Thursday, January 3, 2019

Week of Prayer and Fasting - 14th to 20th January

I’m believing for 2019 to be our best year yet, both for us as individuals and for us as a community. Key to that is each of us going deeper with God through prayer, which is why we’re having a week of prayer and fasting at the beginning of the year.

There are three things I’m encouraging people to do during the week.

I’d love to be able to delegate my fasting, but sadly Jesus hasn’t left us with that option! Jesus made it very clear that he expects us to fast (Mark 6:14). Fasting is a powerful form of worship, as we put our dedication to God above our own comfort, and say to God we are serious about seeking more of him, and Jesus tells us that there are some things which will only change in response to prayer and fasting (Mark 9:29). I’m therefore committing to fasting more in 2019, starting with this week. 

I want to encourage everyone to engage in an appropriate form of fasting for some or all of the week. There are some helpful guidelines about how to fast on the 24-7 Prayer website - please take a look and decide what you’re going to give up, and how you’re going to use the time you free up to pray.

Maybe you’ve never fasted before, or haven’t in a long time. I want to encourage you to jump in and do something. Skip a meal and pray, have a day free from social media, don’t watch TV for the week, do whatever it is that says you’re serious about wanting more of God in your life. 

24-7 Prayer
I’d love us to do a week of uninterrupted 24-7 prayer across our four sites. We’ll base this around our Bracknell prayer room, but I realise that for many people getting there isn’t practical (especially those on the Isle of Wight!). 

We’ll use the prayer room booking system to book out the 168 one hour slots in the week, but if you can’t actually get to the prayer room for the slot or slots you want to pray for then just put (v) after your name on the system to say you’ll be praying virtually (how very 21st Century!).

Where possible please book slots as open sessions rather than for exclusive use, so that others can join you if they want to. There’s no expectation on anyone to lead each hour - if there are multiple people in the prayer room then each feel free to do your own thing, unless you decide you all want to pray together. The system lets multiple people book in for each slot, so if there’s a slot you fancy but someone has already booked in (but not exclusively) then just add your name and you’ll both be registered and get the entry code to the prayer room. 

Please be aware of your own safety in all this, especially if you’re in the prayer room during the night and think you might be there on your own. Why not take a friend, or if you’re not sure pray virtually (but remember to book in so we know that slot is filled). 

Finally to say the prayer room isn’t bookable from 5pm until midnight on Friday 18th January as our LIFE youth gathering is happening on the Bracknell site, and for safeguarding reasons the prayer room isn’t available. We’ll make sure people are assigned to pray during that time. 

Why not go and book a slot now. I’ve just booked the very first slot on Monday 14th - please feel free to come and join me!

Wildfires Prayer Night on Thursday 17th January
We’re gathering with other churches for an evening of prayer at the Kerith Centre from 7.30-9.30pm on Thursday 17th January. Tim Hughes is leading worship and Pete Greig will be leading us in prayer as we come together to pray for revival personally, in our nation and in the nations. 

Parking, other than for the elderly or disabled, will be in the Braccan Walk car park (what was the Charles Square car park).

This meeting will replace our January site based prayer meetings for Bracknell, Sandhurst and Windsor. 

I think that’s it. Please plan to get involved, to fast, book into the prayer meeting and come on the 17th as we call out to the one who can do “immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine”.


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