Praying for each is something that was natural for the early church. They knew that the church across the region and across the known world suffered for standing up for Jesus as much as they did. They also knew that if the God’s whole church was to see breakthrough then God’s whole church needed more of God – so they asked for God to bless their brothers and sisters in Churches all over the place – particularly where they had friendship, relationship and partnership in the gospel.
Philippians 1:3-8 - I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
Paul was overjoyed at walking this journey of faith with other churches. He didn’t see institutions or buildings, organisations or charities, he saw brothers and sisters sharing in suffering and grace; defending and confirming the gospel. Pauls affection for churches he had friendship with was profound, describing them as family and writing to them with affection and love.
The Oak is part of a bigger family of churches, Catalyst, part of the Newfrontiers family of Church’s. Within Catalyst we are part of a smaller ‘hub’ with churches in Hull, Leeds, Newcastle, Bedlington, Nelson (NZ), Christchurch (NZ), Nagoa (Japan), Eastern and Central Ukraine, and church plants in Dehradun (India), Kapiri Mposhi (Zambia) and Cape Town (SA). It is with joy that we stand with brothers and sisters in the UK and the nations. Today we’ll pray for our Catalyst Hub in the UK and tomorrow for our Catalyst Hub in the Nations. What will we pray? The same prayer Paul prayed:
Philippians 1:9-11 - And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.
So, our prayer today is that Mosaic Church in Leeds, River City Church in Hull, City Church in Newcastle and Hope Church in Bedlington may, in the love of Christ Jesus, abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, discerning God’s heart for justice and righteousness, and pursue holiness and purity. That they may be filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit – specifically the joy and liberty of being right with God through the work of Jesus Christ – that God may be glorified and praised in this nation forever and ever, Amen.
Our next Prayer Gathering this week is on Thursday evening, 7.30pm at The Oak.
If you are planning on coming to the Prayer Party on Saturday evening at 5pm, please bring a picnic tea and a picnic rug and sign up here - we really need to know if you're coming so we can supply enough resources.