Kamloops Free Methodist Church

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This is a blog with submissions from our Lead Pastor, Dr. Shelley Utz.
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  • Sep29Tue

    Invitation to Prayer

    September 29, 2020

                                               AN INVITATION TO PRAYER

          “Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” Romans 12:12
            Some have reminded me that before the pandemic, prayer was being
    emphasized in the life of our church: we had weekly prayer walks in the
    neighbourhood, periodic times of focused prayer and prayer meetings, even praying
    together before Sunday worship has taken a back seat in the midst of Covid concerns.
            And yet, we have talked together about how Covid actually has created some
    conditions which are in keeping with seeking and knowing God. We have more time at
    home and fewer distractions (travel, sports, entertainment). It has been for some a
    “wake up call,” an opportunity to consider what is really important. It is also a time to
    press in to prayer and growing our hearts in God.
            I am inviting us afresh to “seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isaiah 55:6).
    To call upon Him while He is near. I think the Spirit of God is inviting us to hear afresh
    His invitation to draw near to Him, to pray and seek Him, to call on His name, knowing
    that He is listening, that He is calling to us.
            There is a great strengthening that comes to us from corporate prayer. It may
    be that we need to have some times of praying together. But in this Covid time, we
    can pray together even if we are not physically together. Here are some possibilities
    for strengthening and encouraging our corporate prayer:
    Zoom prayer meetings – some men have been praying this way right through the
    summer! Zoom allows us to meet “face to face” without having to leave the comfort of
    our homes.
    Prayer walks – with people in your “bubble,” in your neighbourhood at a time
    convenient to you.
    Monthly FMCIC National Prayer – the last Wednesday of the month, one hour of
    prayer on Zoom, beginning at 7 pm. https://zoom.us/j/119341740 Meeting ID: 119
    341 740
    Prayer Circles: I read an inspiring book this spring on the Welsh Revival of 1904-
    1905. Before the revival began to happen, people had been meeting in prayer circles,
    which are small groups of people who agree together to pray for revival or renewal at
    the same time of the day. No travelling, no getting together, no Covid concern, just
    united focused specific prayer for a set amount of time. So for example, I could be a
    part of a prayer circle that prayed for revival or renewal for 10 minutes (or more!) at
    6:15 am, 12 noon or 9:45 pm) on Monday-Friday; what time and frequency works for
    you? Can you ask around and see if your friends want to pray at that time? Or, if you
    want identify the time that works for you and then write it into a poster/sheet at
    church that is being prepared, so that others can see the times, and perhaps circles
    will form that way.
            On the flip side of this sheet are some Scriptures to encourage us in praying,
    and some prayer points to focus on in praying for renewal. Please consider how you
    may seek God afresh in prayer and encourage others in our church to seek God in
    prayer! Let me know what would help or encourage you to grow in prayer!

    At the throne of grace,

    Pastor Shelley


    “... if my people who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and
    turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal
    their land.” 2 Chron 7:14
    “Even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and
    weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD
    your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in
    love ...” Joel 2:12-13
    “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b
    Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place
    by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that
    is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near
    to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our
    hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed
    with pure water. Hebrews 10:19-22
    Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and
    purify your hearts, you double-minded. James 4:8
    Praying for Revival and Renewal
    There have been repeated times in the history of the Christian Church when God
    has moved strongly by His Spirit to renew his church and draw people to himself.
    While these moves of God are within His sovereign grace, He invites His people to
    partner with him in prayer, to enter into personal renewal and to be ready as people
    become awakened to their need of God. Here are some suggestions for prayer for
    yourself and for our church:

    • For a fresh hunger and thirst for God, for rightness and justice (Matt 5:6)
    • For a return to our first love (Rev 2:4), a renewed love for God and others (Mk 12:29-31)
    • For the Spirit to search our hearts and show us ways that we have strayed (Ps 139:23-24, Matt 6:22-23, James 1:22-24) and willingness to repent.
    • For a renewed wonder of how precious Jesus is to us (John 6:35, 8:12, 11:25; 1 John 3:1, Eph 3:14-19)
    • For a fresh love for one another and for those God is seeking (1 John 4:7-11, Luke 19:10)
    • That God would show us His heart for those away from Him and those seeking (Rom 8:26)
    • For a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our church that we might be His witnesses (Acts 1:8)
    • That Jesus would draw people to Himself (John 12:32)

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