The amazing sights we marvel at in nature documentaries such as Blue Planet are revealing glories and phenomena that have remained completely unknown until modern technology enabled photographic pioneers to plumb the depths of the ocean. What is true in the natural sphere is true on a spiritual plane too. Were such a thing possible, a spiritual weather chart would show more clearly than any savvy news analyst the competing spiritual ‘currents’ that are at work behind national and international issues. As surely as currents power through the depths of the oceans so the Holy Spirit is at one with the Father in directing world events, not only up to, but also beyond the climax of Jesus’ return. Continue reading
Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days.
Give a portion to seven, or even to eight,
for you know not what disaster may happen on earth . . .
He who observes the wind will not sow,
and he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Ecc. 11:1-4)
The opening phrase is an attractive thought but what on earth does it actually mean? Continue reading
An Advent Offering
In the midst of what is, for all too many people, an intensely busy season, let’s make it our aim to celebrate the coming of Christ this Advent, and to prepare our hearts for Him to come to us in fresh ways. Advent starts on December 3rd and finishes on Christmas Eve.
May the words that the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary resonate deeply in our hearts: The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. (Luke 1:35) Continue reading
Praying for a nation rather than just hearing or reading facts about them takes a country much more deeply into our heart. May this prayer, that we have set to poignant music, focus our prayers on Zimbabwe, and from there extend across the whole of the African continent.
Lord, Zimbabwe is a country whose beauty radiates and reflects something so precious back to You. Thank you that it truly is ‘Africa’s Paradise’; but Continue reading
Given all that is going on in Zimbabwe, it is hardly surprising that the Lord has been putting Africa on my heart more than usual this week. We thought you might find it helpful to summarise the situation there, and to join in praying for the Zimbabwe at this pivotal moment in its history.
At the time of writing, the nation is waiting to see what will come of the initiative taken by the army to put Mugabe under house arrest. Continue reading
Back in the late 1970s when I was working as a door to door evangelist in Oxford, passing on Christian books was a major part of the ministry. In addition to excellent books by Michael Green and David Watson about finding Jesus, I loved to pass on biographies that describe the power of God in action. Books such as The Cross and Switchblade, God’s Smuggler and The Hiding Place rarely fail to make a deep impression on those who read them.
What stories God’s people have to tell! Continue reading
In Tramp for the Lord Corrie Ten Boom describes the occasion when she found herself preaching in a small country in Africa which had been taken over by a government that was making determined attempts to kill all Christians. As you can imagine she could see the fear and tension written on every face as she went to preach in one church. She read to them from 1 Peter 4:12-14, urging them not to be surprised at having to pass through such a fiery ordeal, but rather to count it a privilege if such suffering were to come their way “for you can be sure that God’s spirit of glory is resting upon you.”
She reminded the congregation Continue reading
No short prayer or summary can even begin to do justice to the full complexities of all that China is, let alone all that the Lord is doing there, but we pray that these simple thoughts may prove a worthwhile offering . . .
Spirit of God, breathe new life into this vast and ancient land. Praise You that You are raising up Your servants in every stratum of society – from those who work on the land right up into the echelons of the communist party itself. Let your Holy Spirit flow into places where it has long been frowned on to speak openly of anything that is not endorsed by the State. Continue reading
Continuing our sequence on praying for wider matters on Fridays, particularly between 1 and 1.15 . . . The Lord will surely lead you into the prayers He has in mind for you to pray but here are just a few starter suggestions you might like to follow through on . . .
Jesus, we remember how Pilate’s wife tried to warn her husband to save You from being crucified . . . (Matt. 27:19) She did not succeed but we ask You to raise up prophetic voices who will have the courage as well as the wisdom to intervene when and wherever evil is taking root – to warn and show a better way.
Raise up a people for Your own possession in positions of influence, even as You raised up Martin Luther to spearhead the campaign against the sale of indulgences.
It is so important to remember those whom God specifically appoints and raises up to high profile positions in society. [This is an opportunity to pray specifically!]
Father, You are the God of the whole world and not just of the Church. May we live in the Continue reading
The second piece of music we are featuring as a piece we can use to pray with, is the stunning second movement of Joaquim de Rodrigo’s Concierto d’Aranjuez. Many would claim that this is the most beautiful piece of music ever written by a Spanish composer!
Concerning its origin, Rodrigo, who became blind at the age of three, wrote:
I heard a voice inside me singing the entire theme of the Adagio at one go, without hesitation. And immediately afterwards, without a break, the theme of the third movement. I realized quickly that the work was done. Our intuition does not deceive us in these things . . .
The music sings with the beauty of Continue reading