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Beacons of Prayer - see I am doing a new thing!

In creating our 'Beacons of Prayer' paintings, Chris Duffett has tried to capture the energy and power of people and groups who pray, which in turn spark off other beacons of praying people across the land to seek God. 

Chris explains, 'The paintings seek to capture a mystery: The Kingdom of heaven is furthered by those who partner with the King of heaven by being in communion with him.  Out of this closeness flows action for new things as we begin to do what we see our Heavenly Father doing.

'Our prayers have the potential to change the way all 'things' are.  Prayers, like light, ripple out and push back the darkness of a kingdom that has yet to bow to the Lordship of King Jesus.

'The beacons of prayer paintings seek to show how prayers overlap and intermingle with other prayers, igniting something new and inspiring new activity.'



Lynn GreenI have this deep sense that God wants to do a new thing and he is calling us to prayer to 'make space' for him to speak and move.

Let me share with you how I have become convinced of this ...

God has been speaking to me from Isaiah 43,
'forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland'.

This sense that God wants to do a new thing, the sense that HE will do it, has been growing.  Others have also given me this verse along the way; it just keeps popping up in all sorts of different settings.

But on Sunday 31 May 2015 God gave me a breathtaking vision of his glory; it was awesome, powerful yet beautiful. Then I saw fires being lit and spreading out all over this country and I felt that God was saying he wanted to light beacons of prayer right across the UK.  Beacons of prayer that were people who were inspired to pray and seek the Lord, not with our own agenda but simply that we might draw close to Him and open ourselves and our churches to him so that he would have the freedom to move amongst us and through us by his Spirit.  The next morning I prayed that if this was the Lord he would confirm this to me.  Since then, in so many different ways, there has been this common sense of discernment that, yes, this is God speaking to us.

I believe this is a word for the church in the UK but my first role is to devote myself to prayer for God's new thing and to call Baptists to join me in lighting and stoking beacons of prayer.
In these last two days I have shared this vision with the Baptist Steering Group and together we share this sense of God's call to prayer.  Last night we knelt together in humility and prayed that the Lord would be at work in and through us as individuals and as a movement of churches...

So what next?? Quite simply, pray!

Click on the links below to follow our Beacons of Prayer blog where we shall be posting short passages of Scripture regularly that I will be using to inspire my own prayer.

I have no idea where this will lead but I am being obedient in taking the first step and trusting the Lord for what comes next.
Lynn Green
General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

BoH2017

Where is your faith?

 
“Where is your faith?”  This is the searching question that Jesus asked His disciples after He had calmed the storm (Luke 8:25) and this is the question that I have been meditating on recently.  As I shared in my Advent Message, 2016 was a year in which we have witnessed some significant shifts in our global, political and economic landscape.  This, in turn, creates challenges for us as Baptists Together for 2017 and beyond.

“Where is your faith?”  And so, as we stand at the beginning of another year, the first and most important thing for all of us to do is to keep our focus on Jesus in worship and mission! Above all we need to make sure that "the main thing", remains "the main thing"!  In faith, we must not let our challenges deflect us from who God is and His call to us. 

“Where is your faith?”  In 2015 I offered a call to prayer, Beacons of Prayer, and I have been amazed and encouraged to see how God has been moving churches to pray, seeking God and making space for Him to do what He wants to do.  Now 18 months later, we are seeing God at work amongst us and across the U.K. in incredible ways and Beacons of Prayer is developing into a call for our churches to be Beacons of Hope, sharing the good news of Jesus in the places He has put us! There are so many in our communities who are longing for hope and we are called to be witnesses to the love, light and life of Jesus.  I am praying that the Lord would increase our faith in Him in this coming year so that our witness becomes the overflow of our vibrant and authentic relationship with Him.  Will you pray with me?

“Where is your faith?”  We are called not only to be Beacons of Hope in the places God has put us but ALSO in the places where He is and we are not!  In times where the gap between rich and poor in our own country is widening we need to be following our Lord who came to preach good news to the poor. In times when many people under the age of 40 know very little, if anything, about Jesus, we need to be connecting and communicating the good news of Jesus to unreached generations. Our vision is growing healthy churches in relationship for God’s mission and that doesn’t mean simply strengthening our existing churches or even replicating them; we also need to be creating new Beacons of Hope in places, and with people, where hope is most needed.  Will you nurture the faith that believes that where God calls, He equips?

“Where is your faith?”  As we head into 2017, will you follow Jesus with me, hard on His heels, and will you be willing to go where ever He takes us?  Will your church be a Beacon of Hope in the place where God has put you?  Will you be open to seek a vision from the Lord for creating new Beacons of Hope? I am praying that the Lord would increase our faith in 2017 and I am praying that as we are on fire for Jesus, He will be seen ever more clearly in us and through us.

Lynn Green
General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain



 
 
Image: Mike Lowe | Baptist Union of Great Britain

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All are welcome here

Beacons of Hope

We prayed together at our June meeting of the Baptist Steering Group and reflected on the year since I shared the call to be Beacons of Prayer. We sensed God calling us to build on Beacons of Prayer for this coming year.  As we continue to seek God and make space for him, we believe God is saying to our churches that we need to rise up and get out into our communities as Beacons of Hope.  This is needed now more than ever before.  As I prayed, I was struck by the relevance of Luke 4:14 – 'Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit…'  Following a time of dedicated seeking of God’s presence Jesus embarked on his public ministry.  We also spent some time around the story of the feeding of the 5,000 again.  Against a backdrop of challenging times, Jesus said to his disciples, “…you give them something to eat.” (Matt 14:16).  This is not a time for us to shrink back; now is the time for us to get out there and share the bread of life with hungry people.

 
Image: Mike Lowe | Baptist Union of Great Britain

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God moving in Reading

It is a year since I shared my vision of Beacons of Prayer and invited Baptists to pray with me, to wait on the Lord and make space for him to do his 'new thing'.  I ended that first post by saying that I had no idea what the Lord was going to do!  In these last few weeks God has been moving in Reading - over 1,000 people have been prayed with on the streets of Reading. 

On Sunday, I was able to go to The Gate to hear more and I was invited to share with them.  Here is what I said, it is a 15 min video but I believe that it communicates clearly what has been happening this past year and is better than trying to write it all down! 



 


You can find the whole service on YouTube if you are interested. 

Later in the service Yinka Oyekan shares about how God has smashed all their 'nets' - they thought they were quite good at discipleship at The Gate, but now they are completely overwhelmed with what God is doing because the catch of fish is huge and their nets now seem tiny!  Wonderfully, churches all across Reading are involved, but even then the nets are still too small!!  One thing is clear - many people are open to hearing about JESUS!

Keep praying, keep following and keep sharing...
 
Image: Gianluca D Muscelli | www.shutterstock.com

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