On Weds, 18th February we started our focus on prayer for the Christian season of Lent which runs through until Mandy Thursdsay on Thurs, 2nd April (the day before Good Friday!)
We found this short video to be both helpful, provocative and encouraging as we think about the Christians experience of prayer:
Some post-video clarifications:
We are encouraged to persevere in prayer, which may mean repeating the prayer – Luke 18 (discernment is needed)
We are encouraged to approach God like little children (Matt 18 & 19), little children don’t always have the right words. The heart is important. The point is not to always be too casual, there should be a mixture of intimacy and awe.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 ‘8 We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.’
We're so excited for our upcoming 40 Days of Prayer...
Over the 40 day period of lent we will be having a church-wide prayer focus with multiple opportunities to meaningfully engage with prayer and also to read one of a selection of books on prayer, multiple prayer meetings at various times throughout the weeks, gathered prayer walks in key strategic locations across Medway, family times of prayer, half nights of prayer such as the Relational Mission ENOUGH initiative and much more...
There are also lots of other opportunities throughout the weeks to gather together with others to pray and these are all outlined in our 40 day prayer calendar - Below is a link to a downloadable list of all the confirmed dates and opportunities to gather throughout the 40 days of prayer - Please note them in your diary!
Here are some of the highlights of the other prayer opportunities for our 40 days of prayer:
MID-WEEK PRAYER OPPORTUNITIES AT THE JASPER CENTRE:
Wednesdays & Fridays = Early Morning Prayer (EMP) - 6.45am to 8am
Tuesdays = Coffee & Pray - 9.30am to 10.30am
Friday lunchtimes = 12.30pm to 1.30pm
FAMILY PRAYER BREAKFASTS (45 mins breakfast, 45 mins prayer)
Sat, 28th February - 8am to 9:30am
Sat, 28th March - 8am to 9.30am
CITY-WIDE PRAYER – ALL INVITED & ALL TO COME
26th February - Strood & Peninsula
5th March - Jasper Centre (Chatham focus)
12th March (nothing on, Enough on 13th March)
19th March - Jasper Centre (Rochester focus)
26th March - Gillingham & Rainham.
ENOUGH PRAYER EVENT
Friday, 13th March at Vine Church, Maidstone
LAST SUPPER HALF-NIGHT OF PRAYER
Thurs 2nd April (Fish & chips)
With all of the above taken into consideration can we please encourage you to develop a plan!
Check your diary:
What will you prioritise?
How can you arrange babysitters or alternate if married?
What can the children come along to?
You may also want to consider fasting as part pof your engagement with prayer in the 40 days:
Not just a time of ‘giving up’
Fasting is about developing and satisfying a spiritual hunger, by reducing physical appetites.
A time of focusing on God – preparation/journey towards Easter, seeking God through fasting
Time used can be given in prayer
Money saved can be given away
Develop a plan:
What? When? How Long? What will you do?
Food – complete fast, partial fast (meal a day), Daniel Fast (vegetables), items of food (chocolate, coffee).
Other things: TV, Social media (Facebook/Twitter etc), Sport/gym
There are also multiple resources & prayer aids:
Facebook – Greenhouse – ‘cultivating praying lives’. Will receive an invitation this week. All we are speaking about will be on there along with some videos and encouragements to pray.
Accountability on Facebook – sharing helpfully what you are doing for the benefit of others (not showing off)
Book Challenge – Read a book (or more) this month. Share thoughts on Greenhouse Facebook and we can feed back some of the highlights on a Sunday.
Prayer points/guide – daily (available this week online & email)