I became a Prayer Pastor as a result of a friend, who was a Street Pastor, asking me to pray for her on the nights she was out with her team. I was then invited to pray at the GSP base with another Prayer Pastor while the team were on the streets and so the journey began!
There is no such thing as a 'typical night' as a Prayer Pastor. From hardly any prayer requests to a steady flow through the night, no two night are ever the same. What is constant however are the amazing answers to prayer as we pray for the Holy Spirit to work in our City. Friends reunited, over intoxicated people recovering more quickly than they would normally, taxi drivers changing their minds and taking vulnerable folk home, and many more situations, all answered. Sometimes there are desperate pleas for lives to be saved. And what do we do when hardly any requests come? We have a prayer guide, which covers many aspects of city life. Police, paramedics, doormen, taxi marshals and drivers are all prayed for and of course the Street Pastors are prayed for through the night. When praying alone at home rather than at the base, there is the real danger of falling sleep! I set the alarm on my phone to ring every few minutes, so if I drop off, I'm awake with a jump and can carry on praying. I also drink coffee through the night!
Being a Prayer Pastor is teaching me so much about God and his love and graciousness. It's a privilege to be a part of the team supporting the Street Pastors.
I was born into a Christian family and brought up in the church. I can't remember the exact time that I invited Jesus into my life, but I do know that I want Christ to be there to help and guide me in everything that I do. I have always felt that I have a calling to serve the Lord by reaching out to help others so every day I pray that Jesus will help me to give of myself to others and to be kind to everyone that I meet. When I heard that the Street Pastors had a place called the Safe Zone, I felt that this was somewhere I could do just that.
I serve in the Safe Zone once a month and I love the teamwork involved as the pastors work alongside 2 first aiders and 2 police officers each bringing their different skills and talents to care for those who come through our door. Some of the people who come to us just need to charge their phones or use a toilet while others need some warmth and a cup of tea and toast. However, most weeks we have vulnerable people who require more help which involves providing care, compassion and a bit of problem solving to work out how best to help them. Every week, prayers are answered, and we can usually manage to get people to a stage that they can get home safely.
It is comforting to know that Prayer Pastors are close by praying for situations which we are experiencing and sometimes, when people realise that they are in a church or being cared for by pastors, they will ask for us to pray for them.
Each time that I'm in the Safe Zone, we meet with new people who need our care and help. With God's help we provide the care they need, and it is my privilege to serve God in this way.
Isaiah 58:10. "Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day."
At the age of sixteen I became a Christian and shortly afterwards a missionary visited our church and asked if there was anyone who felt God was calling them to following his example. At this point I prayed to God "if this is your will for my life then I would go gladly." I waited patiently for confirmation but never felt called. I therefore worked within my church environment and took on many roles, but something was missing in what was a very happy and fruitful church life.
Many years later at a meeting (Men of Faith) Stuart Crawford came to talk about Glasgow Street Pastors. As he spoke, I became aware of a silence in the hall and all I could hear was God, after fifty-two years, clearly and concisely telling me that this was what He wanted me to become - a Street Pastor.
I told Stuart what I had experienced, and he told me a training course was starting the following week. I filled out an application form and had an informal interview at St. George's Tron church. Praise God the next week I was on the training course. That was March 2019 and in June that year I was commissioned as a Street Pastor at St. George's Tron church. My church family pray for me and all my GSP team at nine thirty on a Saturday just before we go out on our monthly patrol in Glasgow city centre.
How important these prayers turned out to be on my very first patrol. Late on in the night my team partners Anne, Graham and I were approached by two men who told us their friend had stopped breathing after taking a drugs overdose. We followed them back to the close and found their friend with no sign of life. Graham and I commenced CPR and called for an ambulance. Shortly after the paramedics arrived, I was amazed to find one of the them was my Christian son-in-law! The man was revived after some time and recovered fully in hospital.
How good is our God! His hand was with me that whole night and I now knew for certain this was where God wanted me to serve Him. Since that time on the streets of Glasgow I have had re-assurance after re-assurance that I was in the centre of His will.
As the Psalmist says:"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry"