There was a particular quote that really spoke to us last week at the Week of Prayer by a Dutch Prime Minister by the name of Abraham Kuyper. He understood the revolutionary implications of the Christ message and I can imagine his hands trembling with a mixture of terror and excitement as he wrote these words: “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is sovereign over all, does not cry: “Mine!” Christian are called to welcome Christ into every ‘square inch of the whole domain of our human existence”
This means whenever we see the enemy at work in our own lives or in the lives of the people of this town we pray for Christ’s Kingdom to come. Whenever we see people struggling to cope, living on the streets, breaking down, giving up we use our free will to say defiantly, “Not my will but your will be done”. When we pray in this way, it’s like those urgent messages tapped out in code by resistance fighters far behind enemy lines in the Second World War. Our prayers light up the landing strips for the invading forces of heaven. And when we come together to do this in sufficient numbers, we can move from small-scale guerrilla warfare to wiping out the enemy.
An Example of the Power of Prayer would be the fall of the Berlin Wall. Read this account of the events:
With so many people expressing their protest in prayer, the State was preparing for anarchy.
In fact, they had threatened to shut the prayer rally down that very night, Monday, 9 October, adding ominously ‘with whatever means necessary’. Markus heard that doctors were setting up emergency clinics, expecting a bloodbath. On the way in he’d glimpsed shadowy figures on the rooftops with guns. It was terrifying. He studied the tiny flickering candle in his hand and thought about the tanks in the street outside. Surely this was crazy; attempting to fight military hardware with prayers? He looked up at his father, at the crowds cradling candles like stars, and for a moment their voices crescended. Yes, there was power in this too. Perhaps it was the authorities who were crazy to fight prayers with guns? One way or another, they would soon find out. For those who never lived in its shadow, the demise of the Berlin Wall, which separated the communist east from the capitalist west for thirty years, may seem to have been inevitable. But for Markus Lägel and thousands like him who knew nothing but the concrete realities of communism, and were armed only with prayers, nothing seemed more inevitable than guns, tanks and vodka.
After about an hour the pastor led the congregation out onto the Augustusplatz. Still clutching their candles, they marched past the headquarters of the dreaded secret police, chanting ‘no violence’ and praying that it might be so. Surprisingly the police never opened fire. There would be rumours later of deals done in high places. Whatever the reason, within a week the prayer rally for peace had grown to 120,000, and the East German leader had been forced to resign. Within a fortnight the prayer rally attracted three hundred thousand protestors, and within a month—four weeks later to the day—the Berlin Wall came tumbling down.
Some journalists and historians have identified the Leipzig prayer rallies as the tipping point in the fall of East German communism—a remarkable acknowledgement for a movement that had begun so quietly seven years earlier, with a handful of people at a prayer meeting.
One communist official from Leipzig made an extraordinary, unguarded admission to a journalist: ‘We were prepared for every eventuality,’ he said. ‘But not for candles and not for prayers.’
There is power in prayer and we need to be persistent in prayer for our community.
Here are the questions to prayerfully consider that came out of our week of prayer:
How do we continue this season of prayer? When we pray things happen.
How do we as a church equip and empower people to meet the needs of this town and see people come to Christ?
How do we move forward with our building project because it will naturally come as we meet the needs of this town?
How do we keep momentum?
What does this Week of Prayer mean for Fun Run?
How do we make everyone know they are loved by God?
How do we help people with financial problems and other needs?
How do we link with other organisations like Lighthouse?
How do we fulfil simple Biblical commands?
How do we make our current ministries more effective?
How do we meet the needs of the church family – because we also are the people of Brentwood?