After another year at 24-7 Prayer, I’m looking back with thankfulness at where I’ve seen God on the move. And at the start of the New Year as I look forward, there are many exciting opportunities and questions ahead as I try to work out what He has in store for both myself and the 24-7 Prayer movement.
If you’d like to catch up on my thoughts, you can get hold of my latest supporter newsletter here.
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Happy New Year!
I didn’t really know what to expect as I flew to Indonesia for the World Prayer Assembly recently. I’m not a huge fan of conferences generally – my usual response is to think that I need to just get on with doing the stuff of the kingdom!
On this occassion though I was certainly happy to have made the journey. It was amazing to be able to take a step back and see the big picture of what God is doing in the nations. Sometimes the spiritual doldrums of Europe can make it hard to remember that God is indeed at work! I was powerfully reminded that the Holy Spirit is on the move bringing life to many.
The unity expressed across denominations and generations was a joy to see, and one of my favourite moments was loudly and enthusiastically praying into global issues with several thousand other committed followers of Jesus. Including people from some nations that are very ‘closed’ to the Gospel.
On the last day of the conference we had the privilege of journeying to the national stadium for a prayer gathering for the nations attended by over 100 thousand people. That not being enough, the Indonesians had arranged for video link ups to other stadiums around the country – the estimate was that 3 million people were involved in that prayer meeting!
From Jakarta we flew northeast to Medan. Pete Greig, Carla (our International Prayer Team Leader) and Mike Andrea (from Revival Run/GloGen Church) were all speaking at churches we had linked up with through Alpha International. This section of the trip had to be my favourite. The church we connected with had seen explosive growth; from 119 in the 90’s to 40,000 today. Much of this growth has been fuelled by continuous prayer (night and day since the late 90’s), and radical service of the poor through food programs and clinics. Amazing. As our team entered the prayer room, we asked our hosts if we could stop to pray. It was a real Holy moment. Standing in the prayer room where thousands of prayers had been brought to the Father, all we could do is spend some time with Him in awe, the room thick with the presence of the Spirit.
On my return I find I have more questions than answers. How do we see God move in this way in our land? Are we not desperate enough? Is some of the passion that the Indonesians have God given annointing, granted by Him for their land at this time? Whatever the answers are to these questions and so many more, we certainly have a lot to learn from the passionate prayer lives of the Indonesians.
The most excellent Mr Phil Togwell, 24-7 Prayer collegue who started work for the charity on the same day as my good self, has been pioneering the Prayer Spaces in School initiative for the last couple of years with an amazingly capable group of workers passionate about helping young people encounter the spiritual side of living.
Check out their latest video here. And perhaps get involved with running a prayer space in your local school?!
24-7 Prayer continues to be a major part of my life, and God certainly doesn’t seem finshed with this amazing movement of prayer yet! As you can see in the latest edition of my supporters newsletter,God is at work in many peoples lives, even in the midst of all the bad news we keep seeing on our television screens. There is hope!
If you’d like to read a little of what I get up to, be encouraged by
what God is doing, and perhaps even join me in praying for my work with
24-7, please do download the pdf via the link.
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I kinda got distracted! I find blogging gets a bit like that. I’m not as disciplined as the delightful Mrs Harding.
However… In case you were following any of my posts on the prayercasts, don’t forget to head on over to 24-7 Prayer’s international website to catch the remaining ones in our series on Europe…
I’m currently sat in the ‘board room’ of a coffee shop in downtown Kansas City, as Andy Freeman is taking the International 24-7 Board through his Communities/Boiler Rooms report. We had a great day yesterday, with lots of agreement about the way forward in all the areas we discussed. Exciting times are ahead!
We went out for dinner last night in a wonderful steak house, and the food and accompanying jazz were both great. The highlight of the evening however was the impact that God made on the proceedings. As we sat and enjoyed our meal Adam Cox, the leader of Kansas City Boiler Room, had a recurring prophetic vision for one of the people on our table. It was totally cool to be around! As he spoke out what he had been given, it was wonderful to see the Holy Spirit at work. I love that this stuff was all happening in the middle of a restaurant!
Back to today, and I’m about to deliver my report on finances to the board, the trustees and the International Leadership Team. We have some hard decisions to make about the future as we need to make some cuts in what we’re doing over the next few months. We do have some promising developments in funding, but we need to live in the tension between our current resources and our future potential – please pray for us as we go through this decision process.
In all of this I keep being reminded that God has never let us down yet on funding. I’m so thankful for His faithfulness. To Him be the glory!
Well, it looks like we’re a go for our next 24-7 prayer week in Reading, in the first week of February.
I so missed not being able to be in the prayer room as much as I would have liked last time, that this time around I’m going to organise my diary around the prayer week rather than visa versa!
If you’re in the neighbourhood, please do pop in and have an amazing encounter with God. Details are on our prayer community webpage.
I recently joined the prayer ministry leadership in Greyfriars, and one of my first tasks was to lead a session on the power and authority of God in healing ministry. Hopefully I wasn’t too heretical 😉
I personally found it really helpful to dwell on the topic for a couple of weeks – and yet again was challenged about my prayer life. How much we need to see what the Father is doing!
If you’d like to read some of my thoughts, you can follow this link to a pdf of my powerpoint slides and notes.
== Please note that these are personal reflections, not necessarily the views of my church! ==
I was praying with Mr Morris the other evening when he showed me this great pearl of wisdom from John Bunyan:
“You can do more than pray, after you have prayed, but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.”
My prayer life really does need to be better!
This Friday I’ll be on the latest leg of the 24-7 UK Tour. We’ll be gathering friends in Gateshead, before heading to similar dates in Edinburgh on Saturday, and Bristol on Monday. Quite some travelling.
I’d really appreciate it if you could remember the team in prayer, and ask God that we might be a great encouragement to those we’re visiting. Also for safety in travel as we traverse the length of the nation!
On a more personal note, I’m heading up north early to spend a couple of days retreat at the Northumbria Community. Please pray that I would have a great time of restoration and inspiration as I seek Gods direction for the weeks, months and years ahead.