Starting June 9 at the Territorial Headquarters in West Nyack, N.Y., the Army's USA Eastern Territory began a full year of 24/7 prayer, part of a worldwide movement (Spring 2006 Priority!). Others have picked up the baton around the territory, and back at the home office, employees and officers continued 24/7 for the whole summer. Many Salvation Army summer camps joined the effort; the first was Camp SWONEKY in Oregonia, Ohio. Captain Philip Lloyd, director of youth ministries, sends this report.
We entered our week lacking confidence that we would be able to keep our commitment to this initiative. We began by asking our leadership team to commit to one hour a day and hoped that the rest of our staff would sign up for at least two hours throughout the rest of the week.
I was amazed to see our staff, high school and college kids, signing up for one-hour time periods every day. Very quickly there was a day or two wait to get an open time slot in the prayer tent.... I continued to be amazed when a dozen or so staff volunteered to stay on camp during the two-day break in order to pray!
During the first week, the prayer tent blew over twice during severe weather. The first time, the staff picked up [everything] and set up in a nearby pavilion. After the second storm, the staff said, "Captain, we've got to get a more permanent place." The "prayer tent" was moved to a guest room in the lodge. That same evening, staff suggested that we clean up an old tool shed and pull it out into a central location as a permanent prayer chapel.
Our week of prayer ended officially last night, but our prayer chain is still going on.... The impact this initiative is making on our summer will probably not be realized for some time to come. I thank God for giving us this special sacred thing He has given us—even before we knew how much we needed it.