Let's turn lockdown into a month of prayer!
The greatest privilege of God's people on this earth is to pray.
The most effective strategy of the church in times of spiritual hunger is to pray.
The command of the Almighty God of love is that we pray.
We believe that there is more that God wants to do in us and through us as we continue through this remarkable and challenging year. As our nation returns to a state of near complete lockdown, at least for a period of one month, the best things that God's people can do is cry out to Him in prayer.
So often in history God has shaken the institutions and systems of our society prior to moving in powerful spiritual renenewal. What if God is preparing us for such a renewal in our nation? Hopelessness in what the world can offer is replaced by a deep longing for God who is infinite in love and faithfulness.
Let's give ourselves to use this lockdown month for focussed, intensive prayer. There are many things that we can pray for, but primarilly it all boils down to two things:
- Personal spiritual renewal: that we would be filled with the presence of God in a new way; that we would have a fresh hunger for Him and devotion to Him in worship, and that this would then touch every area of our lives.
- Spiritual renewal in our nation: that our own hunger for God would in turn light a fire in our nation; that many would turn to God in repentance and be saved.
"The disciples asked, 'Who then can be saved?' Jesus looked at them and said,
'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Sign-up here to pray around the clock!
There is power in being united in prayer. We can encourage one another by seeing when other people are praying, and it helps us to commit to praying at a particular time too! Therefore, we are going to use the same prayer slot sign-up system that we used in May - only this time covering the whole of lockdown!
Here's how it works: click on any of the days in the grid below to expand it so you can see each hour timeslot. Slots that are coloured  green  have yet to chosen by anyone. Slots that are coloured  orange  have been chosen by at least one other person - but that doesn't mean that you can't choose these too! Click on as many hour timeslots on as many days as you wish. Slots that you have selected (and the days that contain any selected slots) are coloured  blue .
When you are ready, click on the green button called 'Select'. A box will be displayed summarising your selection. If you are happy, simply enter your name and a single email address and click 'Confirm'. We will send you a brief email to confirm your selection.
That's it - all that's left is to pray!
If you feel God speak to you over this month, we would love to include some of that here. Then we can all be responding in prayer.
"I saw a picture of some plain, white card that had been embossed, so that a picture was made with certain sections of the card that stood out. I felt God saying that there is a lot of pressure on many people at this current time. But rather than being pressed downwards, this is an opportunity to rise upwards towards Him. He is creating something beautfiul in all of us."
"Sow for yourselves righteousness;
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the Lord,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you."
I spent extra time on my Bible In One Year reading and prayer today. Psalm 122 starts, ‘I was glad when they said to me “Let us go to the house of the Lord!”' I know we will all be glad when we can gather together in person to worship the Lord, but I felt God reminding me that because of the new covenant and the Spirit living within us, when we pray we enter into His presence wherever we are. As I got ready to pray I felt Him welcome me in; and I was glad.
I had a vision of two diagram images. One was demonstrating the spread of Covid19 and another one was looking exactly the same but it was a diagram of Gospel "spread". The Lord told me that it would be amazing if the Gospel could spread as fast as this virus. I feel like this was a message to all of us in Grace Church.
As I was reading Isaiah 54, I felt God wanted to not just reassure Grace Church that the future will be good, but that Grace Church will be amazing, a place of beauty and peace, and many in West Sussex will come to us to learn of Almighty God.
“Afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted,
I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise,
your foundations with lapis lazuli.
I will make your battlements of rubies,
your gates of sparkling jewels,
and all your walls of precious stones.
All your children will be taught by the Lord,
and great will be their peace."
Here's how you could pray!
It is good to set aside time to pray. However, that does not mean that you have to be completely uninterrupted to make it worth committing to pray within an hour. Here are some ideas for what you could do. There are many more!
- Pray during a journey or on your daily commute
- Pray while you are cooking or doing some other house work
- Pray while out walking, running or cycling
- Pray for an hour rather than watching TV
We encourage everyone to consider fasting as part of this week of prayer. Fasting means going without something physical we rely on, usually food. Putting God before even such basic needs is an act of worship. Much of this month of 24/7 prayer will be at times when most sensible people would be asleep! Waking up in order to pray is a kind of fasting. Could you commit to at least one nighttime hour?
Praying for an hour might seem like a long time. It doesn't matter if you cannot maintain the whole hour, but do what you can! Here are some ideas for creative ways to pray:
- Put on some worship music and sing along
- Write as many names for God on a piece of paper as you can think of
- Read some Scripture and draw or paint a picture that conveys what you feel
- Read a newspaper and pray into every situation that is mentioned
- Write the names of everyone you would like to see saved on pieces of paper, spread these around the house and then move around praying for each person
- Log on to ChurchSuite and pray for the members of Grace Church by name
There are many different areas that you can pray into. Here are just some suggestions!