Pray 168

an hour-by-hour continuous wave of prayer and worship

Christians praying without ceasing, in and for Southampton

Our hope is for Christians from many churches of all denominations within the City to become involved.

We launched Pray 168 at midnight (00.00) at the start of Lent, Ash Wednesday, 17th February 2021.

So far 59 people have signed up – over a third of the week is now covered.

109 slots to go!!

 

These parts of the bible have particularly inspired us:

 

‘Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.’ (Jeremiah 29.7)

To a certain extent, we are all in exile from our ultimate heavenly home. For some of us, even our earthly roots are elsewhere. But, if we now live here, the call to all of us who are in Christ is to pray for Southampton and to seek its welfare.

 

‘Be joyful always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’ (1 Thessalonians 5.17).

Pray 168 offers a way for the Church in Southampton – corporately – to do exactly these things. In the original Greek, the verbs in these verses are PLURAL not singular, so the instructions are for Christians to pray together, not just as individuals.

 

‘Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.’ (Ps 127:1)

So we must take a stand in prayer, asking the Lord to watch over Southampton.

 

‘..if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ (2 Chronicles 7:14)

That’s the promise that we have if we pray.

We believe the call to pray is a call to ALL God’s people. The key to the peace and prosperity of our City is the united prayer of believers from across the churches. However much we try to bless our city, unless we seek God’s face together, the blessing will be limited.

The Body of Christ in Southampton is spread across many different congregations and denominations. So how can we all pray together? Pray 168 is a simple way to do this.

 

It relies on the commitment of individuals or couples or whole families in their own homes to pray for the City for one hour – the same hour – each week.

 

Each hour is given an allocated number (1-168), starting at the beginning of Sunday. This means that those taking part have effective ‘ownership’ of their hour and responsibility for it.

 

At the end of each hour of prayer, the person who has just finished that hour of prayer sends a text message saying ‘Spirit of the Living God’ to the person responsible for the next hour. In turn the person beginning the next hour of prayer texts back with the response ‘Fall afresh on me’. This is how the ‘prayer baton’ is reliably passed on from person to person.

 

We encourage those taking a specific hour not just to use the time to ask God to help our city, but also to simply be in God’s presence; praising and worshipping him; and re-committing themselves to him.

 

A helpful pattern is to P-R-A-Y (Pause-Rejoice-Ask-Yield), or A-C-T-S (Adoration-Confession-Thanksgiving-Supplication).

 

For large parts of each Sunday, individual prayer slots are also covered by the corporate worship of churches within the City. We hope to chart  the involvement of churches in due course.

Our vision is for the wave of prayer breaking over Southampton each week to be comprehensive and specific.

 

To help us pray comprehensively, we have formulating a list of 12 prayer themes. Examples include:

– A revival of faith in Jesus across our city – pray for individuals you know who do not yet know Christ as their Saviour.

– Education – pray for your local schools – staff and students; safety; that school will be inspiring, safe and fun for the students;

– Business: pray for local businesses to prosper despite the pandemic, providing services that are needed and creating positive employment opportunities.

 

You should take as long over each topic as you feel is right. You might stay with one topic for the whole hour and move on to the next topic the following week. Or you might cycle through all the topics every hour. The important thing is that you pray with sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

 

To help you to target your prayers, you are encouraged to consider the people and situations that you are personally aware of/familiar with that are relevant to the topic. For example, when praying for schools, you could pray for families or staff at your local school.

 

The list of prayer topics has been created collaboratively by local church leaders and will be reviewed from time to time.

We hope that you feel as inspired by this vision of prayer for our City as we are!

We look forward to hearing from you with your request to join us as we create a wave of prayer over Southampton together.

 

Pray 168
Christians praying without ceasing, in and for Southampton