An Update from the Prayer Day
On Wednesday 5th July, hundreds of people from across Newfrontiers gathered together to pray for the UK. Here’s Jonny Mellor’s take on how he found it.
I’d not been to Westminster Chapel before. In fact, I’m not sure I’d ever been to Westminster. It’s not a bad little spot really. Apparently there’s a palace there. And an abbey. Even a cathedral. No wonder my Google maps got a bit muddled up and decided to show me all the sights before actually taking me to the Newfrontiers prayer day.
I don’t know what was going on in the various other prestigious locations in this famous district of Central London, but at Westminster Chapel, we prayed. And we prayed hard.
It was the first Newfrontiers prayer gathering for 6 years. Last time we met, Newfrontiers was one family of churches led by Terry Virgo. Now it is seven apostolic networks (Advance, ChristCentral, Commission, New Ground, Regions Beyond, Relational Mission and of course Catalyst) representing about 300 churches in the UK, and who knows how many around the world.
As Steve Tibbert, the leader of Kings Church, Catford, explained just before lunch, these networks were set up to be autonomous and interdependent. Taking hold of the mission put before us, Steve narrated how we’d probably all grabbed hold of the first of these a bit tighter than the second, and this was one of the main reasons why it was seen to be time to gather together again.
God had told us years ago ‘you can do more together than apart’, and as we gathered to seek God, He gave us a bit more clarity on what this may look like in this new era. John Groves shared a picture of a dry stone wall on a countryside hill. We’re like those dry stones. Not stuck together with cement and even able to be moved around individually if necessary, however, when put together, strong enough to withstand the strongest hillside gale. Someone else saw the different spheres like Red Arrows planes at an air show: at times, they fly freestyle in all sorts of different directions, but then they come back together to fly in formation.
Well, it was great to be flying side by side on this occasion. Tope Koleoso started the day by leading us in prayer for our nation. He reminded us candidly about the problems our nation faces at the moment. It is sobering and the need is urgent, but God is the solution our country needs. And so on the back of Tope’s earnest exhortation, we cried out to Him for mercy.
After lunch Terry shared with us his heart for revival. He told us how he’d left his paid job 50 years ago to pray specifically for this very thing. God spoke to him about lights bursting out all over Britain, a bit like when Gideon’s army revealed themselves to the unsuspecting Midianites as they smashed their jars and uncovered 300 lamps cutting through the darkness. Terry’s half century of prayers for revival are still yet to be fully answered, but I couldn’t help noticing that God has not been unresponsive to those requests. Now, there are 300 or so lights dotted all over this country- not revival fires exactly- but churches that have sprouted up from Terry’s apostolic work, and from the work of those who he’s handed the baton on to. And about 500 of us from many of those 300 churches joined Terry in praying that we would see God revive our nation again.
Overall, we were left with no illusions as to the scale of the challenge that faces our churches in our day and age, but we were also reminded forcefully of the power of our God and his promises. Promises like ’if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ (2 Chr 7:14)
Next time the planes come back together to fly in formation, I recommend that you come and take part too. It still seems like we can do more together than we can apart.