A few months ago my wife and I never would have dreamed we’d be here in Columbus, Georgia, serving Take the City. As a matter of fact we thought we knew exactly what our future looked like. We thought we would continue living in Orlando, Florida, serving in our ministry roles there, helping disciple people out of drug and alcohol addiction just as we’d been doing. Then the pandemic happened….
All of our plans went out the window when we were informed that, due to the pandemic, there was no further employment available. Covid-19 forced us into a harsh reality that so many others have faced this year. We had a decision to make. We could either be thrust into panic. Or we could be thrust into prayer. We decided on the latter.
We traveled for a week and a half checking out various ministry opportunities in Florida and Georgia, all the while seeking God in prayer. Towards the end of our trip we were at our final stop: checking out Take the City with its founder Andrew Chalmers. Andrew told us we were needed to help coordinate their prayer room. It just so happens that Andrew, my wife, and I served alongside each other in the past. Andrew was well aware that we both had a heart for worship and intercession. He decided we were the perfect candidates to serve in this way. After that week on the car ride back to Orlando, I remember looking at my wife and seeing in her eyes that she was feeling the same thing I was: we knew we were being called to Take the City.
We arrived here a month ago, and after taking a few days to acclimate and get settled into our home, Andrew explained his vision for Harvest House of Prayer. As he spoke, my heart began to burn with passion. The task was to have live worship and prayer taking place non-stop during business hours, so that as much time that was dedicated to work there would be the same amount of time dedicated to prayer.
Andrew called the vision for the prayer room a “40-hour prayer wall.” This would be done primarily through local worship leaders, bands, and musicians, coupled with prayer leaders on the mic, who would facilitate hour-long slots every week. My imagination lit up!
I started to envision believers from all denominational backgrounds uniting around the place of prayer. What kind of culture would that form locally? What kind of breakthrough would that bring into a city? How greatly would this impact the church in that area?! I was captivated by the vision.
I also began to search the scriptures regarding this concept and what I found amazed me. In 1 Chronicles 25, David set his people apart in the temple “for the ministry of prophesying, accompanied by harps, lyres and cymbals” (v. 1). He then assigned them shifts to make sure God was being ministered to 24/7. I personally believe many of the Psalms we read today were forged out of these times of worship and prayer.
In addition to this there are countless other passages that refer to God’s house being a house of prayer more than anything else (Mk. 11:17, Ps. 27:4, Isaiah 56:7, etc.), but what amazed me most was 1 Chronicles 16:37 where David left Asaph and his men before the ark of the covenant to minister to the Lord continually, “as everyday’s work required.” This meant that as much time they dedicated to everyday work, there would be intentional prayer and worship going on. This small passage perfectly articulated the vision of Harvest House of Prayer! When I read this, I felt the gentle, but clear assurance from the Holy Spirit that this was exactly what He wanted.
This year has taught us much so far. It has shown us that God alone is unshakable; that he must be our foundation. He must be our first priority with no close seconds. At the beginning of this year, my wife and I were not planning on relocating with our two children to a completely different state. We had a completely different plan in place.
Fortunately, when those plans changed, we had the foundation of prayer to know where to turn. I imagine many of us have learned this lesson in the last few months, and I, for one, want to take this lesson to heart. I don’t ever want to forget it. Let’s not return to the old way of doing things. Let’s keep what hasn’t been shaken and let the rest go. This house of prayer and others like it are emerging at a crucial time in our nation and our world.
To the community of Columbus, Georgia, I simply write this to ask you: will you partner with God in the place of prayer? Will you abandon all that is not of Him and His kingdom? My family and I along with all of us here at Take the City have decided we will. Harvest House of Prayer is the place for all those who have answered the same. To see how you can be a part, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BRANDON & KRISTINA MCKENZIE
My first encounter with Take the City was going to Wilson Apartments in Columbus GA. We were met by a man from that neighborhood who prayed with us before we began the outreach. We set up an area for the kids to play and others went door to door witnessing and praying for people. It truly was a humbling experience. Another time I got to pray at an abortion clinic which was another humbling experience. The worship services the night before are always dynamic and spirit led. However I will conclude with the best part for me was being an eight week participant of Take the City boot camp. All of the leaders were simply AWESOME and I learned so much during those eight weeks. I thank God for all these wonderful opportunities!