SAN FRANCISCO - Entering the upper room of the Promised Land Fellowship on an early Saturday evening, one can sense a relaxed atmosphere, but one filled with a sincere sense of seeking God. The worship band is praising with contemporary worship songs, the lead singer and backups emoting each lyric passionately.
Gods love rain down, is the vocalists call.
During moments where the instruments play alone, voices from among the worshippers proclaim Scripture or Praise God. One gets the sense that although the group gathered is small forty attendants at most the ones present are there to praise with joy and gladness for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Later, the praise band suggests that everyone who is standing and scattered about the seats come together near the stage to praise and pray together. As the group begins singing, a participant could decide to step away for a moment and head to the back to the café area without feeling as if anything was being interrupted.
If dress were any indication, a visitor could probably not tell that Head Pastor Michael Brodeur was among those sitting in the seats during the praise and prayer. Hes dressed casually, in black, wearing a long sleeved shirt. He looks to be in his mid forties. On this occasion, he is worshipping, praying, reading short bursts of scripture, intoning praise, moving in and out of the crowd.
He says he has been a full-time pastor for nearly 21 years. After spending 15 years with Vineyard Christian Fellowship, he moved on to Promised Land. He is married, with seven children.
As busy as a Pastor can be, taking care a full time ministry, guiding leaders, administrators, organizing, and planning, he gladly explained about his ministry, specifically about the event taking place from May 5-15. The dates correspond to Ascension Day, when Jesus rose into heaven, and Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit descended upon worshippers of many nations gathered in Jerusalem, uniting them as one.
The prayer event, which is sponsored by San Francisco House of Prayer is called Upper Room Remix. The event, which is happening in conjunction with 40 other bay area churches, is scheduling people in continuous prayer for ten consecutive days.
The beginning and end of Upper Room Remix coincide with the National Day of Prayer, which began also began on May 5, and the Global Day of Prayer which ends on May 15. It is expected that the worldwide event will draw together over 200 million Christians on Pentecost.
San Francisco has been known for a lot of things, says the Pastor. However his dream for the city is one of revival, for 100,000 people to come to come to San Francisco to cry out to God."
He explains that many organizations could attempt to do something similar to what is happening at Promised Land on this day. However, he explains that there is a difference. He refers to Exodus 33, when Moses asks how people will know that God is with him. Moses call is: What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?
The point the Pastor is making is that what can always distinguish is the presence of God, which is what the event hopes to do through the ministry and the prayer event.
Another leader at Promised Land is Adam Wood, 30. He is the Outreach director for the church. During the time of praise he sang along, praising, gesturing with his hands, almost as if inviting Gods presence.
He has been a Christian for 10 years. He explained that that the ten day prayer event is dedicated to James Trumbo, a ministry leader who, since 1999 had made it his goal to establish a House of Prayer ministry, where prayer could flow continuously.
My Fathers house will be called a house of prayer, said Wood, citing the books of Isaiah and Luke.
Isaiah mentions a house of prayer for all nations, and indeed, the people gathered are diverse, as are the churches involved. Wood explained that among those participating, there are Chinese, Hispanic, and Indonesian churches, as well as congregations from different denominations.
One church member, Daniel Narhi, 27, of Finland who has been in the United States for only several months, heard about Promised Land through friends. He described himself as a youth minister involved in club ministry. He said that as part of activities that took place a day earlier, he was able to contribute his DJ mixing talents to show during praise.
He explains that he and other DJ artists like him want to give our art and talents to the Lord.
Outreach Director Wood explains that the inspiration for the ten days of prayer event came after the passing of Trumbo, when the pastor had a revelation where he knew that it was precisely the time to begin planning the prayer event.
Bringing people together for the event meant that phone calls, e-mails, and visits to other churches were necessary, explained Wood. He expects that a total of 1,000 people will make their way through the doors of Promised Land during the ten-day period.
The participating churches have set up daily schedules to fill in all 240 hours of the event. Wood said that recently, he had to fill in for several brothers who couldnt attend, just to keep the prayer uninterrupted.
His experience has taught him that there may be many methods that people can try to reach out to God, but only one truly works, the Gospel.
Its all about Raising the name of Jesus, he stated. Certainly at the Upper Room Remix prayer event, that is what this ministry is trying to do.