When we went to Florida last month, we got to go with our cousin Saundra for a 24 hour prayer walk. Their church was getting ready to put on a walk-through play called Judgement House and wanted to do this prayer walk to cover the whole place in prayer. We girls had never done anything like it before (or heard of Judgement House before), so it was a really neat experience! Judgement House is a play that goes on in several different rooms and the audience walks through the rooms and in a way, they become a part of it. The first room we walked in was where the mother in the story picks up her child from church, and gets saved while listening to the message the teacher is giving.
The next room is their home, and someone breaks in and kills the dad, and the mother is rushed to the hospital in critical condition. You then walk over to the ‘hospital’ where the mother is and her two boys are there…then they go over to their father’s funeral (and the audience follows). During the funeral they get a call that their mother has also passed away.
Sometime during this you find out that during the police chase, one of the offenders who shot the parents is also shot and killed by the police.
Next, you walk over to the judgement room, where the Judge is standing between heaven and hell. First he calls the mother’s name, and the Judge asks her why she should come to heaven. She replies that she isn’t good enough, but that she is saved by the blood of Jesus…and she is welcomed into heaven. Next the guy who killed the parents is called, and he has not accepted Christ and the demons come out and take him away. The father is satisfied that the other guy ‘got what he deserved’ and he himself is looking forward to joining his wife in heaven…but he never took the free gift of salvation that Jesus had available to him all along, and so he follows the guy who had killed himself and his wife.
A surprise comes to the audience when the Judge starts calling each of them out by name…since they registered at the door, he gets a list of the names of the people in the group, but the audience doesn’t know it 🙂 One or two prayer-walkers go with each group, to pray for the audience, and Saundra has been a prayer walker before and told us that when one man’s name was called out, instead of stepping forward, he headed straight for the back of the room! The happy news is that even though he may not have been ready at that time, by the end of the play he had accepted Jesus as his Savior 😀
Next stop (our least favorite!) was in hell. This church has done variations on this play every other year since 2003 (or somewhere around there!), and from what the members were telling us, they make this one very realistic and nobody likes visiting this room! They also told us that certain church members always do this room together because they work so well with each other and in their parts. We found out that the music minister plays Satan, and the next morning when we met him Cassia said, “Oh! Are you…that Paul?” and he laughed and said, “Yes, I play the devil!” 😀 We prayed a lot for that room, that they would be able to play their parts well and realistically without the evil they were portraying affecting them personally.
While in this room you hear the father blaming the guy who killed him for sending him there, but he replies, “At least you knew about the gift of salvation! Why didn’t you take it? Nobody even told me about it.”
Saundra told us that once they had a group of people in the ‘hell room’, and when the devil said to one of the ladies there, “And you’re next!” , she hollered, “You get away from me Satan! I’m saved by the blood of Jesus and you can’t touch me! I know where I’m going!” Saundra said that she just prayed Heaven right down 😀 You can imagine what a testimony that was to the others in the group!
Our favorite room was heaven, of course! In that room they put white robe/capes on everyone in the audience, then a curtain is pulled back and Jesus comes out and greets you and shakes your hand. We didn’t get to see the play of course, but by the way they were describing it for us, I can imagine that this room brings a sigh of relief! 😀 We prayed that it would be so real to the audience, and that they would realize how much Jesus loves them and how He wants them to be with Him.
After this, the audience heard the Gospel message again and there were members of the church standing by to pray with people and/or answer any questions they had if they wanted to.
As you can tell…this is kind of a scary story 😀 We prayed that people especially wouldn’t be ‘scared’ into accepting Christ, but that they would realize that death will happen, and that there is a life after death. And also to realize that Jesus is just waiting for them to come, and what a glorious and full life awaits those who just take the free gift of salvation!
There were other rooms we prayed for, too…like the kitchen, where the cooks would be preparing food, and the parking lot where people would be eating, the kids would be playing, and the security guys would be doing their job. We prayed for harmony, for health, for strong family and church relationships and that Satan would not in any way be able to get through on those nights. We also prayed for the follow-up part of the ministry, and we got to meet Scott, the man who was in charge of it. You could tell he really had a heart for others, and the joy of Jesus just shone out of him 🙂
A blessing of praying with Saundra’s church family is that we felt like we became part of the family, which I guess should be no surprise, because we ARE all part of the same Family 😀 It was so neat to get to meet and pray with these people, and we made lots of new friends. By the time Sunday rolled around we felt like we knew ‘everybody’!
A man and his wife came in during one of the early morning shifts, and he had us in stitches! Somehow in one of our conversations we mentioned that sometimes 1) people think we are Amish, and 2) strangers take our picture when we’re on vacation. Somehow it also came up that we had Facebook. He had us laughing so hard when he ‘acted out’ a conversation that could happen between us and the strangers.
Us: *see people taking our picture* “Hey! I’ll see you on Facebook!”
Stranger: “What? How do you have Facebook if you have no electricity?”
Us: “Oh, my sister, she pedals away [to generate electricity] while I type!” 😀
And the way I wrote it down doesn’t near do it justice…he was much funnier about it!
The prayer walk had twelve 2- hour shifts, and during almost every new shift we would have a ‘praise and worship’ time, where we listened to a cd of worship music, or we girls got to sing for the ‘new shift’. That was lots of fun. Then we’d walk around to each of the rooms again and pray in each one. Saundra brought an air mattress, so we girls got to take turns napping so we weren’t up the full 24 hours 😀
Not only was it really encouraging to pray with other believers (and my sisters!), but it also brought to my attention again how many people are ready and looking for a Savior. One time during our private prayer time during the prayer walk, Jesus impressed on me that the sun is setting, He’s coming back soon, and there is still SO MUCH wheat ready and ripe for the harvest. Time is running out. What am I doing to help bring it in? May the joy and love of Jesus Christ shine out of each of us, and may we spread the Good News so that many will come to the Savior!
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