Prayer Gatherings

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By Janine Folks Edwards

At a recent outdoor prayer gathering in southwest Detroit parking lot, organized by the Women of Transition, Pastor Andre L. Cranford of Back to Life Church prayed, “Let prayer gatherings like this become the norm.”

About a week later, my friend Jacqueline reported seeing a group of men in the area of Fort and Outer Drive standing outside praying publicly. I believe that the words of pastor Cranford are prophetic! I expect to hear more reports about people coming together to pray! Whether it’s on street corners, in a pub, a community or business center, in the living room with family or spontaneous prayer at a public function, prayer gatherings will become the norm.

Pastor Cranford and his wife Tracye recently opened the doors of their church in Southwest Detroit, hailing from Inkster . They have brought life to the abandoned strip mall at 2300 Schaefer, between Annabelle and Beatrice. Already, they are doing a lot of footwork in the streets of our community taking church outside the church, into the highways and byways.

Our neighborhoods and our people need prayer. They need deliverance. I agree with Pastor Cranford’s prayer: Prayer gatherings will become the norm. So often we wait for others to organize prayer gatherings. Why not just do it? God is calling His people to come together to pray and not make it complicated.

We can keep it simple and let the Spirit of God move and flow. As a prayer group organizer, I can tell you that I do not have an agenda. I’ve learned that trusting God for His presence is enough. Sometimes we let ‘self’ get in the way, with our agendas and desire to control what happens in prayer. We must maintain ‘order’ but we also must learn to let go and let God. When it comes to prayer gatherings, I’ve learned that we simply need to ‘show up.’ God will take it from there. He even goes as far as being faithful to send the right people to be there.

The local church is important. We all should be a part of one. We need leadership and a foundation for our spiritual growth. As we grow, our appetite changes. We should go from being satisfied with milk, to desiring meat (Heb. 5:12). As we get equipped in our local church, we ‘go out’ into the world (Mark 16:15) and share what the local church empowered us with. What good is salt if it only stays inside the salt shaker?

We cannot be afraid to go out, even go out and pray. Make prayer a routine part of your life. Pray alone in your closet. Pray in gatherings with others. Every great movement started with prayer. There is power in prayer and prayer groups will become the ‘norm.’

In the early church, home prayer gatherings were normal. Mary, John Mark’s mother, held prayer gatherings in her home (Acts 12:12). Peter attended. Let’s get back to basics and gather to pray.

Start a movement. Gather to pray.


Janine Folks - Spiritual Columnist

About Janine Folks - Spiritual Columnist

Janine Folks is a licensed and ordained minister, inspirational writer of a weekly newspaper column, columnist for a national Christian magazine, self-published author of several books, and co-founder of a women’s prayer group called Women of Transition. Janine holds a B. A. in Liberal Studies with concentrations in Business, Sociology and Communications from the University of Michigan. Janine has studied Clinical Pastoral Education in Detroit, MI and works as a chaplain in the medical field. An avid roller skater, 2013 recipient of a Spirit of Esther Award from the Alliance of Women in Ministry, Janine lives in Michigan is a mother of three.