A Continuous Prayer Watch
As a Bible college student in 1992, Brian D. Alarid read the story of Count Zinzendorf and the Moravian movement that began in 1727. Their continuous prayer watch, which featured at least two people praying every hour of the day, intrigued him. By 1791, the movement — which lasted over a century — had launched more than 300 missionaries around the world.
Alarid, now the 43-year-old senior pastor of Passion Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, never forgot the impact of the Moravian prayer story. Alarid long has prayed for the Lord to let him be part of a new movement that covers nations in unceasing prayer.
He knew there had to be a way to encourage pastors and congregants to participate in a sustainable model of 24/7 prayer without becoming burned out.
“The command in Scripture is clear — pray without ceasing,” says Alarid, citing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. “The Early Church modeled 24/7 prayer.” He mentions Acts 1:14: “They all joined together constantly in prayer.”
In 2016, as a regional manager for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Alarid saw a firsthand prototype when he visited with Pastor Trey Kent in Austin, Texas. Trent started the Unceasing Prayer movement a decade ago and now more than 60 churches are committed to interceding for the capital city of Texas around the clock, following a pattern established by the Moravian prayer chain. Alarid discovered a similar model being used by a group in Bellingham, Washington, led by Jason Hubbard.
In September 2016, Alarid reached out to a handful of pastors in Albuquerque to gather for prayer. More than 200 pastors and leaders responded, birthing New Mexico Prays. There are now 92 churches in 26 cities covering the Land of Enchantment 24/7 in prayer. The movement is composed of churches from various denominations, including Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel, Church of God (Anderson, Indiana), Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), Church of God in Christ, Vineyard, Presbyterian, Catholics, and Southern Baptists.
“I have been in Albuquerque for 38 years and I’ve never seen pastors come together for anything like this,” says New Mexico Ministry Network Superintendent Micheal Dickenson. “It is changing the climate.”
Alarid now has his sights set on a national awakening. Along with Kent, Hubbard, and others, Alarid helped organize America Prays in October 2017 in Washington, D.C. Over 350 churches have adopted a monthly day of prayer. The organization is developing prayer networks in all 50 states, partnering with pastors at the city level, and providing prayer resources for Christians. The goal is for 40,000 churches to be praying for spiritual awakening in the United States.