A Prayer Vigil for Global Mission
The following suggestions may be useful in planning a prayer vigil for your local church during the 200th Anniversary of the Haystack Prayer Meeting. This meeting brought together the Holy Spirit and some students of Williams College in Massachusetts beside a haystack during a summer storm. As a result of their prayers a new initiative to bring Christ to the world outside the United States was begun. In 1810 the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was organized and in 1812 the first ABCFM missionaries sailed to India.
Today, through Global Ministries, we have mission personnel and partners in 60 different countries.
Any day or evening may be chosen for the vigil. Its length can vary from one to 12 hours. Create a sign-up sheet and ask people several weeks in advance to commit to half hour segments (or longer). During this time they are asked to pray for the work of Global Ministries, our mission partners around the world, and for the blessing of God to fall afresh upon all of God’s people. Most vigils are held in the church sanctuary.
It may be helpful to supply one or two Calendars of Prayers to be used by those at the Vigil. If your church or conference or region is in a partner relationship with another church, or if you have mission personnel from your area, you may want to provide some pictures for the participants to focus on as they pray. If your church sponsors a child through the Child Sponsorship Program, include her or him in your prayers as well.
As you prepare publicity for the Vigil invite those who are homebound to take part. Offer to supply them with resources. If the Vigil runs after school hours or during the weekend, invite youth to be participants. Haystack Sunday is September 24, 2006 and it would work well to have the Vigil near this date.
Once you have decided upon the date for your Vigil please let Marcy Dory in the GM Mission Education office know. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be keeping track of participating churches and will let the staff of GM know they are being held up in prayer from Bangor to Bellingham!