You might know that for these last few months St Cuthbert's has been closed. With the doors pulled shut this has been an opportunity for us to open up our hearts afresh to the Lord.
As we have reflected on the last three years since the House of Prayer opened, God has drawn our attention to himself again and allowed us to enjoy the riches of His love together in prayer, seeking God and listening to Him as a team. We feel God has strengthened and confirmed our vision, but also that he has given us a new rhythm of prayer and worship to align ourselves to. We want to explain what we feel God has been saying to us and how we are responding to Him now - our hope and prayer is that as you read this you will catch something of this renewed vision yourselves.
Firstly we want to stress that our vision has been confirmed, but remains essentially unchanged. Our ultimate desire is that the House of Prayer would be a people and place of worship, intimacy and encounter.
In this vision, our prayers will not be a chance to promote our own lists or agenda, but rather a drawing near to God that we may pray for His plans and purposes. That we would be moved to pray for the things on His heart. We desire for our worship to be far more than singing songs. We long for times of genuine encounter with God, that each time we meet with Him we would be radically changed. That we would know His love more deeply and hear His voice more clearly, and that ultimately we would carry His presence with us each moment of every day.
Psalm 27:4 says, ‘one thing I desire this only do I seek.’ As a team, we have each committed to contend for this. But we also want to draw in those who share this heart that we may grow together. Wherever possible our desire is to serve the city and region; that together we would seek first the Kingdom of God. Our prayer is that our new weekly gatherings will be times of encounter and deepening prayer for all those who join us.
The desire for this vision to flow beyond the House of Prayer is why we sense a renewed calling to pray for revival.
We are believing for a revived church with prayer placed at its heart – for a return to our first love. We will be praying for a greater breaking in of God’s Kingdom. For healing, restoration, salvation, freedom, prosperity and love to be poured out on our city and region; how amazing would it be for our city to be overflowing with stories of answered prayer and testimony of how great our God is! We want to persevere in asking that many more would be saved, healed and delivered and that our churches would be filled each week with new worshippers giving glory to God.
As the vision has been strengthened we have felt God emphasising three distinct areas of focus. Our new rhythm of prayer will press in to these emphases each week. Each of our gatherings will incorporate a time of worship as we seek to keep God at the heart of all that we do.
This is a time to focus on God in worship. In the midst of a busy world we want to give space for people to gather to sit at the feet of Jesus. This gathering will be a particular opportunity for heartfelt worship with an emphasis on drawing close to hear his voice and dwelling in his presence.
Early in our journey as a House of Prayer we received a prophetic word that we were to 'unblock the wells of revival.' We recognise that we are not alone in carrying this prayer burden, but we also want to play our part in persevering in prayer for a fresh outpouring of unity and power upon the church and for God’s transformation of our city, region and nation.
We feel God has challenged us that we must be a people of the Holy Spirit, but also the Word. We have two new models to help us in this. First, Worship with the Word which is led by a team of singers focused on a short passage or verse. And second, Reading the Word in which we read through a significant portion of scripture together followed by a time of reflection and prayer inspired by God’s word. Through this we are seeking to grow in knowledge and love for the Lord through his word.
We believe this is the beginning of an exciting new season, not just for the House of Prayer but, as we join in prayer together, for the nation as a whole.
We hope to see you at the House of Prayer soon. Look out for our next blog which will go into greater detail on where we feel God is leading us in the coming months.