YEAR OF CONTINUOUS PRAYER 2011
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
Dear Leader/Prayer Leader
It seems like we are in a season in which prayer is being emphasised and engaged in, and that has to be good. On many fronts we are being exhorted to pray earnestly for our nation. It seems that these are particularly important times to pray. In two consecutive TFH events for leaders the speakers’ main thrust was the need to call on God, and the need to be intentional in our personal time with the Lord.
Nationally there is much emphasis on prayer for the Olympics, and there is the ongoing expression of the Global Day of Prayer. Leaders from a number of different traditions are saying how crucial these days are: how we respond in prayer will determine the future for our nation.
So in the light of these exciting but sobering challenges it is really encouraging to see how churches are not only praying, but co-operating together to pray.
Last month the Prayer Briefing reported that there were two weeks not covered at the end of March and beginning of April. Praise God that within a week the two weeks had been filled, by churches from Halton and Anfield. Here’s the schedule for the next five weeks:
March 27/April 3
Christ Church Walton Breck
Holy Trinity, Breck Road
All Saints Catholic Church
Temple of Praise
April 3 to 10
April 10 to 17
Apri17 to 24
April 24/May 1
So in this prayer briefing our focus in on Anfield:
1. FOCUS ON ANFIELD
It’s not insignificant that if you Google the word “Anfield” the first 20 hits are to do with the football ground! (The 21st is about the Anfield Bicycle Club founded in 1879!!). The football club and the stadium dominate the area. Two issues relating to football which impact on life in the ward are:
Liverpool and Everton Football teams and alternative plans to rebuild their stadia or move to new ones. Please pray for a closer involvement by them in supporting community programmes
The Hillsborough tragedy that continues to be unresolved. Please pray for the remembrance service on 15th April led by 4 local church leaders; please pray for Bishop James Jones who chairs the team seeking to bring a resolution
Anfield has three councillors, in order below: Brian Dowling, Ian Francis and Jimmy Kendrick.
Please pray for them and their families. For protection, strength to do the things they are elected to do. Pray for a sense of gratitude and not antagonism from the people towards their councillors.
The MP for the Walton Parliamentary Constituency, which includes Anfield, is Steve Rotherham. Please pray that Steve will be able to serve the needs and priorities, hopes and aspirations of those he represents. Thank God for the work and energy the MP puts into serving the community. Pray for wisdom and perception. And, as for the councillors, pray for his protection and for his family.
The Economic Situation
Anfield has a population of 14,770 people, but this is affected by the ongoing area regeneration programme that has stalled due to financial cuts – several streets are now boarded up with no prospects of rebuild in the near future. Please pray for those who live around these derelict areas, that they will be protected in vulnerable situations. Pray for the churches to be a source of support and strength. Pray for a miracle of financial provision to pave the way for the regeneration of this needy place.
Youth provision in the area is also suffering from government financial cuts and this is having an impact on local youth. Please pray for all organisations working with the youth, for the resources they need to continue to operate effectively.
Statistics show that there is extremely poor health for adults in the area, especially with heart problems: one of the worst in the North West. Please pray for adequate funding for the medical services in Anfield, that good prompt treatment will be available to all.
There are high levels of unemployment in the area and there are many families with long term unemployed, and others are facing redundancies. Please pray for increased opportunities for employment, and for families to escape the cycle of poverty and unemployment.
Please pray for a complete defeat of drugs organisations and the drug dealing in the area which continues to target young people. Pray for the churches in the area to know how to provide hope and deliverance to those in the thrall of the drugs culture.
Pray for the work of the Merseyside Police in the area, that they have a better effectiveness, and are able to offer a better service to the community. Praise God that the crime rate continues to drop: the weekend car crime has been cut from 112 to 27 on match days.
Pray for local churches to work together more closely, bringing in those that have so far not worked with others.
April includes the Easter weekend. Please pray for all special services and activities planned for the Easter period. A number of churches in the area are planning a Good Friday outdoor witness. Please pray for that, and for a good reception of the gospel message in Anfield, leading to growth of local churches.
2. WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHILDREN
Claire Morgans of Y Kids is organising as part of the Year of Continuous Prayer 2011, a week of prayer for Children. The planned date is June5th to 12th. This is going to be an opportunity for all churches to focus on praying for children in that week.
During the week there will be resources to help local churches to do this, and suggestions of how to engage local schools in the prayer.
On Saturday 11th June the highlight of the week will be a “Let The Children Come” event at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. It will be an event to which children and families can go, with worship, music, drama, dance and various activities to engage children.
Churches are invited to have a stall at the event & Claire has a list of ideas on what to do. For more information contact her direct on email@example.com
Please pray for Claire and the team as they work to put on this week. Pray that is will cause a wave of prayer for children over and above what is already being offered.
3. OTHER EVENTS & RESOURCES
On Easter Sunday a week long tent mission is being held in Newsham Park, supported by a number of local churches, one of which will be holding its Sunday morning service in the tent by way of a “launch”. From Sunday 24th to Friday 29th there will be evening meetings sharing the Good News about Jesus. Monday to Friday at 5 will be Kidz Klub meetings, and also in the week a number of daytime informal happenings will be co-ordinated, including a barbecue.
In the two weeks prior to the event homes will be visited with invitations to come.
The mission is the initiative of Steve Pilkington on Operation Hope, based in St Helens.
Please pray for a great interest to be stirred up in the heart of people living in the area, and for many to hear and respond to the Gospel.
For more information and to be involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.operationhope.co.uk
Rob Bell Meeting at the Cathedral
On 20th April at 7.30pm Greenbelt Festivals are hosting an evening with bestselling Christian author and speaker Rob Bell as part of a four night national tour, at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
Rob Bell has become well known as a writer and through the Nooma films. He founded and leads Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he has an energetic and novel style that has gained him many admirers.
He will be speaking about his new book Love Wins, which is due to be published by HarperCollins on 31st March. It is fair to say that the book has raised a storm of controversy over the hugely significant issue of what the bible has to say about hell and judgment, and the implications this has about the character of God. In a very provocative u-tube video trailing the book he seems to espouse universalism.
Please pray about this event. Pray that the outcome will be a strengthening of people’s beliefs in the bible and a clear rejection of anything that degrades the full effectiveness of the work of Jesus on the cross.
Leaders’ Lunch on Thursday14th April
This will be held at Grace Family Church on Aigburth Road at 12.00 until 2.00, and the speaker will be John Glass .
John has been General Superintendent of the Elim Pentecostal Church since 2000. Prior to this he was Elim's Regional Superintendent in Scotland and pastored churches across the UK, including four that he pioneered.
John has authored several books, most recently, Building Bigger People. John currently serves on the Board of Reference for British Youth for Christ, the Council of Reference for Transworld Radio and the Council of the UK Evangelical Alliance. He is also a Patron of the Society for Protection of the Unborn Child.
Please pray for these monthly leaders’ lunches, that they may build unity across the region. Please pray for more and more leaders to come and be equipped, challenged & encouraged.
Toolkit Training Event
Last year Toolkit was a very popular and well received training event for people involved in youth and childrens’ ministry. This year Toolkit will be on May 7th. The day aims to give you the tools to carry out effective children and youth work by offering an array of guest speakers, seminars, workshops, a marketplace and worship. It was set up by Ykids, Liverpool YFC, Urban Saints, Scripture Union and the Methodist Church, Toolkit is packed with great ideas and tricks of the trade which can used in your church and communities. The main speaker this year is Rev Tim Hastie-Smith, who has lots of experience in youth work having been a teacher for most of his life.
Please pray for the event, that it reaches and helps many people involved with youth and children, and that the effectiveness of their ministries across the region will be affirmed and equipped.
Lent Talks by Justin Welby
Liverpool Anglican Cathedral as hosting a series of Lent talks open to public by the Dean, on What makes a good life. Five Foundations for a Good Life will run for five weeks between March 16th and April 13th. Each session takes place from 7.30pm-9.00pm in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral.
Please pray for the remaining talks
30th March - Harmony, family or step family
6th April - Contentment: the ups and downs of life
13th April – Truth: relationship with God
that they will have an impact on the spiritual life of the region.
Biblefresh – Monthly Bible Studies with Dr William Kumuyi
Dr Kumuyi is the leader of one the largest Christian movements in the world. This month’s Bible study will be on Thursday 28th April, starting at 7.00pm, at Frontline Church in Wavertree. This is more than a Bible study – it is also a gathering of the Church across the region.
Please pray that God will touch His people and enlarge their faith.
After a very brief rest the Narnia Team started work on the Narnia Roadshow. Following on from the St George’s Hall programme, they have 57 schools to visit including 4 in Southport, 8 in Warrington, 3 on the Wirral and many scattered across Liverpool. The two teams from 12 different churches will be sharing the great news of Easter to something like10,000 school children or more. Please praise God for this wonderful opportunity and outcome from Narnia.
1. For a continued wonderful team spirit
2. For safety in travelling and all the arrangements to work with pickups, car shares, navigating, timekeeping - up to 5 schools a day etc.
3. For the message to come across clearly to all the school children and teachers that Easter reminds us of how much Jesus loves us.
4. For God to keep doing an amazing networking thing of linking his people together in taking the good news outside church walls. This lies right at the heart of what we are praying for in the Year of Continuous Prayer.
Please pray for the team as they work on future plans. For freshness, sustained excitement in the taks, and increased fruitfulness.