I was reading the letters to the Churches at the start of Revelation (if you’ve not read them, they are only a couple of chapters (2-4) in the book of Revelation.
Great Advent Reading, great as a challenge, encouragement and a rebuke!
Have we ‘forsaken my first love’?
Have I become lukewarm and apathetic at times?
Have I sold out and compromised on issues of holiness at times?
Have I got too religious and lost focus between religion and Christ?
I wondered what the Risen Christ would say about Kingswood, BS15, if he was writing us a letter today?
Now, it would be easy to rant about all my frustrations with a loud voice here…
Show the people God!
Pray for a reminder of God’s awesomeness, his power and might, but also his love for us all as individuals, the bible tells us that not one sparrow falls to the ground without God knowing about it, he even knows how many hairs there are on our head…
I remember my friend Jimmy Rocks being asked what he was passionate about, and I expected him to say “evangelism”, “signs and wonders”, “Discipleship” or “issues of justice”… -the kind of answers I’d have given- but instead he said this “the presence of God”.
Jimmy had grasped something, to often we often know about God, but we can actually know God, encountering him personally.
Something of that pearl of great price, worth giving up everything for, ultimately everything is about Jesus.
It’s not about seeking his hands, what he can do for us, but about seeking his face, seeking him for the sake of our love for him.
Encountering the presence of God, sensing his presence is the fuel that drives everything else, but when we seek God to simply re-fill us we miss the point of what actually it is all about.
We often pray that people will get inspired to be intercessors, or to be missional, or to serve in any way but unless this comes out of an overflow of our encounter and relationship with Christ then it could be simply good but empty works.
So pray afresh for Christians that we first are transformed by our daily renewing encounter with God.
That there is more than we have had before!
Pray that too often we live on yesterdays treasurers, and limit ourselves to the experiences of God we have already have had, God is constantly calling us to know more of him and experience more of him…
I once talked about not trusting a skinny chef, the image is that if we want to see other people encountering and falling in love with Christ then we need to be captivated and falling in love with him too, on a daily basis, going deeper.
Too often I think we get stale, and comfortable, when there is so much more to experience.
Moses says (reasonably late on his life) show me more of your glory, which is a great prayer, but then I thought he’s seen 12 plagues, the red sea part, a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, water coming out of rocks and the miraculous provision of manna and quale… and yet he says “show me more of your glory”.
Pray for unity…
Pray that unity is actually lived out amongst Christians loving one another and standing shoulder to shoulder in proclaiming Christ and making him known. Unity was the prayer of Christ in Gethsemene but yet we as Christians are so divided, separate, doing their own thing in their own way, and yet we never make it a priority to join together forgetting that this was Christ’s number one priority, the theme of his final quite time with the father that his Church should be “one and you and I are one”.
And I’ll close with a passage of scripture which never ceases to challenge me to “seek first God’s Kingdom”.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” 2 Chron.7.14.