Hi. Been away for a few days – down to Southampton for the annual 24-7Prayer shabang. Because it was the first time I'd been to one of these things since I stopped working with 24-7 as my job (that was in March 2006, when I left New Zealand), it was quite a funny experience. On the one hand, you're constantly bumping into people and projects that you care (or used to care) pretty deeply about, and on the other hand, you're noticing that this used to be your normality, and now it isn't anymore, and it seems to be going on quite happily oblivious to your absence.
So I found it hard and weird and good. It was definitely good to go. I'd say that I've probably been carrying a fair bit of baggage around with me for the past two and a half years, and it was really nice to feel safe enough to talk about (and maybe deal with) some of it with Anita - one of my friends from Auckland, and someone who's kind of stepping into a similar position to that which I left. She's great, as is Maree (the other Kiwi who came over), and it was so so nice to just mess about and be silly with them, rather than try to act all businesslike or anything. And it reminded me that I left quite a few good 'legacy'-type things behind me when I moved on.
On the VERY good side, I'd just like to report that 24-7Prayer does genuinely seem to be alive and God-inspired, and the dreams and stories therein are getting bigger and more intriguing. I loved seeing the Campus America video – promoing the aim of having a prayer room at every uni/college/seminary in 2010 – and then just sitting back and wondering what is actually going on in the world.
Some people pray for revival and imagine that 'signs and wonders' will declare that when it happens, but I was rolling around the thought that maybe we are part of a revival right now – right as we speak – and one that is all the better for not being particularly visible. I mean, is 1100 indiviual prayer rooms in Brasil last year not a 'wonder'? What about the dozens of new 'academies' being opened by Oasis Trust, Emmanuel Schools Foundation, the Anglican Church etc. etc.? Or Orthodox, Catholics & Protestants all working together as part of Alpha – is that a 'sign'? Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong, but I am not praying for a revival where people 'go all wobbly' in the streets (although I don't mind that either). Something a bit more reformatory, creative and redemptive is where my heart is at. And I think we are already beginning to see it.