A movement to encourage churches to make room for nonstop prayer has spread to 63 nations in the last seven years and is especially multiplying in the United Kingdom, the United States and South Africa.
“We don’t have a fixed number of prayer rooms because they can take off so quickly,” said Pete Greig, 37, who founded the 24/7 prayer movement in 1999 in Chichester, England. Named for its nonstop concert of prayer, 24/7 has meeting places as diverse as a bus in the slums of Delhi, India, and a brewery in Missouri.
Volunteers pray, usually alone, in one-hour shifts, round the clock, seven days a week for global issues and requests they receive from their international Web site or from their local communities. Visitors are free to drop in, pray and talk.
24/7 also has planted itself in places where there is a crisis, such as Lebanon during the recent war between Israel and Hezbollah, and in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Teams also live long-term in needy communities in Mexico, where intercessors can be found ministering among pimps and prostitutes.
“In a squatter’s camp in Soweto, South Africa, we’ve seen 64 prayer tents spring up in just two years,” Greig said. “The local man who spearheads them said 80 percent of new converts in the camp are maintaining their salvation, and the local police chief says crime has dropped by 20 percent.”
Greig said the movement is being fueled by young people who are passionate about prayer, justice and missions.
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