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23 January, 2024

Prayer Meetings Transformed - King's Church 1066

Prayer Meetings Transformed - King's Church 1066

Do you need help to pray? Most of us do! If we're not careful well-intentioned prayer gatherings can become dry, and lack the zeal we know is needed to intercede for the broken and vulnerable.

In the post below Richard Wilson from Kings Church 1066 shares how the Stand in the Gap prayer resource helped bring their recent week of prayer to life. For more on how dinghies, tents and dinner tables could help transform the way your church community prays, read on...

Through a recent Week of Prayer, Stand in the Gap provided the focus for a series of meetings across the church’s different venues. The various topics from the resource - there are 18 in all - were considered through the week. Aside from the particular focus on these themes at the prayer meetings, church members were also encouraged to use the resource personally and all those attending the Sunday meetings were given a copy to take home.*

Stand in the Gap is overflowing with helpful information - including ideas, facts, written prayers (to aid family and individual prayer), relevant scriptures, creative suggestions, and specific prayer points.

At the first evening prayer meeting, the church's Bexhill venue focused on making a positive impact on their community. They highlighted specific issues facing their town, including a heartfelt sharing from a church member involved in social work about the crisis in children’s care. This prompted a time of prayer for those in the church who foster children and provide temporary respite. The outcome was a strong conviction that local churches, functioning as families, can be welcoming places for children facing disadvantages beyond their control.

The meeting also addressed the local rise in domestic violence, a concern highlighted by the police. They shared information about increasing drug crime through 'County Lines' and rising anti-social behaviour. The following day, some church members had the opportunity to speak at a local secondary school about the sanctity of life and issues surrounding abortion. The prayer meeting became an excellent opportunity to express gratitude for access to the school, pray for the presenters, and offer general prayers for schools and education in the area.

During a well-attended lunchtime meeting in another venue, the focus shifted to Mental Health and Wellbeing. With a new church venue being established in the area, the prayers centered around 'Bursting your Christian bubble' and reaching outwards to the community with the Gospel. Attendees were given a piece of string and asked to tie three knots as a commitment to pray for three people (just one of the creative suggestions from the resource).

A highlight of the week occurred on Wednesday at the main church building in Hastings. The auditorium was transformed with stands, tables, and visual aids, many suggested in the booklet as 'Prayer Space Ideas' by leading charities who contributed to the resource.

These creative spaces included:

- a meal table focusing on Belonging

- an enclosed dark space addressing Modern Slavery

- a tent representing Homelessness and Supported Housing

- a dolls house highlighting the Cost of Living Crisis

- a clock symbolizing those Unable to Afford Essentials

- a display on Money and Debt.

There were also symbolic items, like a small rubber dinghy and a rucksack, representing refugees, with attached luggage tags for written prayers.

The auditorium remained open throughout the day for personal prayer, and in the evening, a large crowd gathered to pray together, moving around the hall and praying in groups about a wide range of issues. It was a prayer meeting like none done before, and served to raise faith in, and appreciation from, those in attendance.

On days without specific prayer meetings, church members were encouraged to pray for their local neighborhoods, with the booklet offering helpful pointers for prayer-walking in the local areas.

The Sunday morning prayer meetings at both main venues, serving as the beginning and end of the Week of Prayer, included times for reflection on 'Praying the Bible' and 'Praying for Hearts,' using the booklet as a focal point and guide.

This resource provides valuable ways for engaging with a needy world. As Christians and churches in the UK pray and seek God’s face about issues of poverty and injustice, He will not only change our hearts but also transform our communities.

*Stand in the Gap is a free resource, available to download here. To request additional paper copies, please email admin@jubilee-plus.org (there's a small fee to cover costs and postage, with a discount available for partner churches).

23 January, 2024

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