31st August 2016

40 days of prayer

Welcome to the 40 Days of Prayer at the start of the new academic year!

Monday 12th September to Friday 21st October

A new academic year…new opportunities…new challenges

At City Hope we are kicking the year off with the theme:

‘Being the People of God in a post-Christian society’

The Bible tells us that Christians “shine out like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2 v15) but what is it that makes us distinct? What is it that makes us ‘shine out’?
One answer could be that ‘the people of God are a praying people’, or at least we are called to be!

Recently at City Hope we have had some fantastic times praying in the prayer room during our 36 hours of prayer period, as well as our regular
Wednesday evening and Saturday morning Advance prayer meetings.

The 40 days is another way to help give focus to our prayers as a church and this prayer diary gives a prayer suggestion to use each day for the whole period.

The people of God pray! It is what we do and who we are - we talk and listen to our wonderful God and Saviour. The hope is that this prayer diary will help you join with others in the church as we seek God’s blessing together.

The diary is given to fuel your personal prayer life (although that shouldn’t stop you using it to pray with others and in your Connect group).

We also want to meet together to pray, and we have a number of
opportunities to do so during the 40 days of prayer.

Please think about fasting on one or more of the days during the 40 day period.
Jesus fasted 40 days when he was in the wilderness preparing for his public ministry.

It might not be the case that any of us fasts from food for 40 days but it would be encouraging to think that during the 40 day period someone in City Hope is fasting and praying each day as we prepare for the year ahead.


Days 1-5: Praying through the Lord’s Prayer

Days 6-11: Church Vision - Praying about what God has called us to do locally

Days 12-25: Kingdom and Society - Praying we would be salt and light everywhere

Days 26-30: Using some of Paul’s prayers in the Bible

Days 31-36: Global Mission - praying for our friends around the world

Days 37-40: Revival in the UK

If you haven't yet got a prayer diary, you can pick one up on Sunday.
On Tuesday 13th, Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th the upstairs hall at Drummond will be open for prayer from 6:30am - 9:30pm.
We will gather specifically to pray together on each day at:
7:00am-8:00am and 8:00pm-9:30pm.

Rebecca Whittlesea

Posted by Rebecca Whittlesea

15th June 2016

The National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast

A few months ago I received an unexpected invitation to the annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. I am not sure how I ended up on their mailing list but I did book in and attended the event yesterday (Tuesday 14th June). Over 700 people were there altogether, a mixture of Christian leaders of all denominations from up and down the country with 150 Members of Parliament. As an expression of unity across different expressions of Christianity in the UK it was a very encouraging time. The prayer breakfast was organised by Christians in Parliament.

After the main prayer breakfast I attended a meeting hosted by the Cinnamon Network aimed at encouraging church leaders to engage and build strong relationships with local councils and business leaders. In particular Cinnamon are wanting to see regional churches together run 100-200 civic prayer events in their area. I was attending as a representative of Southwark for Jesus and this is exactly the sort of thing that SFJ has done quite successfully in the past and it was great to receive the challenge of what could be done again in the future.

There are no plans yet but certainly the heart of City Hope and SFJ is to make sure that the good news of Jesus doesn't stay confined inside church buildings but that we find ways of expressing our faith in relevant ways in all areas of society. The National Parlimentary Prayer Breakfast and the proposed civic prayer events are just two ways where that can happen.

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27th May 2016

36 Hours of Prayer

Coming up quickly after the half term holidays is another of our fantastic 36 hours of prayer sessions in our dedicated and interactive prayer room at our building on Drummond Road. The 36 hours of prayer runs from 9am on Friday 10th to 9pm Saturday 11th June, and builds on the great time we had back in May.

Life can be busy, stressful and full of distractions that mean we find it hard to focus on God in our lives and give time to pray - even when we have good intentions. Coming to our prayer room during the 36 hours is a great antidote to the busyness of life; it will do you the world of good and refresh your spirits. God offers us peace in this life but he does also tell us of the need to pray so that we obtain that peace (see Philipians 4 v6-7).

There will be a theme of 'growth' for this 36 hours of prayer: praying for personal spiritual growth and praying for numerical growth in salvation. Everyone is welcome of course: the room will be engaging to help kids pray too.

It is really helpful if you can commit to a one hour prayer slot (or more than one) during the 36 hours. As a church we want to have a non-stop prayer relay going for the whole period and we want you to be a part of that. Whether you feel you can commit to an early hours Saturday morning slot or cover during the day on Friday we would like to hear from you. Please email to let us know. This commitment is important as you stand with others in the church to create the whole chain in the relay. It isn't just about you it is about us! Thank you.

Please note we also have an Advance prayer meeting on Wednesday 8th June 8pm at Drummond just before the 36 hours of prayer period. In July we have a churches together prayer meeting at St James's on Wednesday 6th July, 8pm and another 36 hours of prayer on the 8th/9th July.

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12th February 2016

36 Hours of Prayer - taking prayer seriously

36 Hours is the title of a 1953 movie about a man suspected of murder who has only 36 hours to track down the real culprit himself.

36 Hours was also the title of our prayer meeting last week! We weren’t looking for a murder suspect!! But we were looking to take prayer seriously; to develop a growing hunger for prayer and grow in faith for what God can do in us and through us as we cry out to him.

“Prayer creates a personal change in your life. Nothing you can do will benefit you more than prayer.” (Yonggi Cho)

For this new adventure in prayer, we had an unbroken relay of praying people from 9.00am on the Friday morning to 9.00pm on the Saturday evening. After the event, many people spoke of experiencing a new freedom in prayer, others talked of an ease and energy to pray. Many who signed up to pray for just one hour stayed on to prayer for an extra hour or two. And it was encouraging to see parents and children attend a prayer meeting together.

“Prayer sensitizes us to subtle changes in the landscape of our circumstances. When he begins to move, we are apt to recognize it. Praying almost ensures we won't miss opportunities God brings our way.” (Andy Stanley)

It was really moving to see the visual examples of prayers in the room: - names of individuals written on stones and symbolically placed in the ‘river of life’. Post-it notes with various prayer requests and confession written on them, some from really young children naming their friends before God; and ‘seeds planted’ about individual hopes and dreams for the advance of God's kingdom in our area.

Lots of people really appreciated the visual prompts and prayer activities in the room; many thanks must go to Sue Ferret, Lesley Nunn and Ruth Taylor and their artistic creativity. – Thank you!

Over the unbroken 36 hours of prayer we had in total, at least 94 adults praying plus a good number of praying kids. Which translates to an amazing 218+ hours of prayer, averaging six people per session.
Who knows what impact the 36 Hours of prayer has had on us as City Hope Church but I can’t see this being the last time we pray together in this way. Watch this space!

Our March Advance prayer meetings are coming up on the 2nd and 5th of March. Also that week, we'll have the prayer room open on Friday the 4th for anyone to come and pray between the hours of midday and midnight. Put it in your diary now!

Paul Brown

Posted by Paul Brown