By Tim Collier.
In late March, I had the opportunity to take a pilgrimage to four spots in Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana to connect with some wonderful folks who’ve been sparked in their collision with 24-7 Prayer, and are calling their communities to connect with the heart of God in various ways through prayer. This is a peek into what God is up to in Mount Vernon, OH.After a 5-hour drive from Grand Rapids & just witnessing a sanctuary full of believers from different churches and denominations all over the county gathered together on a Tuesday morning giving testimonies about how they had all been galavanting around town asking people how they can pray for them and having powerful encounters with Jesus---after all that---Amy says to me, “Alright, wanna go see the prayer room?” She leads me across town in her black Jeep to an unassuming building with a gravel driveway located between a noticeably rugged industrial park and acres of woods where I later learned that many residents without homes sleep at night. When she opened the front door to the building, I was immediately surprised by the sight of the prayer room as well as other well-cared-for spaces set aside for hangout and counseling conversations. It was clear in a moment---there is something sacred being stewarded here.
“It was clear in a moment---there is something sacred being stewarded here.”
A long-time resident of her beloved town, Mount Vernon, OH, Amy Hudson and a group of fellow church members had discovered new depths of their faith journey together and relationship with God when they decided to try having 24-hour prayer vigils at their church several years ago. “It was like the Lord was waking us up,” Amy shared. After a handful of these vigils over a couple years time, one of the members of their prayer group happened upon the book Red Moon Rising. It wasn’t long before most of the group had read it and knew that they resonated deeply with the story of what God was doing elsewhere around the world from the starting place of prayer, and the DNA of a movement bringing transformation in places in need of the Kingdom to break forth. “It was eye-opening to find out that there were other people experiencing a similar kind of awakening that we were! It was describing something that was inside of us already, & we really resonated with it!” Knowing they were not alone, but that they were part of a larger movement of God around the world only infused more desire to press on & respond to the heart of God as He revealed His heart to them in the place of prayer. Amy shared how she will never forget when she learned that her county was suffering with the highest drug opioid addiction rate in the state - and her state having the highest rates in the country. She was moved deeply, knowing these statistics are not just numbers, but people. And these people her neighbors. One day while she was in prayer, she was crying out to God in her heart, & felt the Spirit impress on her words from 2 Chronicles 7: “If my people...will pray & seek my face...I will heal their land.” She knew in her heart that this was an opportunity to respond to the Spirit in faith, & she was challenged to action.
“will never forget when she learned her county was suffering with the highest drug opioid addiction rate in the state”
She began sticking her nose into the business of others who were already engaged with the problem their county was facing---learning from the organizations that existed to help people battling addiction & prevent others from falling into it. As she prayed and talked with others about this, her conviction grew stronger that persistent & intentional intercession to come alongside the good & hard work these organizations were already doing would be key to seeing this promise of healing from the Lord come forward in their land. She befriended the leaders & those serving in this widespread problem & began to share her vision to mobilize the churches & people of Knox County to begin praying 24-7 for this very problem to end. This last year saw the establishment of a permanent prayer room, set apart in one of the buildings of a local organization doing addiction crisis counseling. It is a small room for now, located in an industrial area of town and on the edge of the woods where many without homes sleep during the warm-weather months—but a step in the direction towards the community prioritizing & establishing 24-7 prayer for the Lord to heal their county and their people of this terrible illness.
“a step in the direction towards the community prioritizing and establishing 24-7 prayer for the Lord to heal their county and their people of this terrible illness.”
When I visited her in late March, I got to witness some of the fruit of her work with over 50 churches in Knox County coming together to worship Jesus, praying, & going out daily to ask neighbors and strangers how they can pray for them. This was called Revive Ohio: Knox County. “We took a break from scheduling slots in the prayer room during Revive Ohio, but after this, the goal is to focus more on the prayer room and inviting people to come pray there, & making it more known...we have a lot of homeless living in Mount Vernon and many of them have become familiar with TouchPoint as a safe place [where the prayer room is located] & will come in to get a cup of coffee, & many will spend time in the prayer room.”Let’s pray with Amy & her friends for His Kingdom to come in Knox County - and the rest of Ohio---enduring this crippling problem. Let’s pray for TouchPoint and the other organizations battling addiction. Let’s pray with Mount Vernon for the Spirit to come & bring people out of isolation and pain, break off addiction, & transform lives in His Presence.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” -2 Chronicles 7:14
You can order and read the book RED MOON RISING---which tells the inspiring story of how the movement began here: https://amzn.to/2U8ls69You can also Pre-order the Pete Grieg’s NEW book HOW TO PRAY: A SIMPLE GUIDE FOR NORMAL PEOPLE here: https://amzn.to/2Z7uBiP