Almost every significant move of God in history was preceded by fervent, united prayer. This inspired Christians in Whatcom county on the north-west coast of the United States to establish a ‘canopy of day and night prayer’ over their region.
This Light of the World Prayer Center gathered Christians from all kinds of backgrounds and churches. Soon pastors joined in for a monthly meeting to build spiritual friendships and seek God for the county.
“This is an unbelievable blessing,” says Grant Fishbook, pastor of Christ the King in Joel News. “Trust has been built over time as the message sunk in that we’re not each other’s competition. Our competitor is the devil, but we are family and on the same team. We love each other and want to live that out. Now the pastors text and call each other for encouragement and drink coffee together, because there’s a genuine interest in what’s happening with each part of the family. They ask: How are you doing, how can I pray, how can I support you?”
Alvin Vandergriend, church prayer coordinator of the 3rd Christian Reformed Church, agrees. “A canopy of prayer is a covering of God’s providential blessing over a territory. Prayer is where we access God’s resource and heart, where he empowers us to fulfil his mission. For all the years I’ve been involved in ministry, I’ve never seen pastors come together like now in Whatcom county. The unity is quite amazing.”
In Whatcom county 80 pastors out of a hundred are now praying consistently together.
This includes the native, Hispanic and Korean churches, it’s a truly multi-cultural expression of the Body of Christ. Pastors have also been sharing their pulpits and holding joint community services with thousands of people coming together.
The unity also led to an explosion of church plants – 80 church plants in a decade – with 10,000 first-time salvations of people who were baptised in water. This is a phenomenal church growth in what has historically been one of the least churched areas in the US.
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