Stand firm (November, December)

Our theme for November and December is “Stand“.

We feel that the Holy Spirit is calling us to identify the specific things he has given us to steward, and is reminding us of our authority in prayer to stand our ground and see His will be done.

So we encourage you to consider what grace is on you to serve Jesus. Perhaps you’ve been distracted or discouraged in this recently. We encourage you to realise this and to stand firm, embracing the call of God and standing your ground for the kinds of things he has called you to do.

We are thinking both individually and corporately. Here are some examples:

  • You have been praying for a friend or family member for a long time, and you have a sense of God’s promises for them.
  • You are aware of skills and capabilities that God has given you and He has been prompting you to use them to bless others and glorify Him. 
  • Your church or organisation provides a special service to people in your locality or across the city. 

In all these situations, we believe this is a special time to stand firm in prayer. 

  • Keep speaking out the specific promises of God you have heard for the situation.
  • Pray persistently for a multiplication of God’s grace in this area.
  • Pray for those you know who are standing firm in the Kingdom of God, stewarding things entrusted to them by God.
  • Listen to God for other areas in which He has commissioned you to stand firm.

We will be collecting specific prayers and stories about standing firm in the prayer room over these months and are looking forward to sharing them together.

If you are part of a church or organisation that has a call from God to do something specific in Southampton, we would be delighted to pray for you and stand firm together in prayer for what God is doing through you. Get in touch for more info.
Whoever has ears, let them hear 
what the Spirit says to the churches. 
To the one who is victorious, 
I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, 
which is in the paradise of God. 
Rev 2:7, NIV

The Importance of Thanksgiving

house of prayer – Sept 18 – Importance of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not just an optional extra or prelude to the more important matters of praise and worship. It is a vital ingredient in maintaining a healthy relationship with God. Consider the importance of thanksgiving in human relationships, the pleasure it brings to a parent or the good feeling it fosters when drivers express appreciation on the road. Conversely, how it rankles when people don’t do it, giving a feeling of being taken for granted.

Thanksgiving

1. In the old testament, it was one of the offerings to be made regularly in the tabernacle/temple (Lev 7:12).

It was a voluntary act of worship. It is one of the prescribed sacrifices, whose purpose was to maintain fellowship. So there are mentions of the “sacrifice of thanksgiving.”

Ps 50:14: “offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.”

Ps 50:23: it honours God. Words of thanksgiving go directly into the presence of God and are immediately accepted by Him.

Ps 116:17: “to you I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and call upon the name of the Lord.”

2. The incense (Ex 30:34-37), symbolic of prayer (see Revelation), was composed of several ingredients.

We see several ingredients as Paul talks about prayer: Phil 4:6: “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Eph 6:18: “with all [kinds of] prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit.”

An authentic prayer life will consist of all types of prayer.

3. It reminds us of what God has done for us, and so recognizes his covenant faithfulness.

Like Israel in the OT we have the privilege of being God’s chosen people, a unique relationship. Ps 103: “bless the Lord O my soul, and forget none of his benefits.” Ps 107:22: also mentions the sacrifice of thanksgiving, with a list of impossible situations where God intervened.

4. It fosters a heart of gratitude.

Col 3:15: “let the peace rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.” It brings peace. Antidote to complaining. Protection against the enemy’s whisper, “God doesn’t care.”

5. It expresses our dependence on God.

Thanksgiving recognises that everything we have and are is due to God’s provision and goodness. Eph 5:20: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” 1 Thess 5:18: “in everything give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” How can God expect that we shall always be thankful, given difficult circumstances, times of need, etc.? Because of the cross, by which God has given to us the ultimate that we need, and it is always freely available. So thanksgiving increases faith in a time of need.

6. It helps us start praying if we are struggling.

Ps 100:4 “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.” In the book “Entering the presence of God”, Derek Prince notes that this verse is a step towards the Holy of Holies, worshipping God in his holiness. If we are struggling to start praying, start with thanksgiving (Count your blessings, name them one by one).

7. The thank offering is also our yielding to God in response for what he has done for us

Rom 12:1 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.”

Response/Activity

Let’s read Psalm 116 together, and then spend a few moments expressing our gratitude to God.

Thankfulness (September, October)

We are back!

The prayer room is open again after our break for August.

During August we went on prayer walks around the Flowers Estate and also at places in Weston and Sholing. It was exciting to get out and pray with people from those places and get a feel for what God is doing in those areas. We are continuing to pray as God leads.

We have some prayer feet on the pavement outside the prayer room now. Already people have seen them and followed them in to come and ask for prayer.

The theme now is Thankfulness

We have a study of thankfulness here.

In our community we studied Luke 17:11-19. The healing of the lepers – only one went back to Jesus to say thank you. These are points that came out in our reflections together.

  • We need to say thank you for what God has done – and he’s done a lot!!
  • The practice of thanks is important to Jesus. It’s a spiritual principle – thanks advances the Kingdom. It lifts us. It builds faith, as we take note of what he has done. It is easy to focus on 1 or 2 negative issues in our lives, but there are so many other things that so outweigh the negative things. It is like in Exodus – the people had such short memories of the wonderful ways God had saved them and been with them. They’d had so many blessings!
  • The way the leper came back was loud/demonstrative, throwing himself at Jesus feet. Obvious. Lets’ be definite in our thanks.
  • He came back. Coming to the prayer room is us coming back to Jesus and pressing in.
  • He thanked for something specific. Let’s be asking and thanking and praising for specific things.

God our Help (June, July, August)

We have a theme for SoHOP taking us through to the end of August:

When we were praying about this theme, one of the team had a picture of someone reaching up and God’s hand reaching down to help them up and out of trouble.

This is God’s heart for Southampton, particularly at this time. He WANTS to help.

Over the last month more people have been sensing God’s loving presence in the prayer room. We believe that this will continue, especially where we feel we need God’s particular help in some way.

We also believe our prayers for the city will be energised by the revelation that God is our ever-present help.

Finally, we believe this is a time for responding, as God uses us to be His help to those around us.

Prayerful momentum is building

Like us, you are probably going to start seeing this four letter word everywhere in your bible!

Let’s take God up on this in our prayers, seeking His help. We invite you to join us, to spread the invitation, and to share this news with your church family. It’s time to pray for God’s help to come to us in Southampton.

  • make time regularly for your 1 to 1 with God and get His help
  • let faith rise up as you pray for His help in Southampton
  • be attentive for how he wants to use you as His help to those around

In case you didn’t notice on the graphic above, the verse of the month is Psalm 46:1. 

And does this put you in mind of the Isaac Watts hymn, ringing out from the Civic Centre every 4 hours?

May you find God to be your refuge and strength this month!

Five Months – 26 churches represented

Greetings from Southampton House of Prayer.

In the last 5 months 136 people from 26 congregations within Southampton have been to pray at least once. Many come back often.

We are thanking God for five months of praying every Friday/Saturday for 24 hours. The unsupervised slots in the evenings and night times have not always been filled, but our hosting team have been open for drop in prayers from 9am to 6pm every Saturday. We are grateful to our hosting team for their commitment.

We are regularly hearing stories of how people are experiencing God’s presence. It seems to be more so as the weeks go by.

We have hosted times of worship led by various members of our community and our friends. We had a special time of reflection on Good Friday.

In May we were joined by the Christian Union from Southampton University who did a block booking for the 24 hours. Our regular prayers were greatly encouraged by this hunger for God. Over that 24 hours there were 15 churches represented. We believe this unified prayer for the city is having an effect.

So please remember, we are here for the whole church in Southampton and we continue to invite all churches, all ages to come and meet with our Heavenly Father, to come and hang out with Jesus, to come and be empowered by the Holy Spirit, to come and speak out your prayers for family, friends, our city and our nation.

We have one important announcement to leave you with – we are supporting Church in the Park next weekend, so there is no drop in prayer at SoHOP on Saturday 1st June. Please join the activities down in Houndwell Park and bring your friends.

Worship time – 24/25 May 2019

We began our weekly 24/1 on the 24th May with a time of worship led by friends from Kings Community Church.

At this worship time someone had a picture of a banqueting table and felt that on there was everything needed for people coming into the prayer room over the next 24 hours, including Jesus’ healing and rest, as well as different things for people that they’d not had before.

On Saturday our hosting team had the opportunity to pray for people for healing, particularly for someone with limited hearing, which they found to be a great encouragement. Someone else had been to the prayer room in the morning but felt compelled to come back in the afternoon because of the rest and presence of God there.

There was another opportunity to pray for healing later.

Haven of peace – one of the people prayed for felt that the prayer room was a haven of peace.

Burn 24/7 – March 30th

On Saturday March 30th 2019 we are closing SoHOP at 6pm so we can support the team at Burn 24/7. 

Burn 24/7 is led by Michael and Alun, who led some worship at our New Year’s Eve launch at the start of this year.

Each month they gather people from across Southampton for an evening of non-stop worship and intercession.

Click for more details on Facebook

We invite you to come and join in from 6pm to 10pm in the Coffee Hub at Victory Gospel Church.

You can stay for the whole thing or feel free to come and go throughout the evening. When you arrive, if you can’t see someone in the foyer,  look for the Burn 24-7 sign and ring the bell.

March 2019 – Pray for the nation

Praying for the church

Over the four weekends of February we had a wonderful time praying for all the churches in Southampton and ended up with a long list of churches, and many prayers prayed.

Some specific prayers were written down as believers from across the churches met together in joyful unity. We will be passing these prayers on to the churches concerned.

Praying for the nation

During March we are praying for the nation. There is a national day of prayer called for 29th March.

We believe we are at a crucial moment in history where the destiny of our nation can be affected. We are not praying politically but praying for God’s will to be done and the destiny that He has for us to be released into the conjecture and uncertainty.

We are also particularly praying for the people and government of Southampton at this time.

You are welcome to drop in and join us during the day on Saturdays, or sign up to join an evening, night time or early morning session

How to pray for the nation?

Here are some resources to download from 24-7 Prayer to help if you want to pray with others for the nation at this time: