Burning in Las Vegas…
We are not forgotten. We are not alone. As we follow Him we are brought gifts of friendships and relationships. He knows what we need, who we need and when we need it!
YWAM Las Vegas got this blessing. We have around 25 fulltime staff here and run 6 ministries out of our base. We are constantly challenged as we seek the right balance of all the tasks that these ministries require along with purposely pursuing worship and prayer in the day to day of our community. This leaves us always joyful to receive visitors who have passion in the area of worship and prayer. We’re seeking God to increase this and we’re breaking the ground more and more. However, just as any other pioneering endeavor we need encouragement from the outside that will bring “extra hands” to this time of establishing such a goal within our community and within our city.
Along came the Burning Ones! In the past year we have been blessed in building a relationship with The Burnings Ones Internship and an awesome brother in the Lord named David Fritch based out of Shawnee, OK all a part of The Burn 24/7 prayer movement. Their hearts and lives are dedicated to abiding in a place of worship and prayer and taking the heart of God that is gained in that place onto the streets and even beyond to the nations.
About 2 weeks ago they came to Vegas for just 3 days and in those three days we shared time after time of prayer and worship on behalf of this city.
Please enjoy reading the stories and testimonies, whether you get to read about all 3 days or just one. May God stir your heart for your current city and awaken you to how you can pray!
It was only 2 hours after the group arrived that we went out to the Las Vegas strip for prayer. I shared quickly of our city’s atmosphere and the usual of what Las Vegas tourist life looks like; in the many varieties that it is. Then after praying together on a Corner underneath The Bellagio bell tower we split into groups of 2 and went where ever we felt inclined to pray. Being in 5 different group a lot of different things happened in that 45 minute time. One group walked what was probably a good 1/3 of the mile and a half strip just praying life and the Lord’s destiny over that place. Another group found themselves conversing with and praying for a young street musician who expressed the perfect timing of their reminding him that our Father in Heaven loves him very much. It was nearly 10pm when we finally wrapped up that time of prayer in the middle of the strip, but we didn’t end the night there! On the way out we stopped at the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. We thought we would just pray for about 20 minutes blessing the city. Instead we prayed, sang worship songs, cried out with tears and danced on that location until almost midnight. When you ask God for His heart for a place there just doesn’t seem to be a timeframe on how long you might be praying that heart out.
Sunday was a beautiful day of what came as a dream come true in my heart. The Burning ones had a, “Mini-Burn” here on our YWAM base with the heart and desire to fill our prayer room even more with prayer and the sound of worship, investing and believing for that increase of activity in the future of our base. From 1:30pm to 4:30pm they sang, played their instruments. They cried out in prayer and in song for our city, the body of Christ in the city and YWAM Las Vegas. It was a beautiful feeling that day and a blessing to watch YWAM staff join the Burn Interns in the noise. I believe soaking in all this got us ready for the awesome things we saw Sunday evening.
Sunday evening the Burning Ones divided up. Half came with me to the Las Vegas Rescue mission (a faith-based homeless shelter right across the street from us) and half stayed at our YWAM building to minister to a bible study one of our staff has established and leads. The chapel service at the Rescue Mission brought great surprises. In the middle of David Fritch sharing a testimony about their team seeing a woman they ministered to cease to crave a drug that held her in addiction; a couple in the chapel service interrupted and said, “Excuse us Sir, we don’t me to be rude, but we struggle with that same addiction and we need prayer to be free from it RIGHT NOW.” And right in the middle of the service we stopped everything and prayed for anyone who wanted that struggled with addiction. We ended the chapel time with simple altar ministry right after one of the young women who helps lead the Burning Ones Interns named Rachel had shared her testimony. In the alter ministry Rachel and I got to lead a lovely woman to the Lord who desired Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.
If that wasn’t enough to call it a great evening we re-connected with the rest of the interns to find that their ministry time to the members of the bible study took double the time simply because God was speaking so much through prayer and prophetic words.
Monday with the team was a wonderful time. They led our staff in worship as we usually do as a base at the beginning of every week. David Fritch shared a message on making a resting place in worship and prayer for the Lord where we’re at and to end under the covering of sweet, soft worship the Burning Ones prayed and poured words of life over each staff member individually.
Monday evening was the perfect way to wrap up the time shared with this precious group of people. We went out to the Las Vegas strip one last time. As we often do we set up portable amps and with a microphone, guitars and djembes we worshipped the Lord in front of Bally’s right on the strip. Always taking whatever opportunity we can to talk to, pray with, or love on people who stop to listen. With a good number of the group being worship leaders we were able to take turns and worship non-stop for 3 hours in that place. This was the day before Valentine’s Day. We found ourselves singing quite a few loves songs to Jesus. Many passersby stopped to hear the love songs being sung over this city. Love was released!
God loves Las Vegas and His children! He is a good father to add to the number of hearts that carry Vegas in prayer. It was indeed a blessing to spend time with a group of individuals who do not live in the city, but have a heart for God’s Dreams to break through.
Be encouraged that God has not forgotten the dark places. He has not forgotten those who are reaching for Him and for hope in the dark places. If we cry out asking Him to bring more people who can come alongside those who fight for light in one place; then He will send those life-bringers as He has to Vegas. And He is going to bring more!
If you ever feel inclined in the slightest bit to join us for any period of time for worship or prayer in Las Vegas COME!! Come join us!! It will most certainly be an unforgettable time!
“The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose; it shall blossom abundantly and rejoice, even with joy and singing…..” Isaiah 35:1-2
The more we do these things the more I feel the wilderness around me as this scripture describes it…