History of WHY Prayer
1986 - Prayer Triplets – three people meeting to pray together, each having a list of three people who need Jesus. Praying for their salvation.
1991 - Ted & Rheta Bradford, George Derksen, Ann Wiens spent a three-day fast at the Bradford’s cottage. God inspired how to present phone book prayer whereby copying all the columns from the phone book, laminating them and putting them into binders of 10 each. Then finding people to take binders and distribute the prayer sheets to people in the Greater Toronto area. Phone book prayer continued for all the communities until 2000.
A lady received one of these prayer lists from the phone book and realized her niece, who was dabbling in cults, was on the list. It was a random list. After more intensive prayer for her niece, she called her and invited her to church. She accepted Christ, as well as her friend. They were so impressed by the love shown them by the church goers.
1991 & 1992 – Four ladies, Marilyn McRae, Ethel Wright, Norma Cooper and Ann Wiens met in Toronto monthly to fast and pray. They would divide the hours into ½ hour Bible reading and ½ hour praying with each ½ hour having a different prayer theme. They had a big goal. They were asking God to provide 25,000 people to pray for Greater Toronto. It seemed so impossible – four people sitting and praying. But with God anything is possible. Their goal was realized at SkyDome (Rogers Centre) when 28,000 people met to pray.
June, 1992 – Prayer Rally at SkyDome (Rogers Centre). Each person attending received a unique column (over 100 names) from the phone book and at a time in the program after a corporate prayer everyone prayerfully said the names on their lists. Approximately 3 million families were prayed for by name that evening.
2000 – Typed family names by street address so that people could pray for the families living on their streets. They would then deliver WHY books to them after 1½ years of prayer.
2004 – Purchased lists of names and street addresses to prepare prayer lists.
2013 and on – Maps of the city streets became accessible on line which were used to produce prayer sheets.
Prayer has always been a foundational part of the WHY Encounter. One time we prayed for each of our database names and sent them a letter including – ‘We prayed for you today.’
We started receiving letters of what had happened to people prayed for on that day. Just a few of them –
“The day after you fasted and prayed for our family, our daughter became a Christian.” We know it wasn’t just the WHY prayers. It was the culmination of many but that was the day God answered.
“I woke up January 10th unable to move my neck and in much pain. I saw a chiropractor and by January 18th he said to me that I am recovering four times faster than most people would, given the severity of my problem. I was intrigued to receive your letter and see the date you had prayed for me”
“A businessman shared how he had a real predicament which was building over the last months and without the right solution he could stand to lose his business. That day the Lord put the solution into his mind and gave great wisdom and saved his business.”