Join the Watch
Amy Nickerson | December 2016
It was January 2016, in a prayer room set up for three days at JV’s Malenovice training center with music, an art table, hot drinks, and stations designed to lead people through praying for our ministry in the Czech Republic. Connie Patty, wife of JV President, Dave Patty, had just made her way through the room and was kneeling in the corner to finish her time of prayer when she sensed the Lord’s voice.
“It’s not enough.”
“I thought He was telling me I hadn’t prayed enough through the room. But I was thinking to myself, ‘I went through every one of the stations.’ He stopped me and said, ‘Three days of concentrated prayer is not enough.’ I just sat there frozen, but my mind started whirring with possibilities of what we could do.”
Today, almost a year after God communicated with Connie during that prayer time, Josiah Venture is excited to announce the launch of our new, online Prayer Room.
We believe that when God’s people pray, He shows up in big ways.
We can see it when looking back at church history. In Acts, when the early church devoted themselves to fellowship and prayer, the Lord added to their numbers daily those who were being saved.
We can also see the power of prayer in the Moravian revival. In 1727, an around-the-clock prayer watch began in Herrnhut, Germany that lasted over 100 years and helped to spread the gospel around the globe, even planting seeds for the “Great Awakening.”
As an organization serving a movement of God among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe, we’ve also seen God work when we pray. Brian Stephens, our VP of Operations who has been heading up the Prayer Room project along with Connie, explains, “When we are serving over here, there are lots of times where we don’t know what to do. The times when we’ve stopped and prayed in the midst of uncertainty, those are the times we get the direction we need to move forward.” Throughout the years, because of prayer, Josiah Venture has grown from a couple families serving in two countries to over 320 full-time staff members working in 13 European countries, and God has blessed our ministry with fruit.
Besides seeing God work on an organizational scale when we pray, we’ve also seen this personally. Brian gives one example, “I experienced the covering of prayer from our partners and supporters when we were pregnant with our twin boys and they had a condition where they should have died. I’ll never forget pressing send on an email to our supporters and then five seconds later experiencing the comfort of peace laying over our home. It was this complete shift from the enemy having control to the Lord taking control. I know that there’s no way that would have happened, and we wouldn’t have been seen through that entire journey without the covering of the prayers of the people who are involved in our ministry.” Talk with any other JV staff members and they have their own stories of how God has worked in the past through prayer.
Amidst the powerful stories of God at work when people pray is a growing need for more intentionality.
After the 100 year prayer chain, the Moravians at Herrnhut ended the prayer schedule, not because they stopped praying, but because the community’s lifestyle was changing. People were moving and spreading out and it was harder to organize and communicate with people the way they had in the past.
Connie says, “It has only become more difficult in today’s world. We live disconnected and spread out. And now we’re also in an age of information inundation… I have wished we had a better way of covering JV in prayer, but for a long time I didn’t know how to do it.”
She goes on to describe some of the specific challenges, “It’s hard to communicate prayer requests. It’s hard when people don’t have a bigger context to understand them. It’s hard to get back to people to tell them what happened, so it’s not motivating for them to pray.”
The JV Prayer Room
Yet we are called to pray continually and are promised in Scripture that God hears us and answers when we do. With this in mind, JV’s new Prayer Room has started; an online 24/7, 365 day experience designed to cover the ministry of Josiah Venture in prayer while giving you an opportunity to see the ministry move forward and personal needs of missionaries met.
Brian describes the experience, “You will actually enter into a virtual room. Over time, we will have rooms in every country that will be available. There will be actual rooms that have been set up with prayer stations, but then there will also be rooms that are squares in a city or significant places in that country. When you come into the room, we guide you through the hour. We’ll walk you through the preparation and time spent with God, as well as allow you to learn more about what’s going on throughout JV and the specific things we’re asking you to pray for. You’ll be able to pray not only for individual missionaries that are serving in Central and Eastern Europe, but also for events we’re doing, ministries we’re involved with, and the current requests we have throughout these countries.”
He goes on, “What we want to see is every hour of 2017 filled… The other important piece for us is that the people who pray get to experience how God has answered their prayers. In the early part of next year, we’ll release a wall on the Prayer Room site with answered prayers so that people will actually be able to see the answers that God has provided to the prayers that have been prayed. And those who have been praying for them will even get notified by email that specific things they prayed for were answered. We don’t want it to end in that hour. We want people to see the results of their prayers.”
Connie says that every hour in the Prayer Room will be a different experience and that throughout the year JV will be adding new content and features. “Our hope is that people will come back time and time again.” She’s also praying that each person who enters the Prayer Room would leave feeling “more refreshed than when they came in. That spiritually they will have met with the Lord and their interaction with Him, as they are coming to pray, will be something revitalizing and encouraging to them.”
Three days of concentrated prayer is not enough, but spending a year boldly asking God in faith for Him to show up and change lives has the potential to fuel a movement. As Connie looks forward to what is to come, she predicts, “I think we’re on the edge of seeing an explosion here that we haven’t seen yet in the past 23 years.” Let’s pray that she is right.
Visit www.josiahventure.com/pray now to join our JV prayer watch and pray with us in 2017 that God will move mightily among the youth of Central and Eastern Europe.