August 2021. We are 6 months into Pray 168. What have you learnt through this weekly commitment to pray for Southampton for 1 hour? These are my thoughts:
It is the kind of prayer where Jesus says “Go to your room, shut the door and pray to your Father in heaven. He sees what is done in secret and will reward you.”
It is solitary (or small group) but it is also corporate, because there is this fundamental cry like a golden thread running through it all: “Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us”. And we have the prayer themes.
I always see Pray 168 as a rampart/wall around the city. Wide topped, with a road on it, like the ancient walls of Chichester. I see each person taking their place to watch over the part that they see, lifting up the name of Jesus and waiting in patient hope for Him.
I don’t know if everyone is still motivated, but I have spoken to some who are very committed. A few have moved on who don’t get on well with the fixed time in the week, or to join prayer groups.
In September we will meet (online) to reflect and encourage, sharing our experiences and how we feel about it.
I’ve also been thinking about the city prayer meeting, which is on Sunday 5th September. I see a strategic link between the two. One is solitary corporate prayer, and the other is corporate corporate prayer!!!
Maybe it’s time to shuffle the prayer topics. There are a few specific organisations and situations that we have become aware of in the city prayer and I’d like to incorporate those. And as we discover more and more about the damage done during lockdown, I feel God is especially calling us to pray for the ‘activists’ in the church – those who are called to mobilise the practical expression of God’s love in our communities.
Richard Pitt, August 2021