When You Have Nothing, All You Have is God

Read Time: 2 minutes
By: Alpha
August 9, 2018

Founder and senior pastor of Citadel of Faith Covenant Church in Detroit, Michigan, Harvey Carey sat down with Alpha USA to share his passion for restoring the inner-city and how the only way to see this passion a reality is through the power of prayer.

Watch the video, or read the manuscript below: 

When God called us to plant a church in Detroit, we knew there was something about the city he wanted to address. We left everything we knew, all that was familiar to us, and moved to a city where we did not know one person.

Prayer was such a huge part of the early days of our church. When you have nothing, all you have is God. And, I actually don’t think this is a bad thing. We asked: “Where do we go? Who do we talk to? What do you want this church to be like?”

We went around the city praying at various locations trying to discern where God was calling us. And we prayed, “God, would you send us people?”

God sent us people. He helped us to discern. And in 2003 we started our church.

We knew we wanted to connect with our city, and our church was nestled very close to a big drug operation.

One night we went to a street corner around our church that was known for these drugs and gangs. We spent the entire night in prayer and praise because that corner had been claimed by the enemy. Christians were strategically kept away from that corner, but we went straight to it.

We need to be salt and light—this applies very practically. It’s praying, praising and worshipping—the same things we do inside the church—just done outside the church.

Citadel of Faith church members on their annual Palm Sunday community prayer walk.

The same prayers we prayed inside the church walls that all believers agreed with, we prayed outside. We are literally fueled by the intercessory prayers of those who pray for us while we are outside. When we hear someone who says they are not physically able to go on a prayer walk outside, we give them all of the information they need to know about where we are going and who we are talking to so that they can pray specifically for them.

Every year we do a prayer walk around our entire community. We pray and sing loudly. We even get the high school marching band to play with us. We teach them Christian songs and we parade through town. We are literally invading the darkness. Jesus did this! He showed up in places he didn’t belong. And if we’re the body of Christ, why aren’t we in those same places where Jesus would have been?

We would not be able to experience the fruit we are having if it weren’t for the people in our church building interceding for us as we go out.

Father, we pray for Detroit. We pray for our nation. We pray for revival—revival not inside a church building, not centered on a preacher, but revival centered on your Spirit and your Church. Move us into action into places like this. Let your Kingdom come. Let your will be done.

About the Author

Alpha was developed as a short course at HTB in London, UK, in 1990. Nicky Gumbel took over running Alpha and found that many people outside of the church wanted to explore the Christian faith. Alpha now runs in every part of the global church, including the Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church and all mainline Protestant denominations.


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