House of Prayer opens its doors in Norwich
By Keith Morris
2011: A House of Prayer was officially opened in Norwich yesterday (February 2) at the Fishergate Centre as the culmination of 18 months of prayer and effort.
An audience of around 70 church leaders and supporters of Call to Prayer, which is the organization behind the Centre, heard from director Jill Gower and Jane Holloway, from the World Prayer Centre in Birmingham.
Jill said: “More than anything else we wanted this place to be somewhere where God would come and inhabit our praises - where people would just come in and sense his presence through our constant prayer, constant worship and constant seeking him.
“We believe that as we do that, we can change the atmosphere over the city and county as we stand together with churches, ministries and the body of Christ. We will see things change in the spiritual dimension.
“For the past 18 months we have been praying for this and during that time there were moments when we had to question whether it was right. But once you have seen it in the spirit you cannot unsee it - and I saw what we would be doing here with the prayer stations, the 24/7 prayer, people gathering here and God has been so faithful,” said Jill.
“The purpose of the centre is just to see the body of Christ come together in a place to pray and seek him and stand and work with him. We are not independent, we are very much linking in with what God is doing in the churches and ministries in the area.”
Addressing the audience, Jane Holloway, from the World Prayer Centre, said: “This is a momentous day of real significance and the culmination of an 18-month vision.
“There are now over 50 difference expressions of Houses of Prayer in the country and one is opening every couple of weeks in private homes or public buildings. They are all becoming key to what God is doing in this nation.”
Jane said that two images had come to mind when she thought about the Norwich House of Prayer.
“The first image is one of a well - a place to give and receive blessing and for people to come to be refreshed and to unblock the wells of salvation. People will be drawn by the spirituality of the Fishergate Centre which has built up over the past centuries,” said Jane.
“The second image is one of fire – giving light to illuminate his bride, warmth and a refining fire, burning up the dross to leave pure gold. Fire can also burn the old away and leave room for new seeds to germinate,” she said.
“Prayer is exploding everywhere in towns, cities and villages,” said Jane. “When people start to pray and demonstrate their unity, then God’s blessings can fall. Prayer initiatives are meant to be a catalyst, a signpost. They are not the end point but instead point to other things. We need every bit of the body of Christ to reach our nation.”
Jane went on to talk about the More than Gold initiative leading up to the 2012 Olympics and Hope 2011 to 2014.
The opening event was supported by Unite and Transforming Norwich.
Pictured top are Jill Gower (left) and Jane Holloway at the opening of the Norwich House of Prayer.