Oklahoma Church Establishes “War Room”

 In All Church of God, Central, CHOG

By Mykaela Alvey

Shartel Church of God, located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, has created an opportunity for all the people in their congregation to become more actively involved in prayer. The church launched a “War Room” specifically created for prayer in mid-February. Pastor Steve Chiles says this idea came from a member of the church. Chiles says, “His idea was to create a ‘War Room’—a room where people could pray while the service was going on. But also, a room where the service would be streamed live so those praying could pray point-by-point as I preached for both the audience in the sanctuary and those who were watching online.”

This idea was a specific answer to prayer for Pastor Chiles as he had been seeking and praying for opportunities to help the church truly become a “house of prayer.” This new idea was a great step in the right direction to reach that goal. It became very clear to Pastor Chiles that God was in it and preparing to do something because the email had come to him just “three days before the start of the revival/outpouring at Asbury.”

War Room active during the service at Shartel.

The first step was to recruit people for involvement. The church holds two services every Sunday, so they wanted someone in charge of it during each one. During the first service, it is appropriately led by the man who came up with the idea. During the second service, it is led by a couple “who have a deep commitment to prayer.”

Pastor Chiles wrote a summary of what the “War Room,” named like the Kendrick Brothers film, was intended to be. He felt strongly that it should be a room for praying with specificity. While praying for the needs of people is important and necessary, it isn’t what this room is meant for. “The focus [is] on the Word of God touching and changing hearts.” Since its inception, there have been two to six people in the room during every service. Those praying are able to hear the sermon and read Pastor Chiles’s sermon notes, so they are able to pray specifically. However, the room extends far beyond the walls of the church. Pastor Chiles says that they have prayer warriors carrying out this idea from other states as they stream the service online.

Huddled in prayer in the War Room.

It comes as no surprise that, since its inception, there have been what could be deemed as “attacks from the enemy.” What a beautiful confirmation that God’s people are impacting their world for Christ. Despite these attacks, the congregation is also seeing “blessings, victories, and answers to prayers.” Just one example is the baptism of nineteen new believers on April 5!

As time goes on, we can only begin to imagine how God might bless this ministry. Pastor Chiles reflected on how his mindset has changed since the room became a reality. “It’s funny,” he reflects. “I used to pray that God would fill our sanctuary with people each Sunday. Now I pray that God would fill our War Room. I fully believe that if we can truly become a ‘house of prayer,’ everything else will begin to fall into place.”

Anderson University alumna Mykaela Alvey is a funding US missionary based in Greenwood, Indiana. A freelance writer for three years, she loves crafting stories of hope and healing.

Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.

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