Freefalling: How 24/7 Prayer Changed My Life.

Send to Kindle
By Chana Keefer
I remember my first 24/7 Prayer experience.  I had signed up for a crazy hour, like 2 a.m, and I took  my then-8-yr-old son with me.  When we stepped into the black light-bathed room with fluorescent expressions of people’s heart’s cry  to God splashed all over the papered walls, my son exclaimed, “This is  the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” and proceeded to dive in adding to  the wall décor,
writing in a journal, picking out some worship music and  just generally soaking in some of the many unique ways we can connect  with God.
That Prayer Room still resonates in our lives, a plink of a pebble in  water that brought monster waves.  I can truly say most of the good  things in our lives are a direct result of that encounter.
When our Tulsa church’s one week of scheduled Prayer Room turned into  five, the church leaders hardly knew how or if to bring it to a close.   One night, my hubby and some of his percussionist pals decided to meet  in the Prayer Room—with drums in tow.  That innocent step into uncharted  territory was pivotal.  A few of them began to play while another  wandered the room, stopping
to read aloud various prayers from the  walls.
The beat would ebb and flow with the emotion of the prayers  until… their hour was up… and they were blinking in
astonishment at each  other saying, “What just happened?”
That coming weekend, the church leaders decided to use this unique  style of worship/prayer/percussion in the services as closure to our  five weeks of prayer.  A few of us actor types recited several of the  representative prayers
while the percussion flowed, interspersed with  worship music—and some of the most powerful connection with Father God  we had ever experienced. It was freeing.  It was vibrant.  And we honestly had no clue about  the spiritual comet we had just grasped.  Within weeks, Mark and I were  discussing the tug in our hearts toward moving to California.  Not long  after, he and his
percussion crew were receiving invitations from 24/7  Prayer events all over the world.  They called themselves “Tribe” and have since traveled to Spain, London and other points around the globe.
In the summer of 2004, Mark returned from a Tribe excursion with a  new book penned by Pete Greig, founder of the 24/7 Prayer movement,  titled “Red Moon Rising.”   More spiritual tsunami waves rolled as we soaked in this revival-in-paperback two, three, four times, then purchased copies, ten  at a time, to pass out to friends and family.  All the stories about  prayer convinced me it was time to put some discipline behind my prayer  passion and actually… pray—an hour a day, every day, first thing out of  the sack.  I had
prayed through the years, but had never been good at  doing it regularly, even habitually.  Therefore, amped up by Red Moon’s  spiritual adrenalin, I began the daily quest.
I’m not sure what I expected, but the experience was… not what I  expected.  It was kinda hard to get out of bed.  God was present, but  fairly silent.  There were no bells and whistles, just a conviction that  I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months.  I was still praying, but  much of the time, admittedly, I was fuming—“God, is this what You lived,  died and rose from the dead to give?  An IV-drip of spiritual power?   I’m needing a flood here!”
Soon frustration and anger became desperation.  “God, please.  Where  are You? Is this all I have to offer?  Why would I invite others if  this is what they’ll get, frustration and barely enough faith to keep  breathing?”  A lot of salt water poured and I’d get up from my prayer  convinced that I didn’t have a clue about prayer.
What was going on?  In retrospect, I can see my misconceptions of  prayer were burning away.  Picture old birds’ nests clogging a chimney.   Turn up the heat—get choked by smoke.  I still had this impression that  the way to get prayer answered was to beg God into agreement with MY  plan.  I would never have admitted that fact out loud, but such was the  case—my heavenly ATM machine—push
the right buttons, put in “the code”  and out comes my request. “But God, I want to help set up 24/7 Prayer rooms all across  Hollywood.  That’s a good thing, right?  What could be more important?”
Crickets.
But I was at a particularly desperate time in life and there was  nowhere else to turn.  I HAD to knock and keep knocking.  But think what  a statement of true faith that is.  Why would I knock and keep  knocking?  Because I was convinced someone was home.  I knew someone was  listening.  Someone very patient. A full year into the prayer journey (yes, I’m just that stubborn) I  had a very fun, narrative dream.  In the coming days, the story lingered  and grew in my mind until I had the basic premise, plot points and even  surprise ending of a fascinating love story.  Soon, I was spending  every spare minute—and not so spare—sitting at our kitchen computer as I  attempted to do the story justice. Even a month of adrenalin-induced  sleep deprivation didn’t do the trick.  Each
day began with face-time on  our closet floor where the flow would start, I would soak in God’s  presence, then write my heart out.  Ten months later, the first draft  was complete.  It was rambling, had too many adverbs and trite dialogue,  but my loyal eldest son pronounced it “as good as Harry Potter… in it’s  own way.” I was blissfully ignorant of the impact of Internet sales on  traditional
publishing and the uphill battle every first-time author  must face, but my love affair with the written word—especially with  connecting to God’s flow as I wrote—surpassed the fulfillment I had  experienced in singing, acting and other
arts.  And prayer was the  catalyst. Then in 2007, a full three years into daily prayer, God stopped me in my tracks
by whispering to my heart, “What do you want?”
Three years before I would have had plenty of answers to that  question.  In 2007, all I could do was cry… until I realized, the pure,  overwhelming, fulfilling, scalding love didn’t fit with some of what I  believed about God.  And this. Was. God.  No doubt.  Therefore, I needed  answers. That’s what I ended up asking for. The ramifications of that morning tore me up, stripped faith to the bone and
shoved it into freefall mode. I’m still falling.  His love is deep. Now there’s one novel published, several more in various stages, an  exciting sequel in the works, the opportunity to write the biography of  an amazing missionary pioneer—and constant forays outside my comfort  zone that keep me desperate for time with God.
With this week’s 24/7 Prayer Room, I’m back to where it all started—a  simple room set up for one purpose—to connect God with His children.   And trust me, there’s no room, no box, that can contain Him. Get hold of the book “Red Moon Rising.”  Get alone with God.  Knock and keep on knocking. I double-dog dare you.
Chana Keefer is the sister, daughter, and granddaughter of pastors.
Her fresh perspective stems from a background in journalism,
missions, acting, and writing for print and live theater. Her favorite
things are God, family, and the written word but she also breaks for
chocolate, old barns, and people who live passionately. She and her family reside
in southern California.

*************************************************

Chana Keefer–author of THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1)
www.chanakeefer.com
Twitter:@chanakeefer
FB: The Rapha Chronicles
BOOK TRAILER for THE FALL (Rapha Chronicles #1) : http://alturl.com/qescu

Share Button
Leave a comment

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for posting, Naty! I’m honored to know you awesome peeps! Many blessings.

    Chana

    Reply
  2. I enjoyed your post very much. Thanks for being part of the GNFA family 🙂

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Book of the MONTH!

    graceandfaith4u.com
  • JOIN the GNF Facebook Reader Connection!

    Get news from GNF authors right to your FB feed!

    Click here to JOIN!

  • Read it FREE!

  • Don't Miss This One!

  • GNF Books ROCK!

  • Fantastic Christian Reads....

    graceandfaith4u.com
  • Read More, Live Better!