TUESDAY FOR OUR TOWN
As a church we love to prayer together, and each day of the week we focus our prayers on different things. Tuesday's focus is on being a blessing where we live and/or work, not being a burden. Being contributors not consumers. Shaping culture not being shaped by culture. Bowing our heads in prayer when we see brokeness, not shaking our heads in despair. Some key things to bear in mind when praying for Colchester;
- The Gospel - The Gospel is the ultimate solution that transforms hearts and moves people from being self-centred to being other-centred, that changes people into servants/servant leaders, that grants wisdom from the very throne of heaven. Pray for gospel saturation!
- The Authorities - 1 Timothy 2:2 command us to pray for the authorities.
- The Hospital - Colchester General has been in special measures since November 2013. Pray for wisdom, health and resources!
- The Police- Colchester has a reputation for being quite a violent place. Pray for peace, wisdom and resources.
- The University - The University of Essex has over 130 nations represented within it and is developing fast. Pray for Unity amidst the diversity, for world-changing breakthroughs, for many who are searching for 'meaning' to fond life in Christ!
- Schools - Colchester is a growing place and schools are pretty full! Pray for the next generation, pray for their teachers, pray school funding.
The above gives some specific things to pray for and whatever your role is in society will mean you have particular things you want to pray for, but Jeremiah 29:1-7 gives a great overview of God's heart.
4This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon - Note that despite having a 'horizontal/earthly' story of how they got there, God makes it clear he was responsible. He is sovereign and appoints times and places for people to live. Pray that the Christians in the town would live here as ASSIGNED BY GOD to do so. Living with a sense of purpose and destiny. With a sense of mission and meaning.
5“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 6Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. - God didn't want his people to live on the outskirts of culture, or to live as if they were leaving anytime soon. He wanted them to INVEST IN THE CITY and create a LEGACY there. After all His people were to be a light to the nations! Pray that people would seek influence, have open doors to influence, would create businesses in the town that provide resources and jobs etc
7Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. - Seek the 'shalom' of the City - it's holistic flourishing in every aspect of society. Politics, Academia, Family, Business, Health etc. Pray to the Lord FOR IT, for it's blessing.
How can you get involved in being the answer to your prayers?! Volunteering at the Hospital? Or at your school - maybe join the parent body? Visit elderly/isolated folks and reduce the burden on the social services? Adopt a child in the town? Pursue excellence and promotion on your work for influence of the kingdom of God? Do what you are doing excellently for the glory of God? Feel free to add volunteering links in the comments box!