Burning Bush Models

The call of Burning Bush contains a common vision that will have many varied applications by the various structures responding to it, whether it is in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal or in the context of parishes, or on diocesan or city-wide level, or in ecclesial movements or new communities, or among different churches or ecclesial communities. Below are various models that can be applied in different ways to the above concepts and respond to the urgings of John Paul II, “Our Christian communities must become genuine Schools of Prayer, where the meeting with Christ is expressed not just in imploring help but also in thanksgiving, praise, adoration, contemplation, listening and ardent devotion, until the heart truly falls in love.( Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, Jan 6, 2001, no.33)

Burning Bush Prayer Vigils
Burning Bush Adoration and Intercession Vigils can last 3 or 4 hours or throughout the night. The below suggested format needs always to be open to changes according to the leading of the Holy Spirit during each vigil:

1. Praise and Worship - 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. Adoration - 30 minutes to 1 hour before the Holy Sacrament - a time of “Contemplating the Face of Jesus” that we may focus our hearts on “Starting afresh from Christ” – a time of joining our burdens and sufferings to the “Cross of Jesus”.
3. Intercession – a time for charismatic intercession in the gifts of the Holy Spirit (using the intercessory form of the gift of tongues, the “abc” model [see below]). A short teaching on intercessory prayer could be done at this time, especially about the use of the gift of tongues in this form of prayer. If a teaching is done it is best to start with a short time of worship followed by the teaching and then an extended time of praise followed by the intercession time. Other intercession forms according to the various spiritualities of the groups involved can be used during this time.
4.Individual charismatic prayer - usually in groups of three (preferably using the intercessory form of the gift of tongues). Also other forms can be used as well.

Burning Bush Prayer vigils can be regional, diocesan or city-wide (suggested schedule: at least every two months). This should not be seen as an evangelistic event but as something primarily for those involved in Renewal.

A simple “abc” way to begin charismatic intercession with prayer in the gift of tongues is:
a. Present the intention to the Father in Jesus’ name
b. Intercede in the gift of tongues until the prayer naturally comes to the end
c. Offer prayers of thanksgiving and blessing in faith, believing the Holy Spirit knows how to pray the perfect will of the Father for this intention (Rm 8, 26-28).
In a group it is necessary for a person to lead the session. There could be times when it is not possible to have Eucharist Adoration. If such a situation arises then have a time of adoration through worship and by praying the scriptures of adoration. (i.e., Psalms and Revelation ch.4-5)

Day and Night - Burning Bush Prayer
This experience of day and night, incessant adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the context of the Burning Bush Initiative lends itself well to the time of the Pentecost Novena or Triduum as well as to all night prayer vigils, also to a “Burning Bush Tent of Prayer” in conjunction with conferences and Houses of Prayer.

Four Sessions of two hours each repeated three times during twenty-four hours is a basic foundation for night and day - incessant adoration before the blessed Sacrament and intercession. Suggested themes for the various sessions:

1. Silence – Heart to Heart with Jesus.
2. Renewal of the Church - Intercession for the Body of Christ.
3. Unity of Christianity - Healing and Reconciliation of the Bride of Christ.
4. Renewal of Society - New evangelisation and Conversion of Sinners.

Here participants can be assigned to shifts of 2 to 4 hours, each with a leader or leading team.

The lst session is normally made up of 2 parts: praise and worship and silence. The 2nd 3rd and 4th module are normally made up of 3 parts: praise and worship, adoration and intercession.

Burning Bush "House of Prayer" Model
One example is to establish regional, diocesan or city-wide prayer centres for adoration and charismatic intercession. The following is a description of the house of prayer adopted in Rome in the region of Lazio in 1997. It is this type of model that can be a starter model to build into a night and day prayer centre.

Organizing a prayer center
1. A set place needs to be established, preferably a Chapel, where adoration of the Holy Sacrament can take place.
2. A geographically central location would be best.
3. Five or six days a week or less should be scheduled, depending on the number of groups or people involved.
4. A time must be set, although it can vary as each situation requires. The Lazio groups came from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Organizing the groups for the center

Each charismatic prayer group of a region or diocese should be asked to send an intercessory team to participate, as the regional or diocesan coordinator and team would feel appropriate.

The ideal situation would an intercessory team of three to five people from each group. The number of groups participating will determine how often each group will serve. e.g. a region or diocese with 70 groups, like Lazio, would only have to send a intercessory team per group every two and a half to three months, depending on the number of days of prayer service each month as well as the length of time per day.

Possible ways of organizing:

1. Have a meeting with Prayer Group Coordinators/Leaders alone or with their Pastoral team to present the project. Organize a “School of Prayer” for the leaders as well as participants. Then, organize a calendar for three to six months, with the schedule of service for the intercessory teams of the groups.
2. One person should be in charge of your Prayer Schedule and call the different groups a week before they are to serve to remind them of their date. If there is an unexpected situation and they cannot come, then they can be replaced by another group. A letter could be sent to the leader of the team the week before, with the general information necessary and the special intentions for intercession.

Burning Bush Prayer vigils are a key to the success of a "House of Prayer" model.

We always need to be open for more surprises from the Holy Spirit and new ways he may choose to lead us in as we discover the path more deeply of how to become “burning bushes” of love empowered to share the graces of Pentecost in this world that it may be pervaded by the “culture of Pentecost”.

“Now, will not God see justice done to his elect if they keep calling to him day and night even though he till delays to help them? I promise you, he will see justice done to them and done speedily. But when the Son of man comes, will he find any faith on earth?” (Luke 18, 7-8)

Kim Catherine-Marie Kollins
( © 2003)



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