Interceding Through Porch Light Prayers
COVID-19 results in a new prayer discipline for a pastor and his wife.Every night as 9 p.m. approaches, Brent and Janet Tevebaugh, who pastor Christian Life First Assembly of God in Sparta, Tennessee, turn on their porch light and step out the door. There, they spend 10 to 15 minutes thanking God for His blessings and lifting up needs.
Brent says that they began this tradition in March as COVID-19 was beginning to shut down the U.S. and people were receiving stay-at-home instructions. However, personal prayer is the ideal “at home” response to any challenge, including a pandemic.
“Janet noticed that Terry and Samalee Allen, the former Tennessee Ministry Network Youth directors, had started doing this and we thought it was a great idea,” Brent says.
Over the months, the couple, who have been married nearly 41 years and serving at Christian Life for nearly 20 years, regularly prayed over the pandemic, specifically for those who have contracted the disease. They also pray for those who have not been infected, for the nation and the president, for their congregation, over the class of 2020, that God would intercede in the riots, and a multitude of other issues.
“We’re just out there praying about whatever the Holy Spirit leads us to pray about,” Brent says. “After we’re done, my wife takes a picture and posts it to Facebook with a brief summary of what we prayed for along with a Bible verse.”
Christian Life is a small church of about 60 people in a community of about 4,800. However, Janet says that as they have followed what the Allens were doing, some of their congregation are now following them in nightly porch light prayers.
For those who live in an apartment, a balcony may be an option. “Or simply go right outside their entry door,” Janet suggests. And as the Tevebaughs have discovered, with warmer weather and the arrival of insects, for those who do go outside, Brent notes with a smile that it’s probably best to turn the porch light off to avoid being swarmed.
People regularly “like” Janet’s posts and often leave comments; some individuals simply being thankful for the Tevebaugh’s efforts while others being blessed by the Scripture accompanying the post.
“It encourages me,” Brent says about the nightly porch prayer times. “I’m still confident in the God we serve, and the prayers of a righteous man avail much [James 5:16] — I’m encouraged by that. God is still in control, still on the throne, He hasn’t abdicated. We press forward and trust in Him!”