Tag Archives: christianity

music score - here is love vast as the ocean

A Prayer For Britain

Father, I thank you for all that you have done through Britain and her peoples over the centuries to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world. May this legacy not be in vain. Millions of souls have died in your arms, and now celebrate with you in the cloud of witnesses because of what the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish peoples have done.

Britain sits as a lighthouse atop the rock of Europe, a rock growing increasingly dark.

Yet for now, Britain continues to point the way to the rest of the world, revealing you, the Father of Lights, to those trapped in darkness: the oppressed, the captive, the enslaved, the tortured, those who hunger and thirst. My prayer is that this light not go out.

Father, in your mercy, please lead us to repentance, so we can uncap the ancient wells of prayer and thanksgiving that our mothers and fathers have dug. Water this green and pleasant land more fully with the Blood of Christ, that He may rule and reign in all hearts. Show us how better to take the rest that you offer in these green pastures and beside our quiet waters.

Where You are, Lord Jesus, there is only peace, and healing. And you know we need both. Big time.

God bless the hands and feet of your servants in Britain as they go about sharing your Good News. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice that we may know salvation, life in your eternal kingdom and work in the victory you provide.

Holy Spirit, thank you for resting on the shoulders of these daughters and sons of God who carry your presence for healing, freedom and new kingdom life. Walk with them this day, just as they walk with the Son, to do the will of our Father.

We pray Revival Now! Come Holy Spirit, for Jesus Christ’s sake!

Image: screengrab from moriahchapel.org.uk

Alan from behind looking into the distance

Absence Makes the Heart Grow

This is based on material written for my recent memoir, The Lie Called Cancer but left out of the book.

(A three-minute read)

When the UK restricted everyone in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, I was considered a vulnerable person because of receiving cancer treatment in 2019. I was told to stay a home for twelve weeks and not go out, under any circumstances.

After a week of it, I was still saying Humph! Humph! about the idea of being medically vulnerable, but I’d get over it. It turned out it wasn’t a problem, it was an opportunity to build my faith. It was not only an opportunity for me, but also for the church.

Now, in October, 2020, we are back into another round of restrictions. For many of us it continues to be hard, especially for those who have lost loved ones, are separated from family and friends, feel financial stress, or in a myriad of other ways have had their lives disrupted. At the very least, it’s continually annoying.

When everything in life is going bonkers, when what we count on crumbles, when it’s unclear what the next steps are, we can always count on the one unmoveable: Jesus Christ. I have faith that the long-term effects of these lock-downs will be good.

Lukewarm Christians, in it for religion not relationship, will either be winnowed out or lit on fire. Those of us already on fire will see our flames rise higher. The gospel will be preached. Christ’s kingdom will advance.

By being physically apart from one another, we’ll come to know deeply how much we need one another. Ironically, through separation, we’ll grow in intimacy. The church that emerges from this will be on fire for evangelism; we’ll have a fresh desire for prayer and intercession.

We’ll be eager to share the message of Jesus.

People will ask us, ‘What happened?’ and we will simply answer, ‘God was faithful.’

I’m in the book of Jeremiah in my annual cycle of reading. It’s such an excellent pairing – better than the right wine with a gourmet meal. It’s made for this lock-down season.

‘The Lord says, “Now I will show them my power; now I will show them my might. At last they will know and understand that I am the Lord.’ *

Let me be quick to say that I’m not suggesting that God is responsible for the outbreak of a new virus against which people apparently have no natural immunity. All such things are the work of the devil.

However, I believe God may permit these things to provide an opportunity for growth. He certainly steps into the middle of all such situations to continue His work.

As the aftermath of this crisis falls out, if we look at it through the lens of opportunity, instead of relegating it to problem status, His glory will be revealed. There will be events through this season that will demonstrate His power. At least for those who have eyes to see it.

Finally, let’s not think of it as ‘lock-down.’ Think of it as exile, like Israel’s exile in Babylon. Because good things always come out of exile.

* Jeremiah 16:21 (NLT)

Photo: Rachel Richards