The sermon that never was
Those of you who were around on Sunday will know that I didn’t preach the sermon planned as the Lord had laid on my heart to speak on ‘refreshing prayer’.
However looking over my notes for the planned sermon from Joshua 20-22 there are relevant points for us on intercessory prayer which are relevant to what I believe the Lord is saying to us about our being more missional.
Identify and intercede for your mission field. These final chapters in Joshua are about the division of land and overcoming the opposition in that land. For us I believe this means for each of us identifying the areas we should be praying ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ over and then interceding for them as our battle is ‘not against flesh and blood’ but in the ‘heavenly realms’. So where is our mission field? We are all missionaries where we ‘live, move and have our being’. Is it the geographical area where we live? Is it our workplace? Is it friendships or sport networks? When we have identified them can we find other Christians within these networks to pray ‘thy kingdom come’ into these areas. These could be come missional prayer groups or if large enough even a life group. And how are we connected and accountable to WBC in our mission field? Talk with a minister, life group leader or faith leader about this.
Provide a place where all can be welcomed and accepted. In Joshua 20 we see the Lord command the people to set up cities of refuge where anyone could be accepted and welcome. Are we as a church a ‘city of refuge’? How do we welcome and include the ‘stranger’ or ‘visitor’ on a Sunday? Do they feel accepted and family? What other spaces are there where the rejected can be welcome? We support CAP and have our Living Room. We also have toddlers, Oasis and Friday night youth. I see these as our ‘Cities of refuge’. How are you supporting and helping these ‘cities’ become established. Can we all begin by praying for them.
Prioritize intercessory prayer. In Joshua 21 we see the Lord command the people to set aside towns for the Levites. These are the priests who intercede for the people. What does this mean for us? Are we a ‘house of prayer?’ How as a church are we interceding for one another, our community, our country, our world. Let us make intercessory prayer more prominent whenever we meet and set aside more times for this. Begin tomorrow. Join us sometime between 7:30am and 3pm tomorrow as we pray for summer activities. Let us also commit to interceding for YP which we will do tomorrow and at various times in the autumn.
Make sure you are connected with us. How are you connected with WBC? Joshua 22 talks about the tribes who were given land away from the rest of the people and how they had to improvise to stay connected. What does this mean for us? For the majority of us we covenant to join together every Sunday morning to connect with the Lord and one another. This is our foundation of being church. But what about those for whom this is impossible due to family or work circumstances? We need to find a way for these to belong and connect. Can you connect by social media – listen to sermons online, I connect with a number by regular emails, be discipled by a minister….Or join us especially on special church family occasions – this is communion which we encourage all to make an effort to come along to monthly but also fellowship times like family picnics (do join with us this Sunday for our next family picnic) or ladies or men’s curry nights (look out for these next term) or……
Do pray over these things. Join us. Share the vision. Pray for WBC. Let us support you.
See you tomorrow for prayer, or Sunday for worship followed by a family picnic.
You belong with us. You are family.
Warmly in Jesus
Rev Simon Hudson
Wallingford Baptist Church