Is Chattanooga Supposed to Have a House of Prayer?
Everything started with a few people believing in Chattanooga, and knowing that our city needed more prayer to become all it is meant to become. With this purpose in mind, a team of people were commissioned to engage in intentional prayer asking the question, “Does God want a house of prayer in Chattanooga?” These few visionaries began to gather for prayer meetings in 2009 and with the generous support of grants and individuals, God answered their prayers and the Chattanooga House of Prayer became an official 501c3 in 2010.
The third floor of the historic Plow Building, adjacent to The Finley Stadium, became the Chattanooga House of Prayer's first home and was remodeled to accommodate citywide worship and prayer.
Calling a City to Pray
The Chattanooga House of Prayer had its first citywide gathering to share the vision for prayer in the city.
A core team of trained volunteers were established to serve at various prayer and worship gatherings, with a desire to increase prayer for and in the city, and to bless God with the worship of its inhabitants. Among these gatherings were: Monday night Prayer for the City, Tuesday’s Worship and Healing Prayer, Monthly Citywide Worship, College Worship Nights, individual and small group prayer meetings, and an open prayer room for the community to enjoy. During this time, we also provided our space as an “incubator” for 3 new church plants.
Unified Prayer Efforts
The Chattanooga House of Prayer began its first initiative to grow unified prayer in local churches. Project 29:7 was established with over 30 churches praying one day a month for the needs of the city using a curated list of requests gathered from different spheres of our culture.
By 2015 there were serveral citywide initiatives underway: the Chattanooga House of Prayer started giving their first prayer seminars to equip the local church for prayer not only at our facilities, but also on location at churches around town. With the help of others Pray Chattanooga—a collaborative effort to transform Chattanooga by uniting our churches—was formed. In 2016, Pray Chattanooga held a prayer meeting with over 800 in attendance, and the Chattanooga House of Prayer began plans to relocate our facility to the Red Bank (north Chattanooga) area.
At the end of 2016, the Chattanooga House of Prayer launched its creative initiative, The Union. The Union is a ministry that gathers Chattanooga’s diverse worship arts community together to collaborate and write/produce art together to bless the entire city. The Union began to grow steadily through writing and producing more music and started hosting citywide worship nights. The Union offered a point of connection for creatives in Chattanooga to be seen, known, and celebrated.
The Launch of Rhythms Chattanooga
Throughout 2017, the Chattanooga House of Prayer settled into their new facilities and continued having success with prayer retreats and trainings. In 2018, the Chattanooga House of Prayer launched our spiritual formation ministry, Rhythms Chattanooga. This component of the Chattanooga House of Prayer is dedicated to seeking the well-being of the city through encouraging, promoting, and cultivating healthy spiritual practices (rhythms). This is done primarily in the context of retreats, trainings, and spiritual direction.
A House of Prayer, a Voice of Unity
With help from our board and city partners, the Chattanooga House of Prayer developed a three year strategic plan with benchmarks for success. These included the development of fundraising platforms, the creation of resources, as well as improving our communications infrastructure with new software and a larger social media presence.
In the fall of 2020, the Chattanooga House of Prayer launched the Chattanooga School of Spiritual Direction in partnership with Richmont Graduate University. We also hosted our first pastors’ retreat. In addition to getting hit hard by Covid-19, the Chattanooga community faced tornados and incredible political and ethnic disunity and tension! What the enemy meant for evil, God worked for good as this ended up being an incredible year for our city and the Chattanooga House of Prayer. In partnership with many local organizations, we helped coordinate tornado clean up efforts, Covid assistance, held our two largest prayer meetings ever and started administrating Chattanooga Prays, a Facebook group with over 7,500 members.
After years in the making, the Chattanooga House of Prayer finally started working to publish retreat guides and in August, 2021, The Rule of Life Retreat Guide was released. Also, with new technical gear in place, A Beautiful Church podcast increased its quality, streamlined its production, and vastly increased listenership with the release of season 4.
Pray Chattanooga’s pastor prayer networks have continued to grow in number, with three new networks being added in 2021.