Wilderness Prayer Retreat Center

A place of prayer, retreat and encounter with Jesus Christ

 
       Our Divine Mandate
 

Under the covering of South Central Minnesota Youth For Christ, the Wilderness Prayer Center is an on-going adventure in the building up of a prayer hub for the southern Minnesota/northern Iowa region. While initially envisioned as an extension of Youth For Christ for the primary purpose of supporting and covering Youth For Christ ministries regionally, nationally and world wide in the ministry of prayer, we have since come to believe that the call and vision is larger and more encompassing than only Youth For Christ. The ministry of prayer that we are purposing to advance is in reality a global phenomenon that has been born largely over the course of the last decade. Prayer centers or “Houses of Prayer” have sprung up both nationally and internationally in unprecedented numbers in recent years. Internet sites connecting various houses of prayer one to another are now posting record numbers of prayer gatherings operating simultaneously across nations. Thousands of individuals worldwide have sensed a call on their lives to engage full time as “intercessory missionaries”. These are the “Annas”  (See Luke 2:36-37) of our day – the desperate ones – those who will purposefully set themselves apart to lay hold of the promises of God in the place of prayer and worship. They have been awakened to the understanding that nothing of eternal significance will ever be accomplished apart from the foundation of prayer. They recognize that our hope is in God and God alone.

            So why do we need a prayer center? Why not simply use our existing churches? Why would a neutral site be any more effective than our occasional prayer meetings in homes or churches? These are good and valid questions. Let me share what I believe may be helpful in understanding the significance of a prayer center.

1)  This prayer center's primary purpose is for prayer and worship. As such our primary agenda is to see the body of Christ come together to seek God and encounter Him in the place of prayer.

2)  We can and should use our churches and homes for prayer meetings. This prayer center is not intended to minimize the effectiveness or “rightness” of meetings such as those. What we do see as valuable and powerful in a prayer center model is the component of unity in the body of Christ. Psalm 133 says that the Lord “commands the blessing” in the place of unity. Simply, God is moved when His people come together as one body in agreement in the place of prayer.

3)  We see this prayer center as a type of “beachhead” for the advancing of the Kingdom of God in this region. A “beachhead” is defined as: “An area on a hostile shore occupied to secure further landing of troops and supplies”. And again it is defined as “A foothold; a position usable as a base for further advance.” We can see from these definitions that to designate a place for the specific purpose of prayer and worship is very valid as we consider the spiritual dimensions we are accessing.

4)  We have also seen evidence of the Lord using this place and the meetings here to encourage and validate believers in their unique giftings.  We are inspired to continue in the hope of further establishing a Kingdom atmosphere that is characterized by freedom in worship, prayer and ministry.  Much like an incubator, we are desiring to honor and build up one another for the work of ministry within each one's sphere of influence.

5)  We have received several encouraging “God moments” where the Lord has directed us in this “mandate”. While they may be subjective in their interpretations and applications we do sense a commissioning and a call to respond to Him as best we can. To say no to this invitation is not an option any longer.

6)  We believe God has, in His goodness, invited us to be part of the global prayer movement awakening throughout the world. We believe one of the primary reasons for this is that He has something of great significance that He desires to bring forth in our area. He’s inviting us to agree with Him in prayer to see His Kingdom break through in our part of the world.

We believe in the value of prayer. We believe in the value of worship. We believe they are intertwined. We believe that corporate prayer is key to the further advancement of the Kingdom of God in our area churches and ministries. We believe that God will respond to the hungry heart, to the desperate ones, to those who will set aside time to encounter the One who is their great reward. We believe the time is now to push the limits of what we can expect from God. We believe we must do this; there is no other option.