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!