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Hosting the Lord and Each Other

You are the jar and God is the oil. In the Old Testament we read of the encounter between Elisha and a widow. Her husband had died and her two sons were about to be taken as slaves to pay off their debt. She cried out to Elisha for help. 2 Kings 4:1-7. He asked her, “What do you have?” “A jar of oil,” was her reply. He told her, “Go and find as many vessels as you can.” (cyndy paraphrase)

And once she had as many vessels as she could find, she poured the oil from her one jar into the many jars. All the jars became full. Once all were full the oil stopped pouring. She was then able to sell oil to pay off her debts and to live off of the remainder of the oil. There was enough. Sufficiency was at hand. Exponential increase had overtaken them.

The gospel is seeded into the world by Christ in us. God encompasses Christ. Christ encompasses us. Brought into the belly of God, the womb from which all life flows, we are breathed through with the Spirit and life ripples out from our lives.

We have learned that spiritual authority is simply our intimacy with God. Intimacy with God is our spiritual authority. How might we become vessels of God?

How do we host the Lord?

Humility. Surrender. A great yielding of our lives. Solid trust. Deep listening.

God is the oil. Be the jar.

Never the Same

It has become strong in my spirit that a House of Prayer must host the Lord in such a way, with a hunger for God and God only, with a face like flint toward the Lord, with hearts that have little compulsion for things of the world, with a focus and a love that calls forth the Love and Goodness of God for all peoples, that we are either drawn to this light or repelled by it. Broken open by the hand of our Lord.

A House of Prayer must be a people ready unto confession and repentance for their community, region, and nation. A people already learned in coming on the inside, refusing to stand on the outside in accusation, but ready, willing, understanding, the great power in repentance for our sins; we take on the sins round about as though they are our own (and often they are) and bring them from the dominion of satan and into the Kingdom of God, whereby all things are made new.

It is the action and manner by which the crippling effects of sin and death within our communities and upon our neighbours are loosed of their impact, thwarted of their authority, where sins are remitted and the goodness of God pours in; love covering a multitude of sins, where tears are dried, and God has the last say.

A House of Prayer is serious work. Holy business. Sober judgement. With hearts ready to hear the Lord, to inhabit and to be inhabited by God. Naturally, our hearts quake at this. But with years of practice, of seeking the Lord, of obedience, of courage, of coming to understand things that only God can show, we are glad to be before the Lord in this way.

We take courage to see God like we have not seen him before. And we take courage to be seen by God afresh, heart and soul naked before him. Habits of Prayer purges us of our sins. Our motives are tested and revealed. Our love is brought into account. Our days are laid out before us. And only in great humility do we find great grace. For God does business with us first and foremost.

We pour out our sins before the Lord. His presence commands it. We cannot escape. We are caught by God. His goodness pours in. Tears pour out. A great shift within our hearts and minds occurs! We are surprised. Refreshed. Glad-hearted. In awe.

And the Spirit of God pours forth. Leaking out from the hem of our robes. Clothed in the glory of the Lord. Astounded. Purified. Made Holy. Shone through with light. Brought to our knees. Worship. Honour. Glory. To the one true God of heaven and of earth, and of our lives.

We are never the same.

We love you Lord. We trust You. And we know YOU to be GOOD.

We bless your name today, God. Amen and amen.

Some Background Story

The Lord is bringing our thinking down to the core of hospitality as the primary movement at House of Prayer. We have been recalling what the Lord does from this place of abiding, resting, inviting, and making space for God. There has been swaths of movement from the Holy Spirit all through our decade of international ministry. This, we are expecting to overtake us, as we come together as a house of prayer.

By Prophecy & Prayer

Capturing Courage International Ministries has been led by prophecy and prayer all the years. You can find our long history HERE. Capturing Courage is primarily a prophetic and apostolic work. Meaning, the impact of the Lord flows out as a function of intimacy with him, rather than as a function of projects.

The Lord is always downloading vision and imagery, of thoughts and feelings about what might be. He does this across us, as capturing courage team. These words also come to us as a function of the international body of Christ. And in the last week or so a few very significant, spot-on for us, prophetic words have come to our attention. Consider:

From Lana Vawser: “The Lord showed me there was a deeper understanding and awakening taking place in the body of Christ of the reality of “Home in Him”. It was a deep burning revelation of communion and oneness with Him. It was the John 15 place of abiding in the vine. It was a place of finding deeper rest, peace, security, safety, life and strength in Him. It was an even deeper awakening to Jesus being the root and source of lives. It was a deeper baptism in the fire of His love (Ephesians 3:15-20) that all other ‘loves’ before Him, all other ‘idols’ were being cast aside as there was a deep returning to “home”, the place of first love. … READ MORE.

And from Nate Johnston: “For six months now I keep hearing the Lord speak to me about an establishing of eagles nests for the prophetic pioneers but just a few days ago I heard it again and I knew I had to share what I feel the Lord is saying. What is an eagles nest? It’s a place of establishing, strengthening, support, rest, empowering, and family. It’s a place of developing deeper foundations, being rooted, surrounded, and refueled to go out from. I believe God is not leading pioneers to their next assignment as much as He is leading them to their people. … READ MORE

These words are deep confirmation to our spirits at this time. I am hunkered in at home at my dads. House of Prayer is all about hosting the glory of the Lord. Our lives, all our lives, are seed gifts in the hands of almighty God who is faithful to gently guide us forward.

The Lord is always communicating to us as people. May we have ears to hear and hearts to understand! Yes, Lord. We want to hear from you. Lead us. We love you. We trust you. And we know you to be good. Be the love and the fire in our lives. Purify our intentions. Make new our hearts. We depend on you God.

A Deep Pause

I am back to my dads. Out of the chill. But also out of the fresh air! I’ve been keeping my window open a bit at night so that I can sleep a bit better. My dad’s Alzheimers is advancing further. He does not know where he is most of the time. I’m on duty for evenings, bedtime routine, and nighttime redirections.

We’ve done some furniture shifting magic and created a room for me near to his room. The other night, middle of the night, “Dad, come out of the garage. Let me show you where your bed is.” or, “I’ve slept in this bed before” Yes, you live here. “I live here!” Yup, for some time now.

Or the middle of the night upon shifting the room, “I think I’m in an office building.” His room has four lights on the ceiling with two desks along one wall so he had concluded he was in an office building (these have always been in the room, a big room, but now he faces them when in bed). And at 3am as I was putting him back to bed he says, “But I’m worried that I won’t wake up in time before the office staff come.” It’s okay Dad, no office staff are coming. This is your room. “This is my room?!” And on it goes.

Its quite sweet and he is pretty cute in all this. I have adjusted my sleeping. When he goes to bed I crawl into my bed too! Then I’ll get a few hours of solid sleep before I’m up any number of times in the night. One night we slept all through. I’m here for an indeterminate number of months or even years.

As you know, I was all set to continue winter camping on Vancouver Island and seeing more of the land, spaces, and people. But, this is an opportunity to spend time with my dad before he is gone from us. These moments in time come around once in a lifetime and I am not going to miss it. There is a big lot of assistance already in each day, but the family has been hard-pressed to keep up with the advanced dementia. So I am here.

The thing I love most about my family is how we all show up. We are not in each others lives in opinion or comment in any way. We can all be in the house and not see each other for days or even weeks sometimes. But when there is something to attend to, we are present. So, I am back to showers, hot showers!, electricity, internet, running water, hot water!, and a fridge.

These are such luxuries after managing ice in coolers, sponge baths behind bushes, walking some distances for water, and heating water on my little stove for dishwashing. Now, I LOVE all that simplicity that comes with tenting. Really love it. But, it is amazing to have all these things at hand.

I’m trying not to gain back the weight I lost. Thats a bit difficult with my dads cookies right in the cupboard. I’m trying to keep the rhythm of NOT eating at 9pm. While living in a tent where all food is put into the car due to bears, one is not grabbing midnight snacks! I’ll try to keep to this here too.

Now, I had already determined that I needed to take one year to consider, plan, and prepare our way forward with a House of Prayer.

It is important to let the dust settle on this past 9 weeks of ministry travel and observation. I’ll take a breath. And then we see what the Lord is impressing upon us. What stands out. How we want to proceed in due time. With enough time for the Lord to edit, to eliminate anything out of and off the table. So, being here for a time gives the same room for the thinking, conversations, and prayer that are necessary to move forward, being nimble and settled into the leading of God. And, as the Lord reminded me, an ANCIENT well of The Spirit is not going anywhere!

Thank you God for all good things at due time. And thank you for this time I get to spend with my dad. The photo at the top is from 2010. It’s one of my favorite photos of my dad. And he still looks much the same today.

Interestingly, in the book Poustinia, about rhythms of days with the Lord, of silent abiding in prayer, the author relays that the one who lives this way does embark away from the silence to care for those who may need. So, here I am, in the rhythm of the Poustinia. With all glory to the Lord!

P.S. I am hosting a six-week class on being Advanced in The Kingdom. It begins October 16 and runs through November 20th. Here is the link for further information: https://cyndylavoie.com/advanced-in-the-kingdom/

We are going to talk about how to bear good fruit. Join us!

Hosting

We’ve had a number of ideas around a House of Prayer. Is this a place for gathering in groups, hosting conferences or training times, how to pray for nations maybe? Perhaps we host week-long inner-healing intensives for small numbers of folks. Maybe we fly-in pastors and their wives from the majority world for three-weeks at a time for restoration and refreshment, for being poured into with a renewal from the Lord.

Any of these are possible. We have an understanding about how to pray for nations. How to come on the inside, putting down the pointing finger and loosing off judgement and condemnations towards our governments. To instead, take on identification with the sins of our land, to confess gross injustices and betrayals of leadership as our own and on behalf of country and leaders, bringing these sins, by the power of the lamb, to the cross where they are washed away. We run toward the world to take on the stones just as the Lord has done for us. We could in fact gather and teach this year by year out of a location gifted us by God.

Then too, Capturing Courage has had inner-healing prayer as part of its backbone for more than twenty years now. We are well-versed in it. Know its ins and outs. Have taught it a little bit, quite recently. It is a big conversation, a deep learning, a careful task to undertake. A place in which to teach and host inner-healing is definitely something we may be asked to do by the Lord.

To fly pastors in to a House of Prayer does not seem so doable now, due to covid, yet, this is the original idea with a house of prayer. Capturing Courage has been hosted in hundreds of homes and churches in a hundred places in the majority world. What a great delight it would be to host folks here, with us, for a time, to bless and to pour into. Again, any number of things, inner healing, meditative prayer, teaching the core principles of our College of Capturing Courage, or extending an understanding, habits, manner and way, of Church to Kingdom Era, could be its own full-time endeavour, responsibility, and commitment.

But, despite the things we might DO with a house of prayer, what has become clear is that first and foremost a House of Prayer is for praying. Not even so much praying for each other. But for praying. A House of Prayer is for BEING before the Lord. And this simplifies things.

We already understand Capturing Courage Canada – A House of Prayer as Hosting the Lord and Each Other. Let’s look at this in the simplest way.

First we come to a House of Prayer as houses of prayer. Each one of us as we are drawn to the Lord for the Lords sake, become a house of prayer. We settle in, abiding, resting, trusting, tucked into the womb of God, close to the heart, quiet and still for a time. From here all life flows. Within us, to us, and out from us. Living as houses of prayer begins as a blessed gift to self and then flows out to many as God With Us wherever we go. Let us not discredit this, the world is hungry for this exact thing; God trickling out of your hem wherever you might go.

A House of Prayer is a way of life, a learning to abide in God and God in You.

Therefore, we take care of those who have come to meet God in this way! We do not get in the way. We set down our teachings, our thoughts, and our understandings. We pick up towels and soap, trays of simple food, cups of tea and coffee. We Host. Quiet rooms are set aside for silence and sitting, for gentle meetings, God and You. We make the beds. We wash dishes. We serve tea. We sweep the floors. We clean the bathrooms. We serve you.

What I love about this is that we come to the core of hospitality and service. Any of us, in residence at House of Prayer, those permanent, those tucking in for special occasions or gatherings, those who say, “Yes, I’d like to be a Host” are then tasked with great things–the folding of towels, the washing of dishes, the serving of tea, the cleaning of bedding, and the remaking of beds. We are brought to the core beauty of caring for each other in the most basic of ways; hospitality is the first greatest movement of God and it is to this community we call God, that we are included. And live. And have our being.

At House of Prayer we act this out. We live this. We live the Lord in this way. At Capturing Courage, hospitality is our first and deepest conviction about God and the Kingdom of God. Manner and way of The Spirit is first found in our ability to serve and to host, to gather without pretence, no posturing and no agenda. Here, the Lord can then lead. The Spirit can then heal. Father God, can then touch hearts and remake us into your and my original image as intended from before time.

So, we do have things we could teach. There are focuses that we could gather around. We could pray for each other. Global things are at hand that could be facilitated and harnessed forward through prayer. But first. We Host the Lord. And We Host Each Other. From there, the Spirit leads. Many things are possible, but nothing has to happen. If all we ever do is bring tea to your quiet room while you bask in the Lord, hearing and knowing God for yourself in the silence of intimacy, this is great and good and all that is required. Hospitality is our first moment in the Spirit.

Because God can bypass all our best teachings simply with his Presence.

A Birthright of Prayer

It was back in 2013, late in the year, that I was in Mozambique for a few weeks time. That was my fourth ministry trip, having been to Uganda three-times the previous years. I landed after a long travel upon which we began to travel even more. Mozambique is a big country and our eight-hours north by train barely traversed it’s length.

Before this trip the Lord had been telling me, 1. Teach the people to pray for themselves and 2. Do not be the one to pray for everyone.

The context of these instructions is that when a westerner comes to Africa the thinking and the habit is that, that one is the ‘special’ one endowed with particular gifts from God; “This is the one to pray for us and to take away all our troubles”.

Now, I’ve been an inner healing prayer minister since the early 2000’s. My own experience and habits of prayer extend way back to my childhood. And the legacy of prayer goes back on both sides of my family for generations.

In other words, I am happy to pray for people. But, on my previous three-times to Africa, I had seen the ridiculous and utterly unsustainable thing of one person being THE ONE to pray for people. It’s not what prayer is supposed to be. Prayer is not a proprietary product to be doled out at special times; prayer is the lifeblood of an intimate connection to the Lord that is accessible, FOR everyone.

Within a few days of arriving we travelled to a small town, a uniquely fashioned village, in northern Mozambique on the shores of the Zambezi river. Per usual, the body of Christ gathered the evening of our arrival and I preached the message that night. Afterwards, it was then time to pray for the people.

But, in honouring of the Lord’s instructions, and intent on relieving myself of the burden to pray all-the-time-for-everyone, I set about trying to teach the people to pray for each other. It was a dismal failure. Even with the very enthusiastic assistance of my translator in teaching this, nobody ended up praying or being prayed for that evening. The people simply stood at the front with heads hanging waiting for a special touch from the special visitor. It was very sad.

Back at the house and after returning from church I realized that I should explain to the pastor why I did not pray for his people; this could be seen as an insult, something wrong, an offence of sorts. So, I shared with him the convictions of the Lord upon me in the weeks prior to being there in Mozambique, namely, that I was to teach the people how to pray.

His immediate response was, “The people can pray?!”

Somehow, in some way, the church in Mozambique had been taught (by missionaries I learned, no less) that only pastors can pray. Prayer had been kept from the people. I was aghast. Struck. Deeply saddened. I could barely perceive a place where pastors didn’t know that people can pray, and that the people certainly didn’t have any clue that they too, could pray.

The Lord profoundly touched me with the need to reconnect people to their God via prayer, “Don’t forget about Prayer, Cyndy.” It is a lot of what I have been doing since.

Prayer is a key movement within and through the work of Capturing Courage. And that seems such an understatement! How might we express this strongly enough, that every single person on this earth has been given a birthright of prayer, of conversation, of intimacy with the God who made heaven and earth, for themselves.

The remainder of my time in Mozambique I modelled very simple prayers. Each time I was supposed to pray I said things like, “God be with us today. We love you. Amen” or “God, we thank you for the time together. Amen”, and “God, we need you. Amen.”

Prayer is best when it is simple.

“Cyndy, teach the people to pray for themselves.” Yes Lord, Yes.

A House of Prayer is landing us at this core calling. Personally, I am being made smaller in what I am about. Honed, fine-tuned, simplified, brought down to the thing I am to be doing. Prayer.

What a great thing to be caught, in this way, by the living Lord. The weavings of the Lord, of prayer through all the years, are coming together. We look to God in all this. Faces like flint. Neither to the left or to the right. Trusting. Abiding. Nimble and obedient.

We need you God. You, are our life.

“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!” Psalm 141:2

Clarity & Heart

There is this thing the Lord does through me that I have known about for nearly twenty years now. I do not recall how I realized this but it is an old familiar understanding and has become a solid part of the strategy of God through my life. 

The Lord tells me where to go and be. It may be any kind of place or event, home or church, region or country. There can be a certain sense of timing, that I am to go and be in this or that place for an afternoon, a month or more, a season even. 

And while I am standing or walking, traipsing or visiting, abiding or ministering, the Lord sheds out through and off of me unto a particular preparation towards the healing of lives, a transformation of hearts and minds, and a tilling of the soil so to speak, unto wholeness. 

I don’t know how God does this. Or why this is what he does through me. But I’ve been aware and obedient to his directions and instructions because I came to understand some decades ago that it matters, my obedience to the Lord. It makes a difference for others. 

I would describe this as the prophetic part of my spiritual gifting. You know, the Lord told the prophets in the Old Testament some pretty strange things, “Lay on your left side and put the sin of the house of Israel upon yourself. You are to bear their sin for the number of days you lie on your side.” Ezekiel 4:4, for instance. 

The widow is told to collect jars from everyone she can. Jesus turns water into wine and walks on water. Peter too, for a bit. Elisha runs very fast for a very long way, and is fed by ravens after fire from heaven burns up the sacrifice saturated in water. Five small loaves and two fish turn into a meal fit for over five-thousand people with twelve baskets of bread to spare. And such. And more. 

So, I suppose that if God uses me and my being in a place, feet on the ground, tires on a road, to prepare a region for a healing, a transformation, and a wholeness, then who am I to argue?! Or to doubt. It’s these sidelong glances, what we perceive out of the corner of the eye, that might trick our senses, but often have more weight and correctness than we might imagine; it is good to obey the Lord in what we do not understand. 

All this to say, I’ve been on this camping, road, and ministry trip for 8+ weeks. In just a couple of weeks, I’ll be back on the mainland visiting my dad and the family there for a bit of time. But not for very long. 

When I began this journey with the Lord I didn’t know what would come next. The point of the weeks were to ascertain, to sense, to determine, where an ancient well of the Spirit may be. An ancient well of the Spirit upon which we are to establish a house of prayer. And this, seems to have been accomplished. We have sensed a place that has, from what I can tell, a strong presence of an ancient well of the Spirit. 

So, what next? 

Well, we take our time. We inquire of the Lord. We pause and seek God’s further instructions. I intend to think long and hard, having already begun this, about the manner and way of how the Lord would have this house of prayer operate. There is a certain abiding, an inhabiting, a stewarding of forward movement, decisions, and priorities in the Lord, to seek out that we may walk in obedience and the utmost of yielded hearts and lives. 

We have not embarked on a project. We are determining to represent God’s heart in the very fabric, sinew and fibre, of a house of prayer. We open our very lives to this and to God in ways as yet unfamiliar but keen to discern and give our lives to. 

And what has this week come clear, is that I am going to continue in camping mode over the winter, here on Vancouver Island. Personally, as on every ministry trip in the past, I am stronger, healthier, and have a profoundly glad heart. I’m sleeping better, my stamina is greater, and I’ve not been sad for this entire eight weeks. 

Furthermore, I feel that I have escaped my nice apartment. Escaped the dull numbing of suburbia, its comforts and its ease. “Why would I go back again, to that?!” Is the query running through my being this last week. And so, I’ll be refitting my car, exchanging my big tent for a little one, buying a battery for heat of some sort. Other odds and ends, and making my way back to the island per the Lord’s explicit directions. 

That traipsing thing, where God prepares a land for a healing, a transformation, and for wholeness in him, we will call phase II. Phase I, seek out an ancient well of the Spirit, has been accomplished. Phase II, invest oneself in a land, seek the heartbeat and the cries evident from community to community. Abide for a time. Settle in. 

I am quite delighted. I might get too cold. The Lord may interrupt me with a house of prayer, gifted and handed over, keys in hand. I might change my mind. The Lord might change my mind. But we have a plan and I’ll work the plan until the Lord says, “Okay, that’s good.” 

Meanwhile, I have a couple of weeks to finish off. Today I am in the Cowichan valley. Next week too, I am hoping. Seeing areas I’ve not yet seen. Abiding in place but mostly in the Lord. I find it hard to believe that these weeks are nearly over. We give all glory and honour to the Lord most high, maker of heaven and of earth. We look to the Lord in all things. We say yes and amen! 

Thank you God! We bless your name. We love you. We trust you. And we know you to be good. It is such a pleasure to be partnering with you God. Thank you for inviting us. 

Driving South

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16

The Lord has been challenging us to take on the faith for a house of prayer, to come into agreement with this dream of the God’s heart and to make it our own. We’ve been putting feet (and tent pegs, camp stove, sleeping bags, cold mornings, and gas in the car) to this, unto the Lord and towards what may be. For seven weeks I’ve been camping among various communities. It’s been interesting to feel the difference from place to place and to get a sense of the different cultures of each region.

It’s not all been dramatic by any means, but it has been solid. I’ve been on eighteen ministry trips prior to this and this camping / road trip / ministry trip has unfolded in the same ways as those other ministry trips. I am reminded that the Lord never wastes our time or orders something without due diligence and certainly takes it all seriously. I’m trying to do the same.

There are 3.5 weeks until the end of September. My time on Vancouver Island will end with my returning ‘home’ to my dad’s place come the beginning of October. I say ‘home’ in quotations because as of October I will officially be homeless. No longer on a ministry trip and no longer with a home to go back to. But, I am again and still casting myself completely on the Lord and we shall see what shall be. All things come about in good order.

For the remainder of September I’m heading to the south end of the island. I’ve not yet camped down that way, not yet perceived anything of the Lord’s direction specifically for those areas. Tapping into the bottom part of the island is a faithfulness to finish off this plan the Lord and I had together.

I am pretty sure I found an ancient well of the Spirit. There is a strong compelling toward that place, and on my last drive-around of the area, the resonance and quickening in my spirit was an aliveness in my entire being that I’ve not previously encountered that same way. I really don’t have words to describe it, beyond that!

So, the thing now is to finish off the ministry trip. Camp and drive, settle a bit within a few areas I’ve not yet been. And then home. To engage a pause. To let the dust settle and for the sensing from place to place to sift out and through. If the community with that strong resonance of a thin spot, an ancient well of the Spirit, and the compelling of the Lord unto that place, is accurate now, it will be accurate in a few months time, six months from now, and a year beyond that.

In all things of the Lord there is a timing that must be paid attention to. It is one of our core values at Capturing Courage, the nimbleness to wait on the Lord and then the ability to ‘G0!’ when God says go. So, we will enter into a pause, give it a bit of time. Resubmit everything back to the Lord. Enter into a deep listening to our Holy Spirit to inform and confirm and instruct and establish the right and true thoughts required for preparations and the establishing of a House of Prayer.

So, back to this verse, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” John 15:16

Jesus is declaring that he is the initiator. We live and abide by his wooing of us, winning us over, and calling us forth (to put it into a loose vernacular). Life is an appointment by the Lord most high unto you and I, a participation with life and the ONE who made heaven and earth and in whom a restoration continues, unabated, upon this earth and in our human lives.

To bear fruit. Fruit that lasts, that abides. That keeps bearing fruit that then keeps bearing fruit. This is the sign of a life settled into God. May this be so for us at Capturing Courage International Ministries, and now for Capturing Courage Canada – A House of Prayer.

Simply put, we do not want anything that is not of the Lord. If this thing is our idea we nix it immediately. But so far, it seems to be something of God. Therefore, forward ho on the next weeks. These next days and regions will give further comparison and contrast to what has already been. It’ll be good.

P.S. I’ve been trying to write more about this process and the thinking of a house of prayer. Needing too, to mention this on our other websites. These are a few other posts: What is in Your Hand? , and Multiplication.

Vancouver Island – West

I am in Tofino this morning. Finally, after six weeks of camping we have left the east coast of Vancouver Island and made it to the west. 

But I did take a final tour of the town that stood out to me. See Last Post. I also called the number on the rental sign. The little store-front for rent is part of a slightly larger structure with a one-bedroom unit at the back. That might have been perfect! But, in talking with the landlord I learned that the town council wants the building rented as solely commercial. So, that little blue store-front is off the table. 

What a week though, it has been. With the introduction, really a remembrance, of a store-front idea a myriad of pieces that we’ve been chewing on for a very long time, came to the fore. 

Way back in the early years of Capturing Courage, before the international work began, a few of us were talking about a store-front art studio, cafe, and place of prayer and healing. Then, just last fall another one of us felt that House of Prayer was to be a store-front, a public offering but also a public declaration and presence of all that the Lord might do with and through us for community, regions, and nations. Interesting, that this comes up again. 

Over the years I’ve had a strong and growing conviction that the body of Christ as church needs to get out of our buildings. I’ve been immersed in church culture in an exaggerated way as I preached and prayed in some 350 churches in six countries and in a hundred regions since 2011. I’ve seen that churches are run like MLM (multi-level marketing) businesses. In that, all the activity and focus and energy goes to keeping this thing running. 

You know, in an MLM everyone must buy from the company, sell the products of the company, attend the gatherings and the trainings of the company, pour resources of time and money and energy back into the company. In a nutshell. Sounds a bit like church? We’ve all been busy keeping the internal structure of people, time, and place running. With very little return for investment if we were to think of it that way. How many folks were baptized out of last years million dollars budget? 

The thing is, you and I are the church. Together, we are the body of Christ. We are the Ecclesia, a people called out for a specific purpose. The church is the people. The people are the church. 

Then too, the same spirit or power (depending on your translation) that raised Jesus Christ from the dead lives in you and I. So, not only are you and I the temple of God. But we carry the very same power within us that raised Jesus from the dead. Notwithstanding that Jesus calls us the light of the world. 

We carry the glory of God unto salvation, grace, healing, wholeness, freedom from sin, a deep resonance of life and love by which lives are made new. Not in attending church per se, but new as in a deep awakening unto the Lord and life, unto one’s own existence and the beauty of that, unto a profound reconciliation with the journey of our own lives and in that, with our Creator God who made heaven and earth, and you and I. 

So, how might we be a bit more outward focussed? We do not check off ‘serving others’ as on a list of good things to do, a rather insulting creation of others as projects. But we can become outward focussed as investment in a parish, as lives lived solidly in community, as an understanding that all that is good and right is at hand every day in each other and by which we can find and celebrate the Lord. 

All this to say, that I am intrigued and encouraged by the thought of a House of Prayer as a store-front, as public presence in a community, as hosting the Lord and each other. 

There are a number of parameters that would need to come into play. Many things by which this kind of a thing would be established. We are jotting things down, sharing further the sense of the Spirit around this, and inquiring of the Lord. 

On my final drive-through of that town I could still feel an electric resonance of the Lord. The further I drove up the hill of that place the stronger that sense was. Is that town the place? Do we begin with a store-front or do we begin with physically coming to live in the place? What other places might be options? What do we want? How might we proceed? 

We continue holding all things open to the Lord. We wait on clarity and wisdom and direction. This unfolding of a House of Prayer will take form and fashion over many months and years. This initial foray has been a good beginning so far. And now we see what the west side of the island brings to heart and mind. 

We believe that God is love. We’ve experienced God’s love that touches our traumas, heals our hearts, and restores our lives. We know God to be for everyone. But many do not know this Lord that heals and makes new. We’ve been putting him in a box for a long time now.

At Capturing Courage we are inviting and making room for our untamed God, the wildness of the Lord, an expansive touch of Holy Spirit by which we increasingly from glory to glory come alive and are awakened. It’s why we are searching out God’s dream of a house of prayer through us. Simply put, we need the Lord.

“Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, Shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death, Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79 Message

Home & Ministry Base :: Canada

A House of Prayer. It was Monday. I was driving to my destination. Nearly there but I took a small detour. The name of a town and place I’d not yet explored caught my attention. With only a few minutes off of the main road I found myself in a quaint community.

I drove around. Stopped. Got out. Walked the dog.

Drove around some more. And passed by a small store-front on the main drag through the middle of town. The entire town had rung out to me and this store-front, for rent, stood out even more. Drew me in. Called our name.

Okay, a bit exaggerated. But, maybe not. It really did stand out.

I’ve been on Vancouver Island now for six weeks. Camping and driving from location to location. Most places feel flat. Some are lovely and I’ve a thrill in my being for the beauty of the place. But this small town held something further and more.

In many ways, seeking out a location for a House of Prayer is a process of compare and contrast. We cannot always discern what might be unless we have had the flat, dull, non-responsive areas already passed through.

Interestingly, we had a thought, a prophetic sense we could call it, last fall 2020, about a House of Prayer being a store-front. Something about being public, going public. Something about being available and open, for people. And something about declaring our presence here in Canada.

It had been spring 2019 when a long-standing friend of myself and of Capturing Courage International Ministries inquired of me, “Cyndy, when is Capturing Courage going to be here in Canada and for Canada?”

So, a store-front. For rent. Available. Ready. So it would seem.

But what does this mean? We don’t know!

Maybe we are only to entertain the store-front notion. Who do we want to be as a house of prayer in Canada? How do we want to operate, to show up, to invest ourselves? What might the Lord want to do with us and through us and how and when and why and where? Lots of questions.

It’s been a few days now since I first saw this little store-front possibility. The curious inquiry that has resulted is not ebbing away by any means. I’m having quirky conversations with Holy Spirit, “Lord?” And I’ve been thinking about what is in our hands and what is not in our hands. What are we ready for? How are we to begin.

We don’t know. But we do know that the Lord compels and when so, we will take some action. Write an email. Make a phone call. Maybe even put a deposit on a rental. Find a home. Move.

In the meantime we are checking our hearts. Setting down all resistance. Endeavouring to give a continued and great ‘yes’ to the Lord. No matter what or where or when or how. God, have your way with us! We wait on you.