A Mixed Up Minister?
What insights does the book of Jonah have for ministers today?
Led by The Revd Tom Stuckey, a former President of the Methodist Church.
His Isles, Our Prayers
His Isles was a national prayer conference held at Swanwick organised by the Prayer Association for the British Isles. Through Headline I want to encourage you in your prayer life by sharing a few of the highlights.
From our brothers and sisters in Kenya came a word from the Lord that 2007 would be a year of preparation for the nation and that 2008 would be a year of harvest. But there are three things that God hates and that we need to urgently pray about as a nation - our deception, our bloody hands and our idolatry.
Later another prophecy came that God is putting in place a net across our nation but that at the moment the net isn’t strong enough to hold his power. What are we doing to build ‘networks’ with police, teachers, local authorities as well as other churches?
How many of us have ‘planted seeds’ into people’s lives which we are still waiting to see the fruit of? God says that the seed is still to come forth…keep praying!
In 1966 when the Evangelical Alliance acknowledged the Charismatic Movement, one prophecy given paralleled this to Jesus going into the wilderness for 40 days after receiving the Holy Spirit at his baptism. Jesus came out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit. The Church is coming out of a 40 year wilderness in that same power. Keep praying!
We were also encouraged to reflect back at some of the prophecies of the last century:
~**1911 Concerning this nation being saved by the prayers of its women.*~~*1947 Smith Wigglesworth – the Word and the Spirit coming together.*~~*1967 Jean Darnell with her vision of fires burning right across the British Isles, getting stronger and stronger, with each fire representing prayer groups.**~
It is encouraging to see these prophecies being fulfilled.
Throughout the conference we were encouraged to ‘go up higher’. The Church needs to get desperate – like the Sleeping Beauty God wants to kiss her but at the moment she is distracted – the Bridegroom is longing for intimacy.
Other prayer updates that I have received from the World Prayer Centre and that I would like to bring to your attention are:
Update on Seven Years of Prayer – new Coastal Gateways initiativeL~
Back in 2005 we had the word that we had:
~**Seven years to mobilise prayer and to lift up the name of the Lord;*~~*Seven years to establish “towers of praise”; *~~*Seven years to connect the body of Christ together in our towns and villages to praise and worship Him and to beseech Him for a fundamental change in our society and nation; *~~*Seven years to prepare this nation spiritually; *~~*Seven years to begin to make a difference.**~
Many have responded to this as we continue to mobilise prayer for transformation across the nations. Two specific strategies were part of that word:
~**Mobilise prayer for London – ‘London is vulnerable’. Leaders in London have seen this as a confirmation of other words that they have received, London is into the fifth month of a 24-7 year of unbroken prayer www.londonprayer.net; and has booked West Ham Stadium for a large event on 27 May. All are invited. Go to www.gdoplondon.com for details*~~*Link the coastal gateways around the coast of Britain to provide a protective spiritual barrier, particularly at the gateway towns. A number of people have now felt prompted to establish this. If you are on the coast around British Isles and would like to link with this developing network. please let us know by sending your details to email@example.com. I will then pass them to Val Baskerville in Cumbria who is heading this up.**~
Children’s Prayer NetworkingL~
For a number of years we have recognised that we have a gap in the movement of prayer – linking up those involved with releasing children in prayer. A small group will meet in early September to see what might be the next steps. If you know of anyone who might like to link with this as it develops, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take 40 – take 40 days to bless EnglandL~
This resource has been produced by Caroline and Peter Anderson and is being used by at least 2 counties in England – Norfolk and Suffolk. My sense is that it will be used much wider. For more information contact: email@example.com.
July – 07 07 07: Praying for our towns and cities – nationwideL~
The invitation is to Christians to pray for their communities at their local Town Halls on July 7, 2007 - 07/ 07/ 07 – exactly two years after the London bombings unleashed a wave of fear across the country. The vision for this was local, but a national prayer initiative emerged in the wake of the London bombings. The plan has gained backing from several national leaders and will be launched in London on 16 May. Julie Anderson, and Lois Gott - founders of a coalition called the Deborah Company UK - are mobilizing Christians to go to their Town Halls at 11am on July 7, 2007 to pray blessings together at 12 noon on that day and that time. Further information about the vision and prayer blessings will be available mid May from: www.prayerforthenations.org or www.deborahcompany.org.uk.
Hastings 'PRAISE TO THE KING' L~
07/07/07 2.30pm - 4.30pm. This special event is now booked to take place in Hastings Castle, the place where English history was significantly redirected in 1066. This is a special and unique day - 07/07/07 - when we come not to honour any earthly king, but to worship, proclaim and declare our praise to Jesus, the King of Glory and to honour him as our LORD of Lords and the King of Kings! We would love to welcome representatives from other parts of the UK and indeed from other nations. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know if you are coming!
Invitation to organise prayer events on 31 December 2007L~
On the Hope08 leadership team we have a sense that we should start 2008 in prayer by inviting churches to meet to pray on the night of 31 December. Plans are being made for York Minister, Westminster Central Hall and a number of other towns/cities have indicated they would like to link in. Hope08 will be producing a ‘declaration prayer’ for use by Christians and other more reflective ideas for use in other contexts. Let me know if this is something you might like to do! email@example.com.
If you would like to receive a weekly prayer bulletin giving you updates from across the globe. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, just in case you are not aware. 2008 will bring a nationwide initiative called HOPE 08. right across our nation. For further details go to the website www.hope08.com.
Hope 08 encourages churches of all denominations and none to work together, across their communities, bringing God’s message of hope, with a number of specific foci throughout the year:
~**January will be a time to consider together how local churches can be agents of Fresh Hope in their community.*~~*March is The Big Hope with activity based around practical exploration of Lent and the Easter story, making Easter accessible to all.*~~*During May there is Hope Where You Live with particular emphasis on the May Day bank holiday weekend and the Pentecost season.*~~*During the summer we will be encouraged to undertake a week or weekend of focused mission activity, through flagship events supported by a number of partnering organisations around the UK.*~~* In September there is Hope Explored with churches running courses such as ALPHA or Christianity Explored.*~~*December’s theme is The Gift of Hope with an opportunity to bring the message of Christmas to our communities.**~
May 2008 be a year where we bring fresh hope to the nation!