The meeting yesterday morning was led by Major Ian F Payne who introduced the theme ‘What do you know about your Street?’.
Praying for our Streets has been adopted by the Churches Together in Medway. A framed street map of Medway was in place at the rostrum.
Major Ian reminded us of Matthew 22, 35-37 which says ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
SA Song 937 ‘We are witnesses for Jesus’ reminded us to ‘Tell the world and do some witnessing for Jesus wheresoever you may be’. Emile & Nyra Asempa and family were invited to the platform so that we could send them off to their new home in Uttoxeter with some prayers and small gifts.
We sang SA Song 699 ‘Grace alone which God supplies, Strength unknown He will provide. Christ in us, our cornerstone. We will go forth in grace alone.’
The Self Denial Film, Week 3 was shown which illustrated the way the Salvation Army is helping people in Burkina Faso to develop their skills to earn money for daily needs of their families.
Following some feedback from the young people who had attended the Territorial Youth Band and Territorial Youth Chorus,
the Singing Company sang ‘Everybody needs Something to Live For’.
The scripture reading, read by Major Ian, was Matthew 22:36-40 following the Songsters singing ‘Moment by Moment’.
Instead of singing SA Song 999 Major Ian read it, the chorus of which is ‘Healing Christ, You are the answer, Lay on us your broken hands. Fill us with your Spirit’s presence, Our lives are healed at your command.’ These are powerful words for the community in which we live. We were invited to ponder over who is our neighbour, coming to the conclusion that it is the person sitting next to us. We were invited to share with each other the challenges we face and then pray together. The following prayer was suggested to be used:
‘Prayer for a friend.
Lord, I give you ….. and thank you for them. I thank you for everything that they are and for all their gifts and talents. I thank you for the many things that they have given to others and for all the kindness that they have shown me. Lord, at the beginning of time You breathed Your life into creation. May you breathe Your life into them now. So that each step they take is filled with your faith. Each thought they think is filled with Your hope, and each moment they live is filled with Your love. May they fully know Your life and fully live in Your love, this day and every day – Amen’
Major Ian shared some words by Dallas Willard relating to
‘The Social dimension of the human being is the aspect of the human self that requires rootedness in others — people and God.
The Soul encompasses and organises the whole person, interrelating all the other dimensions of the self so that they form one person functioning in a flow of life. It’s like the computer that runs a business in the background.’
It was the ‘rootedness in others’ that was important in praying for our neighbours and is crucial to our communication with them and God. If there is any break in communication it affects our relations with God. We need to be the best Christians we can be and heal any rifts between people because God says we must love our neighbours. We need to pray for our neighbours. Get to know them and pray for them because prayer changes things.
Eph.6:18 says ‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.’ Ask God to give you the words Jude 1:20 tells us to pray in the Holy Spirit – He will give us the words.
We have seen prayer work. We don’t know why some prayers are answered more than others but we have seen people’s lives change as they are ‘born in the Spirit’. We are asked to commit to pray for our street until Pentecost. In Nehemiah we read that families had to pray together when the trumpet sounded to avoid being overcome. Let us pray for our neighbours and streets. We must do this to avoid being just a club. Let’s pray every day. Praying for our Streets Bookmarks were available to use as daily reminders to pray for our streets.
SA Song 477 and SA Song 377 were sung whilst people went forward for a bookmark.
Then Major Ian prayed and gave the Benediction.
An invitation was given to attend the Emmaus Church Centre for the Licensing of Kate and Graham Hill as ministers at 4 o’clock instead of the 5 o’clock meeting.
Thank you to Jean Jones for this report & David Lockwood for the photographs