In her third post on Talking Jesus, Sophie Jelley says: “Pray. Pray. Pray…. (are we expecting God to act?)”
Over 20 years ago I was invited to be part of a drama team in a city centre mission. Apart from almost losing my voice (shopping centres are noisy places) and living in a crazy household of thespians for a week, the final talk given by one of my evangelism heros has stayed with me. It was a talk about what we can rightly expect to happen when we intentionally set aside time for mission in our communities. He listed a whole range of ways in which people’s lives are changed including people from within the churches. One impact was about prayer: God answers one small and rather half-hearted plea and all of a sudden a ‘prayer-less’ Christian becomes ‘prayer-ful’. Maybe you have had that experience – you whisper a prayer you hardly dare believe could be answered, it becomes a reality and you are left marvelling in awe of God.
Talking to Jesus…
So how are we praying for Talking Jesus? How are we talking TO Jesus about the people and places that really matter to us? The bible tells us we can be confident to ‘approach the throne of grace’ bringing our greatest hopes and biggest fears. So here are a few ways to encourage us as we pray over the coming weeks leading up to the event itself
Talking Jesus prayer cards
Many have been using the prayer card for months in churches, in home groups and as individuals.
O God our Father,
we thank you for your great love shown to us in Jesus,
and that you have called us into the fellowship of your Church:
as we prepare for mission with our bishops,
open our eyes to your wonderful possibilities;
lead us to those whose hearts you are touching,
that we may bring them to Jesus
and learn together to follow him;
for you are our hope and our eternal salvation,
and in his name we pray.
Here is a pattern you could use:
In the 7 days of a week you could pray for one theme a day:
- For the diocese of Durham – Use the prayer card. Pray for the impact of the weekend across the whole area.
- For the deanery – For the visiting Bishop(s) and their team(s), for the events and the spontaneous opportunities to Talk Jesus.
- For the parish – For a blessing on all who live, work and play in the local community. For the events that will take place during Talking Jesus and for new opportunities to arise wherever people gather.
- For the church – For local churches to have confidence to share their faith and to be places of invitation and welcome for newcomers
- For individuals – For start! and other Christian introduction courses being planned across the diocese as we invite people to find out more about Jesus
- For our family and friends – That those we are closest to will have the opportunity to hear about Jesus for themselves – sometimes we forget to invite those who are closest to us.
- For ourselves – that God would use us in his mission as we play our part in Talking Jesus especially if we have never done anything like this before.
As we dare to believe that God will act, let’s whisper and shout and ask God to act in our diocese revealing his love and grace to those we Talk Jesus with in March this year.