Making Prayer the Priority

by Angel Manuel Hernandez

We have discovered that prayer is the life and the spiritual breath of the groups and leaders, so we prioritize it. At the cell group level, we encourage each cell to keep a notebook and then to remember the needs of each member. We review the results of prayer in the cell group, which is a great encouragement to the members. 
At congregational level, we started implementing a variety of prayer programs: twelve hours of prayer, the Joshua prayer (praying seven days a week at the same time of the day and finishing the last day with seven hours of non-stop of prayer), prayer vigils, prayer rallies, and so forth.

Yet, the most effective was the 24 hours prayer chapels all around the Canary Islands. And today, after three years we have two 24 hours prayer chapels, which we call CO24H. The CO24H (see image) needs 168 sentinels per week to stay open 168 hours a week. We have challenged people to get involved with the CO24H, just one hour per week, based on Christ’s words in Matthew 26:40, “Couldn’t you watch with me for one hour?” The CO24H does require organization. We have a prayer chapel Coordinator, who is in charge of a total of 4 Vigil coordinators, who in turn coordinates the four vigils of the day (Early morning, Morning, Afternoon and Night).

The Vigil Coordinators are in charge six “hour” coordinators, who manage the vigil hours that compose a week. The hour Coordinators are in charge of seven sentinels who cover the 168 hours. Every week we know through reports who have attended and what will happen next. We make sure that the 168 hours per week are covered. According to the statistics, around 1100 people attend these prayer meetings each month. Since the chapel is open 24/7, many come when they have problems, and this reduces our pastoral counseling significantly. We’ve discovered that people are going more and more directly to God, rather than asking the pastors for counsel.

The prayer Chapel has also allowed us to evangelize more effectively. Why? Because it’s the place where people can find refuge in times of crisis or anxiety (in fact some suicides have been prevented this way). We also have cases of brothers in Christ who have come to the prayer chapel before going to the hospital and we even have an emergency phone at the chapel for people who need urgent prayer.