More than 400 people participated in a special prayer event in Ballyclare, which was held recently in a former shop on Main Street.
The 24-7 Prayer event ran from 9am on Monday, May 16 until 9am on Sunday, May 22, with members from a number of churches in the town taking part.
The week ended with a united church service taking place, where the congregation joined to give thanks for a successful programme of events.
Now in its third year, the event was organised into time slots, with people coming to pray throughout these time slots.
The churches involved in this year’s programme included Ballyclare Presbyterian Church, Kilbride Presbyterian Church, New Heart Ministries, St John’s Church of Ireland, Ballylinney Presbyterian Church, Ballynure Presbyterian Church, Ballyclare Methodist Circuit, and Glenabbey Church were involved through Release International.
Event coordinator, Ricky Mehaffy said: “It was great to see so many people of all ages coming to pray together. There were young children coming with their parents as well as older people.
“I worked with seven representatives from local churches. I gave them a bit of thought and direction and they went on to organise each station in the prayer room.
“During the planning stages I asked the question, ‘What would your prayer for Ballyclare be?’
“From this initial conversation the representatives reported back on what they felt would be on their station in the prayer room.
“Most churches in the area were contacted via email and invited to be a part of this project.”
This was Ricky’s first year coordinating the 24-7 Prayer room in Ballyclare.
He has a number of ambitions for future projects. He said: “I would like to unite and bring together all the churches in Ballyclare so that every church is represented officially on the planning team.
“I would also like to see the prayer room being used more often, either by Christian people or people coming in from the street who are needing prayer or wanting prayer.”
Ricky believes there are a number of benefits to staging the 24-7 Prayer event in Ballyclare.
He added: “The benefit is eternal. For me there’s nothing better than spending time being still before God. The people who take part can feel they are a part of something bigger, something beyond their local church, praying for their own area.
“They will be able to experience this feeling themselves as they actively come to the prayer room. They can feel that God is with them and they can also see the prayers of other people.
“This encourages your heart that you’re not alone, that there are other people in this area who are loving God and praying to Him also.”
Interest in the event has grown steadily since it was first started in the town. Last year it was held in a premises at the top of The Square in the town. It is set to be staged again in the spring of 2017.
Details will be made available on the 24-7 Prayer Ballyclare Facebook page.