“The Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
To proclaim the Word of God for 24 hours over a period of 7 days.
There is a tremendous awareness in the Church concerning the power of prayer and intercession. There is also an increasing hunger for spiritual growth, for a fresh revelation of who God is, for a deeper intimacy in relationship with God, for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit to cleanse, strengthen and empower the Church in our generation and for a visible transformation of communities as a result of the spiritual impact of the lives of spiritually mature followers of Jesus Christ.
God has given His Word as an instrument through which the Holy Spirit will bring the Church to final union with God and His purposes. The Word of God is the seed that produces spiritual fruit (Luke 8:11; 1 Pet.1:23) and it is the sword of the Holy Spirit that is used against evil principalities and powers (Eph.6:17). Jesus commanded His followers to abide in His Word (John 8:31). The fruit of abiding in the Word of God is cleansing (Ps.119:9; John 15:3; Eph.5:26), revival (Ps.119:25), increase in faith (Rom.10:17); sanctification (John 17:17; Eph.5:26), deliverance (John 8:3; John 17:17) and a deep intimate relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit (John 14:23).
Two-fold aim of this Word Watch: To proclaim the Word of God aloud and to ignite a fresh understanding of the power of praying the Word of God.
A visible illustration of the power of reading God’s Word is found in Neh.8:13 – 9:38. After the exile in Babylon, the returned remnant of the Jews first rebuilt the altar of sacrifice, the temple and re-established the daily worship. Then they rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem. At the dedication of the wall they kept the Feast of Tabernacles and Ezra, the priest, read the Word of God to the people for a whole week. This led to one of the most significant repentance and cleansing periods in the history of Israel.
Basic guidelines on how to do a 24-7 Word Watch
- Divide the day into 24-hour slots beginning at midnight of the first day and ending ending with midnight on the last evening.
- Each person who participates takes responsibility for an hour each day or any number of hours during the week, in which he/she reads the Word as a prophetic proclamation, preferably out loud.
- It will be good to have a central place where participants can come to read the Word.
- For 6 hours per day the Psalms will be read (3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening as a symbolic morning and evening sacrifice of praise. This means that every day the whole book of Psalms will be prayed). For the rest of the day (18 hours) the Word is read, beginning at Genesis and ending with Revelation.
- Every hour begins with: A personal prayer (see page 4) that the Word will bless the individual, and with a proclamation of a Word Prayer (see page 5-52) before the participant begins with his/her part of reading the Word.
- Have a log-book available to record where each person has to begin reading and where they stop at the end of their hour, so that the next person can continue from there.
- Should 2 or more people choose to share an hour, they can take turns reading the chapters or use the same translation and read aloud together. Those who are not able to read do not need to be excluded, for hearing the Word is also a blessing.
- If you have too many participants, consider having more rooms available or organise another site to read in your village or city. If you have very few participants, consider using an audio version of the Bible to fill the hours that are not committed for.
- For a creative alternative to a prayer room, you can organise a table and chair inside the marketplace, or shopping centre or other public venue and read the Word out loud so that passers-by can hear the Word of God. If you have participants who are very mobile you can also pitch a tent on a hill or mountain overlooking the city from where to read the Word of God.
- This booklet and prayer guide is only a suggestion. Feel free to use any other creative way to proclaim the Word of God in your community.