If like me you read Red Moon Rising a little while ago, or in the old edition, I can understand why you might think ‘Been there done that’. (If, can I say, you have never read it, apparently like the leader of 24/7 Prayer Movement Brian Heasley, then you really ought to put it on your current reading list!).
However, it was free on Kindle for one day during our 24/7 prayer week last week, and I grabbed it (it’s still only 99p on Kindle) and I’ve started reading it now. Chapter 19 on Boiler Rooms is amazing, and the introduction and foreword are also great. I do not remember reading this material quite like this – so I highly recommend it!
For example early days in the Reading Boiler Room (you’ll need to go to chapter 19 to get more of the lowdown):
Imagine this. It’s lunchtime and things are quietly chugging along, with a few people praying, a few people chatting. And then, within thirty minutes, 150 young people arrive, thirty of whom are outside drinking beer and spirits out of plastic bottles. Some are aggressive, and a boom box on the street is blasting out twisted Satanic lyrics to the entire neighbourhood. About thirty skaters have made themselves at home in the car-park area. Only two members of staff on duty.
Andy [Freeman] recounts what happened on that particular occasion: ‘The alcohol and the music we dealt with. One guy came inside and blasphemed very loudly, only to be reprimanded by his friend: ‘Jason, don’t swear! God lives here.’ Although these guys are not from church they have a respect and some understanding of what we’re all about. For all their black clothes many seem to have had experiences of church.
For the next few hours, things calmed down and we had lots of amazing chats, some about God and faith, others about difficult issues they were facing. The really staggering thing about Saturday was that all the momentum was coming from this group of kids who didn’t know Jesus. They were asking us why we believe in a God we can’t see. They were starting the conversations. They were even starting to join in the prayer, as if it was the most natural thing in the world. A small group asked if we would organise a ‘kinda church-type thing’ on Saturday evenings. We found ourselves surrounded by people just begging us to witness to them.’