One of the things that has most disturbed be during my time in ministry is how little churches and church leaders engage in corporate prayer. Even in meetings specifically for prayer, more time was spent in talking about what we should be praying for than in actually praying. I am no expert in prayer, but have found great delight, peace and encouragement when praying earnestly with other believers. Partners in Prayer was an attempt to remedy this.
We meet every 2 months, arriving for coffee from 9.30. In this time people might share their own concerns before we pray. At 10am (or as near as possible) we start to pray “for God’s grace and power to be seen in our lives, our churches and our communities.” We started a couple of years ago and amongst our prayers was that we would see someone come to Christ across the churches before we next met.
God has heard our prayers! We have seen many people come to faith and that has given greater confidence and passion across the churches. One church this year had to have 2 baptism services in a day, baptising 23 people across 2 services, nearly all new believers. Most of the churches involved have seen conversions in the last 2 years; many, multiple conversions.
As our next meeting approaches, I find myself thinking about this phrase from Acts: “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” We are still a long way from this and the urgency to pray remains. We will continue to pray and when we finish, those who can have fellowship over coffee or lunch. Fellowship created before the throne of grace is, in my experience, the most precious fellowship of all.
Andy Dykes – Partnership Regional Coordinator