This article was originally published in Edition (2) of Prayer Magazine, Spring 2005.

News from 24-7prayer.com

“The building is on Tabernacle Street?”  asked 24-7prayer’s Boiler Room co-ordinator, Andy Freeman, his eyes lighting up. Paul nodded, opening up his London A-Z.

“Look,” said the MLS Business Centre Director looking considerably better-dressed than his 24-7prayer friends around the cramped café table, “Here it is, next to Worship Street, on the northern edge of the City.”

 Andy (politely) snatched the A-Z and excitedly pointed out other local landmarks, while Alex Skinner (Christians in Finance) explained how some of the spiritual landmarks, and some of how she imagined this ’24-7prayer Boiler Room in the City of London’ might look and work.

In his book about 24-7prayer, ‘Red Moon Rising,’ Pete Greig says that “prayer without action is just religion in hiding. As we cry out to God night and day, He calls us to acts of compassion and social justice… Boiler Rooms are (therefore) all about bringing transformation to our communities.”

Boiler Rooms are currently being developed in all kinds of places – from Reading to Brighton, from Calgary to Stockholm around six ‘pillars’ , six core values… community, creativity and the arts, rhythms of continual prayer, mission, justice and pilgrimage.

Having read Red Moon Rising, Paul was convinced that God had spoken to him, and so he emailed 24-7prayer, suggesting that the heart of the financial and business communities in the UK needed a Boiler Room! A few emails and a few weeks later, we found ourselves wandering around the large, high-ceilinged MLS Business Centres basement on Tabernacle Street, marvelling at the boiler-room-like exposed pipe-work and the caged electricity generator, and imagining the place full of creative prayer. “This is wonderful!”  whispered Andy. We concluded our visit by squeezing into one of the side-rooms and offering up the first of many stumbling, over-awes prayers…

It wasn’t long, however, before we discovered that we weren’t the first to pray there. A series of bizarre ‘coincidences’ lunch on The Prophet restaurant on Worship Street, a ‘chance’ meeting with Leslie Griffiths, the minister at the nearby Wesley’s Chapel, and the discovery of a plaque describing a building called ‘The Foundery’ (which no longer exists) culminated in the realisation that our soon-to-be City of London Boiler Room was on the exact spot that The Foundery building had been, where Wesley spent the first thirty-nine years of his ministry, from 1739-1778. It had been a base for his preaching and prayer, for training and discipleship, and for ministry to the poor in many ways, a launch-pad for Methodism. At this stage, we can only wonder at the potential significance of these things.

Right now, we are praying and working hard with many others across local church and the business communities towards opening this ‘Boiler Room in the City, and for the City” sometime this Spring. It will quickly become a creative place for Christians in the City to come and pray together, a place of community and encouragement and envisioning. It will also become a base for mission and outreach alongside local churches already engaged in this work… for serving the local communities, and for pursuing justice. We can’t wait!

If you’d like to find out more about 24-7prayer or the City of London Boiler Room (especially to support it in some way), please get in touch with the team leader, Jude Smith, at londoncity@24-7prayer.com

For more information on the 24-7Prayer movement, visit the website: www.24-7prayer.com

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