We’ve taken the unusual step of calling the church to a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of the leadership team in the church. The reason for this is that a significant number of the leaders have been struggling and suffering recently (indeed a number of people in the church have been struggling greatly).
I wouldn’t normally rush to a conclusion that we’re under some kind of spiritual attack, however there have been just such a large number of the team who have affected recently that we are made more mindful of Paul’s teaching in Ephesians 6:12 “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (TNIV)
What does this attack look like? For some it is the recurrence of chronic and painful illness, for others it’s a sense of being overwhelmed by the pressures of life, for others it is close friends and family members who’ve been taken seriously ill. We recognise that this is the stuff of life, and that everyone experiences these things, however we are seeing such a powerful, sudden and large number of these issues amongst the leaders that we felt there is more going on here than simple coincidence. In an effort to express our current experience one member of the team turned to this scripture: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-11 (TNIV)
So with this in mind, we are inviting people to pray for each member of the leadership team. They are:
Christina B – Deacon for Pastoral Care
Jon B – Deacon for Music, Arts and Creativity
Phil C – Deacon for World Mission and International Issues
Denise D - Deacon for Children's Ministries
Richard E – Deacon for Youth and Young Adults
Dianne H – Deacon for Fellowship and Social Activities
Phil M-S – Deacon for Nurture and Small Groups
Merylen P – Deacon for Pastoral Care
Edwin S – Deacon for Prayer
John T – Deacon for Administration
Simon P – Finance Manager
Jonathan Somerville – Senior Pastor
Some of the scriptures that have been mentioned to us include:
2 Chronicles 20:17 & Exodus 14:13, verses which speak of standing firm.
Psalm 27, a Psalm of praise for God’s deliverance.
Please pray for each team member by name, asking for God’s peace, protection, leadership, wisdom, rest, healing, wholeness.
Please pray for strength as they seek to stand firm under the enemy’s onslaught, and for their families and friends as they too need strength to simply stand.
Pray that God would use this to develop perseverance, faith and empathy for others in the church who’re facing similar situation.
Pray for others who exercise leadership in the church, housegroup leaders, Sunday School teachers, prayer teams, etc.
Pray for the wider church, just this weekend Carolyn, a senior leader in an international mission agency has been hospitalised, and the volunteer who provides much of her PA cover, Ann, was suddenly taken ill whilst visiting her, initially thought to be suffering a stroke, but now looking less like that.
Finally, pray that the work of building God’s kingdom wouldn’t be hindered. There are a number of strategic developments we’re in the middle of planning and delivering, that we hope will see many people come into a deep appreciation that Jesus is the Christ, bringing the fullness of His love and life into their lives.
Thank you for praying. If you can join us at 7am or 1 pm at the church building that would be a blessing, otherwise, reply here and let us know you’re praying with us. Grace and peace, Jonathan