Desiring that their prayers should come up as a memorial before God, as did the prayers of the Biblical Cornelius, the Shiloh SDA Church hosted a Prayer Burning Ceremony on December 30, 2018. According to Sister Leona Gabriel, the Prayer Ministries Director of the church, this was the third annual ceremony and its symbolism is appreciated by many.
The Shiloh SDA Church is blessed with an active prayer ministry team which meets weekly to uplift the heartfelt requests and praises, anonymously deposited by members and guests into a prayer box that is strategically placed in the church’s foyer. By the end of the year, the box is overflowing with requests and a decision was made, three years ago, to respectfully manage these prayer requests in a ceremonial burning. A permit to burn is usually obtained through the Fire Services Department and a firefighter, from the closest fire station, is assigned to the event.
On Sabbath, December 29th, forms were distributed, during the Worship Hour, for members and guests to record prayer requests for themselves or others. Also, an invitation was extended to all worshippers to be present at the ceremony. Before the burning, a devotional thought and prayers were presented. As the burner was being prepared, those in attendance sang hymns and read from the Scriptures. When the burner was ready, each attendee was given several of the folded requests and during the singing of, “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood,” they reverently deposited the requests into the burner. Several individuals felt impressed to share their testimony after the burning. To close the ceremony, the group formed a circle around the burner and, with hands linked, sang and prayed for the Lord’s blessings on the petitions.
The Shiloh Prayer Group was formed by Sister Kathleen Williams, the wife of Pastor Lynford Williams – a former pastor of Shiloh in the early 1980’s. The group meets at 6:00 a.m., each Sunday morning at the church, to pray for the requests in the prayer box, the church family, its leaders, and the community at large. This group is an integral part of the church’s prayer ministry which conducts a monthly “Hour of Power” service, every second Sabbath at the close of the Worship Hour. The members of the Shiloh Prayer Group, in conjunction with Prayer Ministries, observe ten days of prayer and fasting, from January 1 to January 10, 2019. The Shiloh Prayer Group is open to all – members of all SDA congregations and friends from the community are always welcomed and encouraged to participate.