Week of Prayer: Day 4
Thursday 28th January 2016
Our Week of Prayer continues on apace, with the very real sense that the more we press in over the course of the five days, the more God will speak and the more He will do in us. Here’s a snapshot of some of the key things that people felt led to pray for and share from their times of prayer on Thursday:
“Praying on the subject on ‘Depth’ and felt God was calling us individually and corporately ‘out of our depth’. That in the moment of going out of our depth can be one of anxiety & fear of the unknown. Felt God saying we need to ‘let go’. Letting go of other commitments that are filling our lives, letting go of insecurities that we are holding on to and feel define us, letting go of fear of what God might do and say, letting go of control. By letting go and being out of our depth will stretch us and bring us to a place where we can only say ‘it’s because of Him’.”
“As we prayed, two words kept coming through: Deepening & Strengthening. I had a picture of massive stakes been driven deep into the ground. With each blow of the hammer the ground shook from the shockwaves. The encouragement was for us to go deep into God in all our ways, individually and as a (as this was the phrase) “company of people” A company of people who know how to both go deep and be deep. In order to prove our stretching and strengthening, keeping things at a point of tension. The stakes going deep: The deeper we are able to go, the more we will be able to contain and the stronger we will be as the storms come. The shockwaves: Had a sense of far reaching, going out beyond what we could see or may even notice. I was led to pray we’d do outrageous works of radical influence, beyond anything imagined.”
“The later part of verse 2 says “do not hold back”. Sense this as almost a warning. That there could be a tendency to ‘hold back’. But we were not to! We are to actually seek out more. I was led to pray for a “Release of a creative outpouring to change lives, bring freedom and heal hearts. To learn to be tuned to interpret the longings of the Fathers heart”, specifically aimed at our worship. I then felt God say the following: “You can have all of Isaiah 54:2, it’s there to be had. Do you really want it? Do you want what it will mean? Have you thought about what it could mean? How hard will we drive stakes in the ground? What will you use to drive them in? Are you prepared to inhabit the places deemed inhabitable? Will you be strong? Will you pull together to be strong?”
“I saw a road of gold running through the centre of the city. People were walking along the road and they were heading towards heaven. The thing was there were various people standing alongside the road talking to the people who were on the road. What was interesting was that the people standing alongside the road were not attracted by the end goal (Heaven). Instead they were captured by the journey of the people who were walking along the road. It was a journey of authenticity which was totally counter-culture. It was attractive, so attractive that at various points those who had been walking alongside the road decided to make the jump and join the journey. The over-aching theme that came out of this was Authenticity.”
Praying through Isaiah 40:31 (“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength”). The Hebrew for the verb ‘renew’ is literally ‘exchange, and is used of changes of clothes, which can symbolise strength and beauty [NIV Study Bible text note]. God says: “It’s time for a change of clothes. I want you to put on strength. You may feel weak and exposed underneath but trusting fully in me means exchanging weakness for strength and beauty. I have called you to be a colourful, visual display of my wisdom in this city. Trusting in me means putting on clothes you don’t yet feel fully comfortable in. But I’ve created you to be strong. I’ve created you to be a tree that grows tall in this city; which gives shade, which provides fruit and to whom the birds of the air flock. It’s time to embrace the visual, public nature of what I’m calling you to; to appear bigger, stronger and more beautiful than you really feel. Then you will see what I will do. You’ll be amazed and you’ll bring praise to me. Don’t be afraid of what I’m calling you to. Don’t hide behind false humility; don’t try and limit me by your own expectations of yourselves. Do not limit me by saying, ‘I’m only this or that’. Clothe yourselves with strength and I will meet you with great power and love. I love you my children. Trust me.””
“I felt led to pray over 1 John 5:19 (“We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one.”) and also the Great Commission. I saw a picture of the map of Birmingham that Adrian talks about in the future Oasis building, with pins shining like lights wherever a member of the church was living. Then I saw circles grow around these pins and people living around these people started to know Jesus, with little communities of disciples springing up, shining for Jesus as children of God.
We've still got more opportunities to get involved with the Week of Prayer coming up on Friday, with Prayer Slots available from 5pm-6pm and 6pm-7pm (just drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know) and a final burst to round the week of at the Hurst’s house (47 Cherington Road, B29 7SS) from 11pm-midnight.