24:1 remembered – tear stains on the carpet

It’s the day after the day after and I’m sat on the sofa at the Sanctuary with my toes resting on Brighton… reflecting on the 24:1 worship and prayer we held here for Ilkley, Wharfedale and the UK this weekend.

tear stains on the carpet

It was a special time. Unity; community; a sense of shared vision and heart; pictures and scriptures to pray into; artwork and prayer graffitti on our notice-boards and – most importantly – a tangible sense of his presence with us, leading and guiding.

I loved the corporate worship and prayer that opened and closed the 24 hours. And I loved my time alone in the space.

I loved listening to one pray-er worshipping quietly to her harp, and the fact that she was so gracious about me stealing back into the space to sing along with her.

I loved arriving again early in the morning and being welcomed to the Sanctuary by someone else and knowing – deeper than ever – that it is belonging to more and more people now, as well as to God.

But my abiding memory of the whole 24 hours is one beautiful, visual memory from one of the quietest and emptiest slots I was at. I was worshipping at the keyboard at the other end of the space, looking back towards the UK, and the lit cross.

At its foot, one of my closest friends was lost in heartfelt worship and intercession, pouring out her heart – and tears – to God. I sang; she cried – and both outpourings seemed to carry the same sense of the Spirit’s living water flowing in, up, down and out.

At the end of that particular hour’s session, we had a cuppa with another friend who had just arrived to take over and it was then she laughed slightly apologetically as she pointed to West Yorkshire on our map carpet…

The whole area around Ilkley, Leeds, Bradford and York was marked with tear stains. There, at the heart of the nation, was a symbol of heart-break, softening and transformation.

Today the tear stains are gone as I look across the UK… but I can still see them. And so can the God of the broken.

All our prayers, tears and praise from this weekend remain with him, agreeing with what Jesus is still interceding for, for it was him who inspired it all in the first place.

Keep catching our hearts Lord – we don’t want the ‘highs’ of special events – we want them to act as step changes that we then go on to sustain.

Because we want to follow the continual, upward call of pursuing more of you and expressing more of your transforming love to others.


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