Wednesday, 15 May 2013

NEIGHBOURHOOD PRAYER NETWORK - Update 1 – May 2013   “Bringing Prayer to our Neighbours, Bringing Community back to our Streets”

Launched on 29th September 2012 at the Wembley National Day of Prayer which marked the end of the Olympics and Paralympics.   See the website for details on -“Getting Started”  / “Neighbourhood Prayer Guide”  / “Prayer resources “ for individuals and churches

The following are extracts from the weekly updates from coordinator Dr Rebekah Brettle

Friday 12th October 2012 - 416 Streets in the UK were signed up as being prayed for.
Friday 19th April 20131314 Streets being prayed for

Testimony - My husband and I worship at our local Baptist church and began praying for our neighbours. We started to invite a neighbour aged 74, who lost his wife a few months earlier, to supper, approximately twice a month.  In February 2013 one Tuesday evening, we expected him to come at 6pm, but that morning I woke at 6am to sense a picture of our neighbour on the floor.
I was so concerned in the afternoon, I phoned him to see if he was OK and remind him of our supper (I didn't mention the picture). He assured me he was fine and would see us at 6pm.  When he didn't arrive at 6pm, my husband went to another neighbour who had a house key, to check if he was alright. After knocking on the door and getting no reply, they let themselves in, to find our neighbour on the floor. 

He was taken by ambulance to hospital where it was discovered he had had a small stroke and was awaiting surgery to unblock a neck artery (one artery was 100% blocked and the other 95% blocked) so the operation was very serious and naturally he was very concerned.  Two days before the appointed surgery, I woke to a sensing of a very large Biblical angel whose wing tips spanned from our car park across the road to our neighbour's home and a sensing that all would be well.  

I told his daughter of these two Godly events and she asked me to phone her Dad in hospital and tell him.  I phoned him to tell him what had happened assuring him to go to the theatre calmly, as he was in God's safe hands and all would be well.  The operation was successful and he was home a day later to recover and is now back to enjoying his life again. This experience has had a massive effect of strengthening our neighbour's faith! My husband and I have a deeper sense of thankfulness that God would use us, two very ordinary people, to help our neighbour!

Sincerely  A & L, Hampshire 

Friday 26th April – Violent Crime in the UK falls-

Love Calderdale, Halifax is taking place on 18th May and is a family festival organised for the local community. Last year 10,000 people took part. We were able to share the vision to pray for streets and quite a number of people were interested. What was striking at this meeting is how much is going on in Halifax as a whole. They listed many projects such as Street Angels, youth work, healing on the street, food drop ins and many more. Halifax used to be a no go area at night time, but in recent years has been transformed into a much safer place, in large part due to the work of  Street Angels. 

This week it has been reported that violent crime in the UK has fallen faster than anywhere else in western Europe. Please give thanks to God for the work of the police, government, youth workers, Street Angels and Street Pastors and all those who have worked towards preventing domestic violence and of course, all the prayers for our nation! There is still more to be done, but this is welcome news!

Loving Telford is a group of Telford Christians drawing together in love and fellowship across the different churches in the community.  Telford is a new town built around a shopping centre...we are praying for it's heart, identity and people. There is a constant influx of people as new houses are built with the population of the borough now around 173,000.  On 9th May, Ascension day we will be starting our  4th prayer event and the theme is Loving Telford- Loving Our Streets. There will be 10 days of 24/7 prayer starting at 9am on the 9th and ending at 9am on 19th May, Pentecost.   Our prayer is that the streets of Telford and Wrekin will be safe and welcoming.. Zechariah 8 speaks of streets where old people can walk with cane in hand and young people play. 

Friday 10th May 2013 – 1355 Streets being prayed for.

It is almost a year since the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Big Lunch, where over 8.5 million Britons are estimated to have taken part in street parties or tea parties with their neighbours. On June 2nd "The Big Lunch" is taking place again nationally. Last year, promoted strongly by Hope Together, many churches or home groups hosted parties for their neighbours to attend. Neighbourhood Prayer Network is hoping that many of you will take this opportunity to invite your neighbours to events already organised or to organise an event of your own. We are starting to think about it for our neighbours!

Below is a testimony written by Brian Clews about the prayer group he belong to, who have been holding "English tea parties" three or four times a year. It is an inspiring story and we hope it encourages you.

Neighbourhood Old English Tea Parties

We are a small group of Christians in Cookham, Berkshire, from different local churches, who have known each other and prayed together over many years. Some of us attended the inspirational event at Wembley last year and got to hear about the Neighbourhood Prayer Network. We started praying again for local people and particularly those who perhaps did not get out too often.  After a while, some of the team had a feeling we should invite some of them to an occasional 'Old English Tea party'. We deliver personalised, hand-designed invites with suitable scriptures upon them. We then purchased a lot of old tea sets from that era, hired a small hall, laid it out in a homely setting with suitable table-wear, and background music of that era, and served tea, cakes and (triangular) sandwiches and sit folks down in fives and sixes. Really, after that, they just get on and natter whilst we beetle around in the background. 

We've held them about quarterly ever since, and  now regularly get about 30 each time, and have extended invites to include relatives etc. The team's children and grand-children like to help with serving so it has a 'generational' component which seems to go down well too. At the most recent one, we decided to include a 'thank you for coming' card, and thought we would add a line inviting prayer requests if they wished. We had our first request come in this week! Even better, the prayer was answered! 

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Extracts from the Newsletter of Neighbourhood Prayer Network

From Weekly Newsletter 22nd March 2013  report from “We Gather” meeting   a consultation on how the church can engage with civic authorities. This meeting was inspiring and showed how much work the wider church is doing to address problems locally. There were several presentations showing how difficult it will be by 2020 for councils to fund many social projects as our population ages and money declines. This meeting served to remind me, just how important the role of the church is going to become in meeting our nations needs. Please consider visiting their website over the coming weeks to find out more and to hear encouraging stories from around the UK.

Easter Weekly Newsletter Friday 29th March 2013   1267 Streets being prayed for

An astounding 60,000 Father's Love Letter's have been ordered to give out in local streets. Thank you to UCB who have paid for all the printing and have posted them out. Thank you to all who have ordered these. UCB have ordered more due to popular demand if people want these throughout the rest of the year.

Honouring the Elderly in our streets.

  • Half of over 75s regard television as their main source of company.
  • Age UK says that 1 in 10 pensioners feel lonely most of the time.
  • A further 1 in 10 see friends and family once all month and also feel cut off from society.
Growing evidence says that loneliness can cause health problems and lead to higher rates of dementia, heart disease and high blood pressure.
In the Bible, we learn that Moses was over eighty, when he lead the Israelites out of Eygpt (Exodus), that Abraham and Sarah were well advanced in years when they were blessed with their son Isaac (Genesis18:12), that Joshua (Joshua), was over eighty when he took over from Moses to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist when she was advanced in years, (Luke 1). God honours those who are older. They have a lot of wisdom to give to the younger generations!

From Weekly Newsletter 15th March 2013Survey results from Daily Mail 10th March and Daily Express 11th March

 Only one in three of us introduce ourselves to our neighbours when we move because we are too busy - 1 in 4 people do not know the names of the people living next door. Researchers discovered that a large percentage of us are too busy to make ourselves known to those living nearest us. 50% of us don't know our neighbours   75% of people wanted there to be more community spirit in their area, 52% saying it would make their neighbourhood feel safer and 53% just wanted to make friends.   Over half of us who have knocked on a neighbours door have sparked a relationship  such as a new friendship, help in a time of trouble or started a new hobby.

Pensioners in loneliness epidemic,

*Survey conducted for the associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO) found that 1 in 4 over 65s (24%) felt lonely, some or most of the time. 1 in 5 over 75s sometimes go a full weekend without seeing or speaking to another person.

Street Prayer in Oxford  from weekly Newsletter Friday  8th March 2013

I am happy to report that Neighbourhood Prayer Network and Street Prayer are seeking a closer working relationship in the coming weeks.
The emphasis of Streetprayer is in encouraging Christians to find other Christians on their street and pray together for their streets. Clearly this is something Neighbourhood Prayer Network fully supports. We encourage you to read this testimony of how they began and what has happened since and perhaps consider using their model in your area. We believe that God has been speaking to many of us about the same vision and this is another part of the jigsaw puzzle of what God is saying. We encourage you to visit for more information and prayerfully consider if God is calling you to organise prayer breakfasts or meals in your area; (to become a street prayer champion). If you plan to use this model, please contact Streetprayer to encourage them!


Streetprayer is about helping Christian neighbours to find each other, eat, sing, pray together and sow a seed in their area that will grow into a large tree! Streetprayer began in Edgeway Road, Oxford, in September 2007. Since then, many new people have joined and in 2010, we launched Streetprayer across Oxford and about twenty breakfasts were held around the city. The idea is spreading and Abingdon, a nearby town is the next place planning to start the project.

In the beginning, a team of eight of us called on every household on Edgeway Road, inviting them to a prayer breakfast. Surprisingly the response was positive from most people, and on the day, twenty came. We chatted, sang and prayed. Everyone said they'd like to meet up regularly, so every month, two or three different homes opened their doors to their street.  In a city like Oxford there's a wide choice of congregation; on our street of about 100 homes there are at least six different churches represented! 
What has been the fruit of that initial breakfast? Firstly we've grown to love one another more and more as neighbours, and we believe that love is spilling out. A core group pray together every week and have a praise time early every Thursday morning. This Saturday we're holding an impromptu buffet meal for the street, inviting various neighbours.

There have been a great number of unchurched people coming to events and some joining churches. There are several stories like when we put our last flyer through a door and as a result a young couple came who hadn't ever been to church. They are now reading the Bible and seeking the Lord. Several foreign students and temporary visitors have also come and are keen to find churches in their home countries. In fact new people come to every area breakfast and it's thrilling (currently we hold an area one every two months and street events in between).”

Friday 15th February 2013  1129 Street being prayed for

Answered Prayer  Sometimes we can wait months or even years for our prayers to be answered.  Below is a testimony that shows the power of prayer. Every prayer you pray matters and can be very powerful. Please keep praying for your neighbours. It really does make a difference. Just try praying for three houses  to begin with, all of us can do this.


To keep the details of this testimony confidential we have deliberately omitted the place and name of the person who provided the testimony, to ensure this gentleman's confidentiality is respected.

Thank you for the brilliant resource that you have provided and all our church  have been provided with the guide to use through Lent.
Today, we spoke with our neighbour who was diagnosed with cancer recently. We have been praying and have told his wife that we are praying for him. The blood test that is a marker for his cancer has dropped substantially in the last few weeks, he feels so much better than he was, and his wife is saying that the specialists will be amazed when they next see him. Praise God for His work in this man's life and please pray with us that his neighbour of ours will continue to see God at work and that he would soon find Jesus as his personal Saviour.

Father's Love Letter: 

Due to huge demand, UCB is out of stock of the Father's Love Letter. You have ordered more than 38,000 copies - wow. More have been ordered. You can still place your orders for the Lent/Easter/Fathers Day period, new stock will arrive soon. Thank you to all who have ordered and even delivered the Father's Love Letter.  Please let us know of any testimonies arising from the distribution of this resource.

22nd February 2013   Thanks so much for praying for your street, we're approaching 300,000 people being covered in prayer, through us uniting together for our streets.

This week we joined the National Day of Prayer and Worship and One Voice New York in York as part of the Join the Dots tour following the National Day of Prayer and Worship in Wembley stadium on the 29th September 2012. One Voice York - For many years 40 leaders have been meeting every Wednesday to pray and fellowship. Out of these meetings many joint projects across churches have been launched.


From weekly Newsletter 25th January 2013  1060 Streets being prayed for -

In 2005, in Southend-on Sea, "Churches Together" delivered 75,000 copies of the  "Father's Love Letter to every home in the town. As they were delivered by churches working together, each household was prayed for. The result was that 300 people made a commitment to become a Christian or came back to God.  Working with UCB, we want to give you the opportunity to give out the Father's Love Letter. It is a collection of verses, in the form of a letter, from Genesis to Revelation that tells the tale of God the Father's love for you, His child. It has proven very popular among those who are Christian and even those who are not.
 We are suggesting that your church, your home group, or you as an individual may want to deliver this letter to your local streets around Valentines Day, Father's day or over the Lent/Easter period. The letter is in a card format and on the back is a reference to, Prayerline and a space for your local church to insert their contact details.
Phone 0845 6040401, to order your free copies from UCB. You will need to pay postage costs only, UCB has kindly sponsored the print cost.  

Testimony  "After the National Worship and Prayer Day back in Autumn, I ordered your book "Transform your Street" which inspired me to start praying for my street. In your book, I came across the Father's Love Letter which was truly touching my heart. I checked out the video which has become such a blessing. I have used it during a prayer meeting which I hold every two weeks in my house. But further more, God put it on my heart back in Autumn, to use the printed version for Christmas.
I have added the letter to Christmas cards, but we also distributed copies of the letter on Christmas Eve, in the evening to houses in our street.”

Testimony from minister in Ely  "IPODs - Intentional Prayer on Our Doorsteps

A desire to get ordinary members of the church praying - praying for their own local
neighbourhoods, and (hopefully) to get excited about it!  Yet how to do this? Everyone is so busy. Prayer seems to slide to the bottom of the 'ought-to' list, not because we don't think it works, but because everything else crams in. Plus we are a friendly bunch, good at asking after one another- good characteristics for a Christian but having the downside that we might simply chat to each other, forgetting the streets around us.
Then an idea - suggest people form small groups, maybe even just starting with two, with the express intention of praying for the local area. Set a key principle from the outset with some simple rules:
 * Pray for the neighbourhood rather than each other
 * Make it local - if you can't walk to it in less than 10 minutes you can't join!
 * Make it short n sweet - e.g. just 20 minutes at a mutually convenient time and place: the
    home, the park, whatever
 *Be imaginative - walk together, find simple liturgies, draw your own prayer maps, whatever it takes to inject freshness

The second (unstated) principle was to advertise and then wait to see what happens, i.e. don't specify how many, who, where ... instead let people in the church take the hint and form their own groups (with some gentle encouragement here and there!).
From this our church now has 6 regular IPODs - groups meeting intentionally to pray on their doorsteps across the city. Some meet bi-weekly, some are more ad hoc. Some have naturally become ecumenical (why not?). All have ordinary Christians praying for their local area, on the look out for fresh ideas, as well as watching and waiting to see how God may move."

Friday 7th December 2012 - 896 Streets as being prayed for

I had a wonderful time in Scotland at a leaders gathering. I spent a lot of time with Jean Black from "Pray for Scotland" and found it to be a refreshing and encouraging experience. I shared the vision of Neighbourhood Prayer Network, which is very similar to the great work, our partners, "Pray for Scotland" have been doing over the last few years. They have had a vision to see Lighthouses of prayer all over Scotland and a Prayer, Care, Share model! I had learned about this after I had already written the outline for "Neighbours, Transform Your Street" around a Prayer, Care and Share model ! God is speaking to many of us about the same vision and we all have an important part of a jigsaw that makes a bigger picture! They have much to teach us and we spent some time talking about a closer working relationship.

The next day I travelled to the "Well" in Bury, St Edmunds, at the invitation of Caroline Anderson who was one of three people who wrote the "Keep praying and Bless" prayer guide used during the TORCH relay for the Olympics. I was able to share the vision for Neighbourhood Prayer Network with people from East Anglia. It was an inspiring experience and there is so much prayer going on here and so much beauty in the people who attended. It was a real privilege to spend time with people as we sought God in prayer and worship. We will be adding the "Keep praying and Bless" prayer guide and a newer guide to our prayer resources soon.

Testimony - We are approaching Christmas and the season for parties is starting, Bonnie, from Gt Bentley, a village midway between Colchester and Clacton in Essex, has given us permission to share this testimony.

Just thought you might like to hear of the following experience I have had since praying for our street. We live in a small cul de sac of 10 houses. 2 weeks ago our next door neighbour decided to let their 18 year old daughter have the 2nd mid week party this year. During the summer this had entailed partying and loud music going on until the early hours when most of us had to go to work next day. I felt angry and resentful and remained so for several days afterwards. This time I still felt that it was not a repectful thing to do as the party was supposed to go on until 1am. I prayed about the situation and my own attitude changed from one of annoyance which could lead to a falling out, to an attitude of acceptance. I also prayed that the young people who attended the party would be safe as they made their way home, as from the noise it was evident that most were very drunk. I believe that this is the attitude that Jesus expects us to have and aided by the Holy Spirit this can prevent a situation turning from one that can start neighbourhood disputes into one of loving your neighbour, even though a lack of precious sleep was involved! yours Bonnie

Friday 12th October 2012 - 416 Streets signed up as being prayed for.
 “Thank you so much for the tremendous encouragement you have all been this week. After so many years of carrying this vision, I now feel I am firmly on a journey to see the vision fulfilled. 
 This week has been an exciting week as we have seen over 400 people register to pray for their street. A number of Initiatives that are similar to Neighbourhood Prayer Network, have contacted us and we are looking at ways we can work together in partnership.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Neighbourhood Prayer Network

Neighbourhood Prayer Network

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