It is only eight months until the national mission “A Passion for Life”. It seems like a long way away, but the time will soon tick by. In this month’s letter from the vicarage I would like to set out the preparation we should being doing now to enable mission.
From September we’ll be studying the Acts of the Apostles to learn from the early church how to go about doing mission. Before we start that sermon series, there’s a few lessons to put in practice right now.
The first thing the Apostles did after Jesus ascended into heaven was to journey back to Jerusalem, about a days walk, and then we’re told this:
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14.
The Apostles and others didn’t go straight into the streets of Jerusalem to tell people about Jesus’ resurrection and rule as heavenly king. First, they prayed. They prayed together. They prayed constantly. So, will you pray? Not just once and not alone. Will you come to prayer meetings? Can you make it at 10am on Sunday morning or could you make a prayer triplet, to get together with two others and pray constantly?
Once we are praying together constantly, then we’ll be ready to receive the Holy Spirit in a new a refreshing way and then we’ll be ready to begin to plan the mission.
Bible commentator, Matthew Henry, who was born on the Shropshire border, served as a Presbyterian minister in Chester from 1687, wrote this about revival:
When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is to set them a- praying.
[Matthew Henry, quoted by Arthur Wallis, In the Day of Thy Power, p112]
There is a prayer sheet in church which gives some ideas for prayer. These ideas should just be a starter. Let God lead you to pray and think about how we might make Christ known to our community together.
Pray for God to raise up a number of mission leaders and planners who begin to pull the ideas from prayer together.
May Christ reveal himself by his word and Spirit and have mercy on our town.
With love, Neil