BY: Ryan Teti
Churchin Kennesaw, Ga. is doing something few churches dare to do. Once a month, the church opens up its doors to anyone who is in need of prayer. The church calls it the Night of Healing Prayer.
In the Bible, the book of Matthew details the life and ministry of Jesus. Throughout the book, there are countless examples of Jesus healing the diseased and broken. Riverstone’s mission statement as indicated on the website says, “We desire to see healing take place in our church, our community and in every area of life: the physical, the emotional, the relational and most all, the spiritual. Because healing was central in Jesus’ ministry, we are committed to becoming a Center for Healing.”
Riverstone makes healing a priority. The healing ministry was birthed when a young woman needed pray for some issues. The church referred her to a ministry in Jacksonville, Fla. because they were better equipped for her situation. After this instance, Riverstone’s minister was asked, “Are we going to refer everyone to Jacksonville?”
At that time, Associate Pastor Terry Cantrell made it his mission to equip Riverstone with the proper healing ministry that would welcome those in need and not refer them to other ministries. Cantrell gathered together a small group of leaders within the church, and they created the Night of Healing Prayer.
Cantrell said, “One-third of the four New Testament books that describe the life of Jesus are devoted to his healing ministry. The scriptures record that Jesus healed all kinds of illnesses on the physical and emotional level. He also trained his followers to bring healing to people’s lives. I wanted to be part of this in order to help restore the church to its proper place as an agent of healing in our society.”
This is the foundation of their ministry.
What makes the Night of Healing Prayer different from similar events or ministries is it is not centered around a charismatic personality. It is conducted entirely by volunteers who all work together to provide those who come with the best experience possible.
Riverstone opens its doors the last Thursday of each month to anyone in need of prayer. The leaders believe that community transformation is not going to happen if they keep things just within the church.
Cantrell said, “Approximately 75% of those who come are from outside the church. The people who attend this event come from a variety of religious and nonreligious backgrounds.”
According to the leadership at Riverstone, the Night of Healing Prayer is having a large impact on the community and things are beginning to change, and not just in Georgia. People from Florida, Tennessee, and all around the South are being stirred and coming. With more than 700 people attending each year, some would say things are bound change.
Riverstone plans to continue this event for a while.
“There will always be a need for this type of ministry as long as there are hurting and broken people around us. I don’t see this ending,”said Cantrel.