This week it is the annual European Evangelical Alliance ‘Week of Prayer’ and this year’s theme is “The Return of the Lost Sons.”
The EEA have produced a fantastic prayer guide for use in calling on God for the ‘prodigals’ and for examining our own hearts in their relationship to God the Father.
The prayer guide, based entirely on Jesus’s story about the father and his two sons, challenges our tendency towards control rather than releasing and embracing love. It exhorts the church to become more like the Father in its acceptance of the broken and hurting, and those who feel like they don’t fit in.
Truly, this is the foundation of all that God is wanting to do in the days ahead. May we depart from our readiness to judge, condemn, and control people who are different from ourselves, and may we better reflect the Father, Who loves, Who gives, and Who is far more patient with human weakness than most of His people are.
We encourage you to join in prayer with them, and with us.
The prayer guide is available here.
International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church special service
This Sunday is “International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.” Golden Valley Church will be participating with a special service focusing on the nations where Christianity is being attacked and threatened.
Prayer items and DVD’s focusing in on two nations – Iran and Nigeria – will form the centre of our presentation.
In the past three years there has been a significant increase in the level of persecution directed at house churches in Iran, though there is an enormous spiritual hunger growing at the grass roots of the nation.
In northern Nigeria churches are being attacked, burned and bombed, and pastors and family members beaten and murdered. They ask for our support in prayer.
Our main resources used on this occasion are from “Release International“, “Open Doors“, and “Aid to the Church in Need“.
We are also grateful for Prince Charles’ recent speech on the persecution of Christians following Aid to the Church in Need’s, ‘Religious Freedom Report 2014’, (see below for link). In it he emphasises tolerance, respect, and humility. We plan to show this short video in our service.
The Bible is clear, “Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them. Remember those who are suffering, as though you were suffering as they are.” (Heb. 3:13 GNB)
Prophet Bob Jones
We offer tribute to Bob Jones who passed away yesterday, peaceful and smiling. Bob was a contemporary prophet, known around the world for his prophecies which spanned over four decades. He was also known for His deep love for God and for people.
Bob prophesied in 1984, that the ‘New Wine’ would be poured out in ten years, which we saw and know happened in Toronto in January 1994, and other parts of the world.
Bob was known and loved by many friends of this church, some of whom he personally mentored. It would seem that his death may mark a change of season.
Bill Johnson tweeted, “Our wonderful friend and prophet Bob Jones went home to be with Jesus today, his first love, on Valentines a Day.”
Christian leaders around the world are mourning his passing and praying for his family. He is survived by his wife Bonnie.
Bob Jones with Jerame and Miranda Nelson at their ordination in 2010
It is with great sadness we report on the passing away of our dear friend and brother, Adrian Gwynne-James. Adrian was a member of Golden Valley Church before marrying Chinese Church Pastor, Esther Ho, in 2011.
Adrian passed away on January 2nd, after a lengthy but courageous battle with cancer. He will be deeply missed by family and friends. He is remembered as someone who was always genuine, kindhearted, and deeply grounded in his faith. His contagious sense of humour will also not be forgotten.
The funeral was held today in Leicester Chinese Christian Church, where many friends and relatives gathered together to honour and celebrate Adrian’s life, to draw near to God and receive comfort, and to say “goodbye” to a dear friend. It was conducted by Pastor Wes Boxall and Hui-Pak Wong, and translated into Cantonese. Tributes were given by Adrian’s late wife and sister.
As Christians we know that death is not the end, but all who pass away in Christ, are immediately in His eternal presence, where we will be reunited together. This brings great hope and comfort.
Our continued prayers are with his family.
I’m writing this short blog from the 2012 Revival Alliance conference in Birmingham, England. About three thousand people have registered to attend across the two venues. I’m at the meetings in the New Testament Church of God in Handsworth – a lovely venue and facilty. This year the event is being hosted by Catch the Fire / Partners in Harvest, of which we are so privileged to be a part.
Revival Alliance is made of half a dozen Christian ministries which were birthed out of or found renewal in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit which began in Toronto in 1994.
What an awesome time of worship and ministry it has been so far. Bill Johnson spoke yesterday on the primary reason Jesus came – to show us and bring us to the Father. As usual, Bill’s words were filled with passion, relevance and poignancy. Yesterday evening John & Carol Arnott ministered and there was a powerful move of the Father’s love as people were healed of sicknesses and infirmities. The tangible presence of God filled the auditorium very strongly, and we realised again that God has some amazing plans for this nation – not fogotten or forsaken!
Che An from Harvest Rock California spoke this morning and prayed over every individual in the meeting. This afternoon Benni Johnson and Rolland Baker are speaking. We look for much more in these days!
Come Lord Jesus!
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It was a great hour of worship and prayer last Friday morning, with the majestic sounding of church bells at exactly 8:12am for three minutes. Along with many thousands across the UK we made a noise! Other church bells could be heard in the distance, and the chimes of Big Ben sounding from a car radio. In 1942 when Churchill called for the church bells to rung across the nation, and for the people to pray, there was a turning of the tide in the war. We believe that was divine intervention. And we believe God can intervene in and for this nation again; maybe not with ‘physical war’, but with the war for hearts and minds, for morals, and the future of the British people.
As a part of our House of Prayer, we engaged in worshipping God and calling on Him for mercy on our nation and a turning of the tide of unrighteousness, and life without Him. We prayed for the Government, the police, education, business, and the church; that in all these areas God will Himself be glorified.
After that we prayed for the Olympics, commencing that evening; for the nations who have come to Britain for the event; for the athletes, and for the crowds attending.
We know that God loves this nation, and its godly heritage is no accident. Let’s keep on calling out to Him for a ‘turning of the tide’ in our land.