“Prayer is my oxygen; I can’t live without it.” This was the testimony of Leahjoy from Canada, who shared the profound impact of the prayer sessions conducted in the Prayer Room during the Virtual Global Camp-Meeting held from May 19th to 23rd under the theme “I Will Go.”
The Prayer Room was one of the major highlights during the camp meeting and attracted participants from all over the world. The grand finale of four days of incessant prayers was the testimony sharing session on Sabbath evening hosted by Melissa Miranda who oversees 24/7 United Prayer Ministry and Gem Castor, the prayer coordinator of ASAP Prayer ministry.
ASAP Ministries is a mission organization using Christ’s method to bring hope to the poor, suffering and oppressed and currently supports over 600 church planters, medical missionaries and Bible/literacy teachers in the countries of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar.
24/7 United Prayer is a global prayer initiative that seeks to promote revival where brothers and sisters around the world unite daily in prayer. These prayer meetings are all conducted on Zoom and through the power of united prayer, many lives are being revived and transformed.
Explaining the inspiration behind the Prayer Room, United in Prayer coordinator Melody Mason said General Conference Sessions, the quinquennial meeting of the executive committee of the Adventist Church, have, for the past 10 years, had a prayer room. When the idea of a virtual camp-meeting was broached, Church leadership asked if a 24-hour online prayer room could be hosted and organized by Mason. There was only one problem; she was not sure if it could be adequately staffed, well received, or achieve the same special experience of physically praying together.
“God did above and beyond what we could ask or think. The prayers were so heartfelt, and the community and unity were so beautiful. Some people were so blessed with the prayer times that they stayed on for hours at a time, even during the prayer sessions that were led by other language groups. But even though there were people coming together from all parts of the world that did not know each other, God really brought us into a sweet unity as we prayed,” she said.
The Prayer room had over 100 prayer leaders and volunteers from the 24/7 United Prayer network that helped coordinate prayer coverage and prayer leadership for the event. Volunteers from the network kept the online prayer room organized and many did not sleep and sacrificed a lot to help make the experience a success. As Mason put it, the Prayer Room was well attended with participants ranging from 50 to 150 people or more per hour.
It was evident during the sharing of testimonies that life-long relationships had been formed and all those who joined in the prayers were edified and blessed and not even language barriers were a hindrance.
Held over different time zones split across three regions namely Asia- Pacific, Euro-Africa, and the Americas, the prayer sessions were interspersed with interludes of music, praises, and devotionals.
Nita from Australia was overcome with emotion when she said the camp-meeting was “a highlight of my whole Adventist experience. It is the best camp-meeting that I have ever been to since my baptism. I’m so moved that we have so many people united in prayer, and I feel that I have experienced a little bit of revival in God’s remnant church.”
Claudia from Germany shared how her first experience with Jesus was through literature she had received in her mailbox “when I was absolutely ignorant of Jesus and his love and that he died for me. And so, to be in this family of international believers is an absolute miracle to me. I know God can do all things. He breaks racial, cultural and language barriers; He is not limited by anything,” she said.
When Esther from the United States ‘entered’ the prayer room, she was blessed with the testimonies, shared in different languages. While she couldn’t understand all of them, it was obvious that they were all about “praise and a glimpse of what heaven will be like. People were talking about the love of God.”
Those diverse languages included English, French, Spanish, Swahili, Portuguese, Hindi, Filipino, and Thai, and others were also praying in their own mother tongues, prompting Phoebe of the United States to say: “I wasn’t at the day of Pentecost, but this feels for me like the day of Pentecost because there were different languages, and everyone understood in their own language”.
Milton, an Adventist pastor, said his experience in the Prayer Room was that he could not clear his own sins but confess them to God. “Seeing other people sharing and praying for other people and themselves, who are lost, I just saw myself lost in the church. This ministry has been helping a lot of people and you as leaders are probably unaware of it, but it is actually bringing more and more people to the feet of Christ and I thank God for this ministry.”.
Christians from India, who were going through a devastating wave of COVID 19 during the time, testified how God was moving in miraculous ways in their country. Birageene shared how God had been with her family throughout the pandemic. Janelle added that the camp-meeting had taught her to believe in prayer once more, “Prayer is not just about me,” she said, “but God knows our needs even before we ask. We need to praise him more.”
No one who participated wanted to see the camp-meeting end, or the prayer room close. “I was reminded by this experience that we don't need to be physically in one location for the Holy Spirit to be poured out,” said Mason.“We just need to be in unity. God tells us, ‘If two or more are gathered together in my name, I am in their midst. If two of you shall agree as touching anything that they ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in Heaven.’ -Matt. 18:19-20. This Bible promise is true, because the Holy Spirit was felt in the online prayer room in such a beautiful way.”