The Four Men of Kells

Red Moon Rising is an amazing book written in 2003 by Pete Greig and Dave Roberts. This book tells the story of the 24-7 prayer movement that has spread around the world. A few years ago a friend of mine read the book, did a prayer event at his church, then told me about it. Two years ago, I remembered our conversation and got the book for myself. Red Moon Rising has impacted my life as much as any book I have read in a long time. This book was the catalyst for embarking on the 24/7 prayer vigils that have become part of the identity and rhythm of Houghton Wesleyan Church.

In the book, Pete and Dave tell the story of the 1859 Revival in Ulster (Northern Ireland) that profoundly touched the nine counties of the North. Sectarian violence slowed almost to a halt, and prostitution and drunkenness declined. One brewery had to close on account of the down turn in sales. One hundred thousand people made commitments to Christ. History suggests that the spark that lit this fire was a Friday night prayer meeting that started with four young men in the village of Kells in 1857. It was three months before the prayer gathering grew beyond the original four, but by 1859 the parish of Ballymena was the scene of one hundred prayer meetings per week—sixteen a night. No one could have guessed that four guys committing themselves to sacrificial prayer would be used by God to do something amazing.

My mind is asking, What might God do with a few hundred people in Houghton who commit ourselves to sacrificial prayer? My prayer (and many others in Houghton) is that God will use the prayer vigil to show us something of what He can do and wants to do. Would you love to see God do something miraculous in us and through us that we could have never dreamed? Are you willing to be open to God? Are you ready to engage yourself in being one of the people who are willing to sacrifice in order to find out?

This is our hope and longing for our three-week, 24/7 prayer vigil (October 30-November 20). Go ahead and reserve your hour in the prayer room: I really believe that God is going to do something amazing.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.” (Luke 11:9-13, NLT)