‘Watch I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch’ (Mk 13.37)

To watch: to be alertly on the lookout, look attentively, or observe, as to see what comes, is done, or happens (dictionary.com).

I write as we are in this significant time of waiting between Ascension and Pentecost to prepare our hearts to welcome the Holy Spirit in this significant season.  As we watch we observe:  

A rediscovery of the lifeline of prayer, by people of all faiths and none, in this pandemic as web search engines show that thousands of people are wanting to find out about prayer. Daily Hope the free telephone service for all who feel isolated has been accessed over 1 million minutes - 0800 804 8044.

A rediscovery of prayer by many churches who in the past have found that anything to do with prayer, especially corporate prayer, was very low on the priority lists in our pre-lockdown busyness. There has been an explosion of online prayer meetings for home groups, prayer triplets and churches; prayer meetings across cities and towns; prayer across counties and regions; prayer linking different cities and towns. I joined one last night for the Baptist Union of Great Britain as churches from that movement across GB are meeting regularly on zoom to pray.

A realisation that we – His people – have failed to walk in His ways, and so our nations are reaping what we have sown.  Many are meeting to pray and to call for a spirit of repentance.  At the same time, we see the Spirit of the Lord at work releasing His blessing over our nations e.g. through the UK Blessing song with over 2.4 million downloads to date (there is now a global version, a kids version, and many other nations are recording their own!).

A releasing of new prayer initiatives – locally, regionally, nationally and globally. The United in Prayer initiative asking churches to take a day in April, May and June to pray and fast for His transformation to come to our British Isles nations has 16,000 churches and 1180 towns/cities represented.  There is a global day of prayer from Jerusalem on 29th May.

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A reshaping of how we pray together via YouTube, zoom etc. which is making gathered prayer with others accessible to all ages; many ministries are releasing teaching about prayer/prayer conversations helping more people to grow in their knowledge of Our Father and learn more about His ways. Those carrying the prophetic gifting are having conversations and teachings online https://www.prophets.org.uk/.

A refocusing of not only how we pray together, but also of what and who to pray for in these challenging days – for our governmental leaders – both local and national; for medical workers of all ranks (new initiatives to pray for the NHS for example the one pioneered by London Prayer; for the mission of our church to share the love of Jesus through social action and working for justice (Christian charities and churches are now being appreciated in every community).

A release of how the good news of Jesus can be shared, as evangelists can now share the good news of Jesus in many different contexts through the internet!

A reconnecting of the gulf between rural life, farmers and food production with those in our urban towns and cities is just beginning.  ‘The UK is currently suffering a huge negative impact on farming and food production through sickness, TB and drought’ as outlined in Hope for the Countryside’s June 2020 Seeds of Prayer.

Let’s continue to pray for many to come to know Jesus in this time of challenge; that new rhythms of worship and prayer will be formed in our dispersed church ready for the new season; for a release of wisdom and God’s revelation for our elected governmental leaders nationally and locally; for us to keep on our watch praying for God’s will, God’s purposes and that all hidden agendas will be brought into the light in these days.

Jane Holloway is the National Prayer Director of the World Prayer Centre Birmingham.  She networks national with the movement for prayer.

‘Watch I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch’ (Mk 13.37)

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