It was about a year ago that the Lord moved my family and I from Orlando, Florida to Columbus, Georgia to serve at Take the City. Up until that time most of our ministry experience involved serving those recovering from life controlling issues. We never would have anticipated being placed in the leadership positions we are now in, my wife serving as the manager for Harvest Coffee, and myself coordinating the Harvest House of Prayer. Both of these ministries are within the context of the Take the City mission base here in Columbus.
Take the City is a very dynamic organization with all sorts of initiatives and projects aimed towards transforming cities with the gospel. At the center of it all, though, there is the prayer room. I have always had a heart for prayer and worship, and have always seen it as essential to any and all kingdom work. Even in my recovery and in the ministry therein I always found myself preaching on the subject of worship and prayer, and it has always been a priority and a core value in my walk with Christ. However, I never thought I would have the great honor of giving myself to this one thing for a living. The even greater honor is that God would count me worthy of empowering others to do the same. It is an unspeakable privilege.
It was also unspeakably uncomfortable at first if I’m being honest. I am a natural introvert and would much prefer to follow someone else’s leadership over leading others. It’s just the way I’m wired. It is no surprise, then, that when I first heard my job description of recruiting and leading as many people as possible to help build a city-wide, 40-hour “prayer wall”… well, I was stretched to say the least. I honestly didn’t expect people to understand the vision.
Rolling up my sleeves, I put that all aside, though, and got to work. I was shocked to find out that most of the folks I reached out to not only understood the vision, but they were very supportive of it. Those that couldn’t volunteer were amazed at the whole concept of continual prayer throughout the days, weeks, and months. I sensed a fire for prayer that was burning in the hearts of believers in Columbus, Georgia!
I launched the first “official” hour-long prayer set at HHOP on July 6th, 2020. That single hour every week quickly grew to 2… then 5… then 10. Less than a year later we have a minimum of 24 hours of live prayer and worship every single week, each hour led by different believers in the community! When we started, it was just me and a handful of Take the City staff members volunteering in the prayer room. Today, we have over 40 unpaid volunteers who serve in the prayer room on a regular basis!
We have seen God answer our prayers in mind-boggling ways — financial miracles, healings, the unity of believers that otherwise never would have connected, family restoration, etc. We’ve encountered God together powerfully in our monthly Harvest Nights and even reached capacity the last couple of times! These signs of growth assure my heart that the Lord wants this prayer room to thrive more than I do! Truly, it was His idea in the first place.
Looking back on this past year, I am filled with humble faith for what is to come. Our original goal of hitting 40 hours is looking more in reach than ever before. More valuable to me than any goal, though, is the culture that I see being formed in the community of our volunteers. They worship with a tenacity that is unconcerned about how many are in the room. They only care about the One they came to worship. They show perseverance and faithfulness by committing week after week to their prayer sets. They not only show up, they pray earnestly for this city, for this region, and for our world.
If HHOP is to carry on into the future it will be because of its volunteers who take ownership and carry a passion for unceasing prayer and worship. As I skim through the names of our volunteers my heart is so sure that we have that here at Harvest. And that is the greatest part of my year in review.
-Brandon McKenzie, Harvest House of Prayer Coordinator
If you would like to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
My experience with the Take the City crew was like coming into a family. Our team was welcomed in with open arms with like-hearted believers who love Jesus and have laid down their lives to serve the broken of the city! It was an honor to come alongside them, be welcomed into their homes, share meals, and experience the transformational work that God is doing in and through them to see His Kingdom come.