Dear Church Family
'September is the new January' - so wrote a columnist in a Saturday paper I was reading the other day. For many of us, that's how it feels at this time of year with so many things beginning or re-starting after a summer break.
That's true for many of us at The Belfrey. At our congregations and groups it feels like a new season beginning. There's lots going on. Lots to give thanks for. Lots to pray about. So here are some pointers for prayer, as we go into this season in faith and expectation:
Please give thanks for:
- excellent New Wine conferences over the summer ('United' gatherings in Somerset; 'Inspire' in North Yorkshire) and much Belfrey involvement on teams
- receiving more than enough income at Gift Day over the summer to support various mission projects
- 5 young people baptised last Sunday evening, on the back of Belfrey Youth Fest (at Wydale Hall)
- inspiring messages from Andy Roberts at last Sunday's congregations on 'Responding to God's Call'
- the 12 new interns who've joined us the New Wine Discipleship Year (7 at The Belfrey; 5 from other churches)
Please pray for:
- great connections with new people (especially students) who are starting in York around this time
- welcoming and inspiring congregations (9am, XI, The6 and Wednesday Lunchtime)
- friendly and encouraging Welcome Lunch for newcomers this Sunday
- supportive and missional Belfrey Groups - and for Ben Doolan as he takes on leadership of our groups
- comfort and peace for the family and friends of those who've recently died (Peter Shepherd, who's funeral was at lunchtime today; Richard Tagg)
Let's be praying with faith and expectation, with a sense of wonder and excitement, asking the Lord to do wonderful things in this season. When I pray I sometimes think of it rather like spreading out sheets of paper on a large table over which the Lord looks and responds. I think King David has something like this in mind in Psalm 5:3 when he said to the Lord: 'I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.' This kind of praying is echoed in a phrase from one of Chris Tomlin's lovely songs that we sometimes sing: 'We come in expectation. Waiting here for you.'
Why not join me in praying a prayer rather like this, for ourselves and our church family?
'Lord Jesus - teach us to pray. Teach us to ask. To trust. To wait. To come in expectation. May your Kingdom come and your will be done, here in York and the North, as it is in heaven. In this season. Amen.'
And may God bless you and your loved ones, in this new season.