The Power of Prayer

Our campus, as well as all the other Kensington campuses, is entrenched in an amazing endeavor; 40 Days of non-stop prayer.  We are talking 24/7, day and night, uninterrupted prayer.  Some staff are fasting, some are reading the entire bible in 40 days, and all are participating in weekly worship gatherings.  The Troy campus set up a special room dedicated solely to unbroken prayer by members of the Kensington staff and their spouses. Here at Traverse City we don’t have the ability to physically participate in the unbroken prayer at the Troy campus, nor do we have the volume of staff to fill in every hour of every day for 40 days in our own prayer room, but we are dedicating 3 full workdays per week to uninterrupted prayer time with our Father.  What have I noticed?  Everyone prays a little differently.  Some journal, some scribble a little note next to a scripture verse in the bible, some write a poem or song worshipping our Father.  Some paint a picture.

I hadn’t picked up a paint brush in years until last week.  You’d never know it now, but 20 years ago I was an art student in college, studying to become a commercial designer.  God had a different plan for me though.  I met my husband of 18 years, had two beautiful kids, got an accounting degree (way different from art major, wouldn’t you say?), and haven’t given art too much thought in the last 15 years or so.  But last week while sitting in the absolute quiet and solitude of a dim and cozy prayer room, surrounded by the prayers of my fellow staff written on small cards lining the walls, I heard a little prompting from God.  Staged in front of the prayer room window, illuminated by the glow of soft sunlight and beautiful fall foliage, was an easel and a mostly blank canvas.  Looking out upon the gorgeous glory of God’s creation which borders our campus, I reached for a brush and paint palette.  While slowly adding pigment and brushstroke to canvas, I could feel the Holy Spirit in that room.

Powerful stories are rising from this 40 Days endeavor.  

"...the experience today was amazing. You guys exceeded my expectations.  This hour was exactly what I needed today.  It's been a tough week but coloring with crayons reminded me that I am still a child.  A child of God who delights in my joy and weeps in my sorrow.  Thank you." 

The day I stepped into the prayer room for my first one-hour time slot, my heart was anxious, my mind was whirling with the things to complete on my to-do list, and I caught myself reaching for my phone to check email.  But once I settled into a comfy chair with a worn bible in my hands, and His words before my eyes, the rest of the world and all it’s crazy and worry just fell away for a while.  

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,
-    Ephesians 1:18 NIV

Some of the prayers I’ve seen posted up on our prayer wall are very personal; requests for intervention for the health and healing of a loved one, prayers that a family member who is far from God will find their way back to Him, prayers for our country during this tumultuous political season, prayers that God will make himself known in the lives of our children, prayers that our staff will continue to grow closer to each other and become a close-knit and cohesive family, prayers for the families and children of our congregation that they may feel the presence of God each time they enter this building, prayers for help in reaching the [one], and many more.  
I can’t tell you that the last year has been easy.  In many ways it hasn’t been.  But the beauty that God has revealed to us through this transition and the people he is bringing into this building every Sunday morning prove over and over again that it isn’t just our well-laid plans and hard work that will accomplish great things for the Kingdom, but faith and the power of prayer.  

During my second one-hour block in the prayer room I completed the watercolor landscape painting of the colorful hillside that runs along the western horizon of our campus.  By no means is it Art Prize worthy, but in that moment, in that hour, God heard my prayer. My silent, unspoken prayer, and gave me peace beyond all understanding.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 
-    Philippians 4:7

Tonya Jacobs | Executive Administrator


Jenn Bander