In late 2008 God burdened my heart to take “24-hour prayer” outside the four walls of our church. The first area of society God placed on my heart was our local public high school. On October 22, 2010, we invaded Mingus Union High School in Cottonwood, Arizona. For the first time we saw several denominations, generations, and ethnic backgrounds, come together to pray for the residents of our city. Something happened in those beginning hours of prayer that changed the school and our city, and launched this vision of eleven high schools in 2011.
eleven11 became a movement of prayer, fasting and worship that began sweeping through Arizona, one high school campus at a time. The vision of eleven11 was simple: take the power of transformational prayer into the high school campuses of Arizona, and eventually the United States. We started holding 24-hour prayer gatherings in local high schools. Rallying all generations, races and believers to come together and pray for the youth of a particular school, our state and country. In the spirit of Malachi 4:5, we were turning the hearts of the fathers to the children.
To avoid any confrontational issues, such as church-state separation or public opinion, we “rent” the facility at each school, (most often the auditorium). Once we decide on a school, we meet with the leadership of that school/district. In our meetings with them we simply ask “How can we pray for you?” or “What are some needs of the school/district that we can mobilize churches to take care of?” The key communication point is, “how can we serve you?” Even to the unbelieving authority figures a servant attitude is inviting. In the weeks and months prior to these events we reach out to as many churches in that area as possible, inviting them to bring their church to the school to pray for an hour.
In 1962 state sanctioned prayer was removed from our public schools and I believe we can look around our society and see the impact of prayer-less schools. After hosting 24-hour prayer, Mingus’s academics came up 25% in one semester launching the school into the top 25% of the state for the first time! Violence also dropped severely. For the first time ever, a multi-agency law enforcement drug sweep of the campus produced nothing.
Amber (14) wrote her story to the Principal of Mingus High:
“I was raped by my father, kicked out of my house and moved from relative to relative until finally I was placed in a foster home. I was abandoned by my family and very angry towards them. I want to thank you, Mingus for letting us pray in your school because tonight, I forgave my dad and I’m gonna call my mom when I leave. Really, for the first time in a long time I see a little light in my dark life.”
Since the post of this story several other young women have been set free.
Another young man named Justin was suicidal, addicted to various drugs, and was at that time homeless and wandering the streets. He stumbled into the auditorium and was overtaken by the presence of God. He ended up staying the whole 24 hours and has since been active in starting a prayer meeting on the middle school campus.
Mike and Lila had filed for divorce months before the first prayer gathering on 10/22/10. Mike was heavily involved in pornography and had actually left his wife and three kids and moved to Texas. Mike flew into Arizona that Friday to sign the final divorce papers. Lila had been a friend of mine and had committed to be at Mingus for the prayer gathering. Long story short, they both came up that night, drove back home to Phoenix and up to Cottonwood again the next afternoon. In the closing service Pastor Frank Nevarez asked Mike from the stage, “are you married?” He said, “well kind of.” Pastor Nevarez asked to pray for him and as he did, Mike broke down. As this was happening, Lila came up to him. All I can say is that God did what no man can do. The kids prayed for marriages and in moments we were seeing restoration. Mike and Lila over a year later frequent our gatherings, giving their testimonies and through that, watch other couples restored.
On November 11, 2011 we celebrated a year of prayer gatherings in schools all over the state of Arizona. Something that was considered almost impossible has now become a reality. We are seeing so many amazing things happen one life and one campus at a time. Our goal is to see prayer on every campus! For more info, check out our website and our facebook page.
- Penetrating Schools With Prayer - March 23, 2012