Dear Church Family
In his classic 1950's book 'Why Revival Tarries', Leonard Ravenhill writes passionately about the importance of prayer. And rightly so. Because nothing of lasting significance happens without prayer. God's people are called to be prayerful at all times and to cry out to him for themselves, their churches, their communities, their regions and their nations.
Whilst there are some aspects of Ravenhill's writings that now seem a little dated, his words nevertheless still carry a strong prophetic message to the church: to wake up, to pray and to work, to see God's kingdom come on earth as in heaven. I've been stirred again by this message over the last few weeks, very aware that in the busyness of the coming season prayer can so easily be neglected. I want to urge us therefore as a church to prioritise prayer.
Please pray for our nation and for our region. The news can sometimes be a helpful source for prayer - although disciples need to be discerning as much of the news that comes through our media is intentionally negative and often sensationalised. We need eyes to see what the Lord is doing and pray for his kingdom to come.
And please pray for our church. As we begin a new season, here are a seven areas you can cover in prayer:
1. the church staff team: as they re-gather this Monday morning (12th Sept( after the summer break with the new Forge interns.
2. Randy Clark: as he comes to share with us this Monday afternoon (for leaders) and evening (for all), that the Lord would pour out his Holy Spirit on us.
3. our weekly Tuesday morning prayer meeting at 7am in St Cuthbert's House of Prayer (called Dynamic Prayer) restarting this Tuesday (13th Sept): for the Spirit to help us to pray with love, boldness and authority.
4. Belfrey Groups: as many are restarting, for strong friendship and community; for the groups to be effective in simple mission and outreach, and for growth and support in personal discipleship.
5. this month of Hello Sundays: as we especially welcome newcomers to our church and city.
6. commitments to Christ: that we'd be increasingly seeing 'the Lord add daily to our numbers those being saved' (Acts 2:47).
7. Gift Day coming up on 18th Sept: that we'd receive at least £40,000, partly for a few one-off items in church life but mainly for excellent mission projects in our city and region.
Ravenhill knows there are rich blessings from heaven to tap into as we pray, saying that 'The greatest undiscovered area in the resources of God is the place of prayer'. He longs for the church to pray, writing: 'No man is greater than his prayer life. The pastor who is not praying is playing; the people who are not praying are straying.' He knows that every church needs to pray, saying: 'For this sin-hungry age we need a prayer-hungry church.' I could not agree more.
As we serve God's transformation of the North, we must be a people of prayer. So let us pray.
With love and God bless.