As a church we love to prayer together, and each day of the week we focus our prayers on different things. Thursday's focus is on #everyone a witness. We believe EVERYONE EVERYWHERE WITNESSING through our lips and lives is fundamental christianity. It is how people encounter God and his kingdom.
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!
WEDNESDAY FOR WONDER
Becoming a people who are filled with awe and wonder
As a church we love to prayer together, and each day of the week we focus our prayers on different things. Wednesday's focus is on us becoming a God focussed people, constantly growing in wonder at who God is and what he has done. This is about #discipleship, #worship, the gospel, maturing in our walk with Christ. Some key things to bear in mind as you pray;
- The Bible - what we know about God is made known to us primarily in the Bible. To become God-focussed we need to know WHO we are looking at. Pray that we are a people of the Book.
- The Spirit - As you read the book you learn that the Holy Spirit brings it alive to you and moves the knowledge to the heart - by the Spirit by we cry 'Abba Father'. Pray we are a people filled with the Spirit.
- Worship - There are many ways to 'worship' - through our lips and lives, through our heart and hands. However pray first a foremost that everyone would have a intimate time alone with God behind 'closed doors'.
Paul's prayers are great guides on how and what to pray. See a selection below;
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him--since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened--so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe
I pray that according to the wealth of his glory [the Father] may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
[I ask] God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live worthily of the Lord and please him in all respects--bearing fruit in every good deed, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might for the display of all patience and steadfastness, joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the saints' inheritance in the light.
FRANCE, FINLAND & FRIENDS
As a church we love to prayer together, and each day of the week we focus our prayers on different things. Friday's prayer focus is on our gospel partners around the world that God has knit us together with. Amongst these are particularly;
- Helsinki Church Plant - Kev & Lydia Jones
- Lille Church Plant - Roger & George Eaton
- The City Church - Tom Shaw & team
- Hope Church Ipswich - Maurice Nightingale and team
These churches are all part of our church family (Relational Mission) within the wider network of Newfrontiers. So bear them in your prayers too;
- Relational Mission - Mike Betts and Team
- Newfrontiers - Various
Whilst there are specific focuses that come up from time to time, in all of these settings, Philippians 1v1-11 is a helpful guide to overarching prayer for our partners;
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, - Paul and Timothy don't introduce themselves with their 'professional qualifications' or 'titles' but with their primary identity - servant leaders of Jesus. Pray that/for;
- Identity in Christ, humility, security, servant heartedness
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: - this is a helpful step-by-step way to pray for different groups in the church;
- members/everyone + elders/pastors + other leaders in the church
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. - Pray for/that;
- a deepening understanding, appreciation and experience of grace
- peace - that comes from;
- knowledge of God as a loving Father
- knowledge of the Lordship of Jesus in every situation they encounter - nothing is greater than him and his rule!
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now - Give thanks for them for;
- their partnership in the gospel - things they have given up, ways that blesses you as you see Christ who gave up heaven for us
- their perseverance and obedience to Jesus 'from the first day until now'
6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ - Pray that/for;
- They would be encouraged by God's commitment to them
- That God knows everything about them and yet started this whole thing with them - he doesn't grow weary!
7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel. 8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus - Pray that/for
- They would partake in grace mroe and more and more!
- Deeping love/affection for them
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - Pray that/for;
- Their love may abound more and more, fuelled by their encountering God's love more and more
- They would grow in knowledge of God's love and discernment of how it works/doesn't work like man's love is unconditional
- As a result they would have wisdom
- They would persevere well
- They would grow in the fruit of righteousness
to the glory and praise of God - Pray that/for;
- God would be glorified!
- People would be saved thus glorifying God!
- People would be freed, thus glorifying God!
- That it would be a God-centered ministry
Don't just pray! let them know you've prayed! Send them an encouraging text/email/letter. Share prophetic words with them. Send them chocolate! Pay for a trip back to their families where appropriate. But above all - pray!