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.'
I 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.
General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain