Burning desire for non-stop worship in Norwich
Norwich is one of 20 UK cities where Christians are expressing themselves in “Burns" consisting of 12 to 100 hours of non-stop of worship and prayer at least once per month. Kevin Gotts reports.
The vision for Burn Norwich specifically, came out of a 3-day worship festival called ‘David’s Tent’ and JJ Waters, one of the organisers of Burn Norwich explained: “We launched in September 2012 with an incredible 12 hours of worship in a tent in a field! The hunger for more of God was evident as people encountered Him in new ways, in the thick presence of God many were healed, delivered, and even baptised in the sea the next day!”
The Burn started in 2006 out of spontaneous, all-night worship nights at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The grassroots worship, prayer and mission movement soon spread to a local coffee shop and then to local churches.
A typical Burn is 4 to 24 hours long, and consists of what is called ‘vertical worship’ as the focus is entirely on ministering to God, and the first and greatest commandment to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matt 22:37, Mark 12:30).
“We value prophetic worship and create a space for musicians to release creative, spontaneous and prophetic songs over the city. We often have specific intercession and sometimes send teams out during or after the Burn to share the love of Jesus on the streets,” continues JJ, “We now meet monthly in various locations across the city and region, and every month it is different – a fresh sound, a different focus of intercession, or a specific vision such as city-wide unity, or outreach.”
“In one recent 24-hour Burn at ‘The Beacon’ (St Elizabeth’s) on the Earlham estate in Norwich, six young people came in off the streets during the Burn and gave their lives to Jesus, and we heard there was breakthrough in the church after that,” said JJ.
The movement has caught the attention of a number of Norfolk church leaders:
“The Burn brings together a host of different traditional ways of praying and gives them a format that draws younger people. It is a prayer form for our pick and mix culture which I welcome,” said Rev Madeline Light, St Stephen’s Norwich.
“I love the vision and passion behind Burn to see churches come together in a way which glorifies God and releases encounter with the Father's love. We have seen an increase in intimacy with Him and the revelation and healing which flows out of prioritising relationship with Jesus above all else,” said Rev Stephen Mawditt, The Fountain Network, Ashill.
“They have been building a 'Unity of the Holy Spirit' across the many churches from which people have been drawn… I personally believe the Lord is using the 24/7 'Burns' across the nation to prepare for a move of God,” said David Cairns of Heartbeat Ministries Norwich.
JJ is looking forward to the Christmas Burn: “We are so excited by what God is doing, and on Saturday December 13 at House of Prayer on Fishergate, Norwich; we will be worshipping during the day and sending people out with sweets, prophetic cards and pictures, gifts, worship on the streets and generally spreading the love of Jesus to the shoppers.”
For more information: www.facebook.com/BurnNorwich or email firstname.lastname@example.org.