century, a small community of Moravians began a 24-7 prayer meeting that lasted for over a hundred years, mobilised 3000 missionaries and converted John Wesley
Good question! It only takes 24 people to pledge an hour a day to fill a week. If you feel your group isn’t big enough, you can join with other groups or Churches in your area to fill the week together. If you truly feel you are not big enough to fill a week then try a day or weekend to give people a taster of non-stop prayer. If you register with us you can download resources. Many groups realise that continual prayer is a challenge, but it’s in rising to the challenge that they push themselves and discover a new hunger for time with God!
A prayer room helps build a sense of community and ownership throughout your time of prayer. It also provides a built-in accountability as people need to turn up on time to ‘pick up the baton’ from the person praying before them. Having a specific room kitted out with arts materials and suggestions for prayer creates a very conducive and creative environment. As the room begins to fill with people’s prayers and heart cries, it can reveal what God is doing in the lives of your group.
There’s something about the extreme challenge of 24-7 Prayer that makes it work! Water down that challenge and you lose the dynamic. There are always a million good reasons to put it off and no one ever feels truly prepared to go for it the first time, but the sheer nature of continual prayer means you have to depend on God from the onset. If your group is particularly small then you can register for two or three days with your first room, but think seriously about whether you want to take on the challenge of a week!
A 24-7 Prayer Room can be organised by anyone with a heart and passion to see people meeting with God. We do recommend though that it be organised with the approval of your Church/youth group/CU leadership. If you are not in leadership, meet with the appropriate people, share the vision and offer to make it happen! 24-7 Prayer works when it has anointed leadership leading by example. It generally struggles when it doesn’t have that. Ideally 24-7 Prayer is organised by a team of people that would include someone who is good at motivating and mobilizing people - especially young people - to do irrational things! Jesus could say ‘'Come follow me'’ in such a way that people actually wanted to do it! So to avoid disaster find someone with that ‘Come follow me’ anointing! Secondly recruit someone to the team who can help organise the practical aspects of the 24-7 Prayer Room.
When working out how long you want to run your 24 hour prayer room for consider:
- The size of your group. If 35 people commit to pray for an hour a day, you’ll easily fill a week. Some will prefer to pray in pairs whilst others will want the room to themselves.
- The strength of your community. Often what makes a prayer room work is not the number of people you have, but the sense of community within your group. Some large Churches have struggled to pray for a week because their members aren’t used to attending anything other than a Sunday meeting. One group of 20 students in Belfast found that they couldn’t stop after their week of prayer and a Church of 100 in London prayed for 15 weeks!
- The rhythm of prayer. Many groups find that a week is not long enough, and often continue to pray for longer. Though it is fantastic to flow with what God is doing we do recommend that where ever possible new groups aim for a week for their first prayer room. A week is long enough to be a challenge but short enough to be an achievable goal for most groups. Wherever possible we recommend that groups don’t continue to pray unless they are confident they can fill any additional time. It is better to end a week on a high with a hunger for more time with God, than to continue and burn everyone out.
Good problem! Keep it going as long as there is life in it. We suggest that in this situation you organize a monthly review meeting to take the pulse and decide whether to extend for another block of time. Please NEVER announce that you are going to keep going indefinitely unless you have been building up to this for a long time. Otherwise this is a recipe for ultimate discouragement no matter how much excitement it releases when you first make the announcement. If things are going well, extend a month at a time. Remember: it’s best to quit while you’re ahead, leaving people hungry for more and excited about the next time than to exhaust and cajole people.
Of course, prayer should undergird everything we do, but life is crowded with so many legitimate demands upon our time. If 24-7 Prayer works for you, we would suggest that you build it into your ongoing church life in limited seasons to make space for other stuff. There’s a time to pray, but also a time to act out those prayers. In nature, in Scripture, in the example of our forefathers, there is a seasonal rhythm to life. You might consider building your calendar around the following:
- A season of prayer (intimacy, intercession, reflection, worship, creative expression, self discipline, fasting etc)
- A season of mission (this gives a focus to the time of prayer and a fruitful outworking of it evangelistically)
- A season of fun (a time with fewer meetings, where we have time to enjoy being alive, to model the ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, to be with friends and family and renew our strength)
Book the prayer season into your calendar well in advance. You'll find a guide to motivating and teaching people in advance of your prayer room in our resources available on registering. You can also find our top ten tips for motivating people to pray here.
Choose somewhere central for those travelling in at night. Make sure it’s also secure and safe for those using it. A phone is an important feature. Remember that there will be noise throughout the night as people come and go so consider neighbours etc. Ideally the room should be big enough to move around in (there’s a lot of prayer ‘pacers’ out there!) and big enough to take groups without being too enormous for atmosphere and intimacy.
No worries! Just stop, relax and realise that even though you didn’t reach your target, you’ve probably just mobilised the most prayer there’s been in your area in ages