Week of Prayer 2017

The intention is that everyone will attend at least one of our prayer meetings, but we hope more. Can we encourage you especially to prioritise the Friday night? We are keen for as many to be there as possible.
Why not also consider fasting on Wednesday and give the time you would have given to meals, to prayer? If you can’t do this on Wednesday, could you choose another day? Information on fasting is included at the end of this booklet.

The focus of each prayer meeting specifies the key prayer points that will be worked through. However, other prayer points may well be included as seems right to those there. Many thanks to those who have offered their homes to host.

Sunday: Jon Leading
Focus: general
Upstairs at the Woodside
Monday: Jon leading
Focus: upbuilding
1 Kingfisher Drive, Bolnore, RH16 4TX
Tuesday: David leading
Focus: general
Joining SALT:
30 Beckworth Lane, Lindfield, RH16 2EH
Wednesday: Bethan leading
Focus: upbuilding
1 Kingfisher Drive, Bolnore, RH16 4TX
Wednesday: David leading
Focus: evangelism
1 Myra Mews, Haywards Heath, RH16 3SW
Thursday: Jon leading
Focus: world
Early Morning
30 Beckworth Lane, Lindfield, RH16 2EH
Friday: Poppy leading
Focus: evangelism
30 Beckworth Lane, Lindfield, RH16 2EH
Friday: Luke leading
Focus: all
Half Night
Lucastas, 4 Lucas Grange, Haywards Heath, RH16 1JS
Sunday: Jon Leading
Focus: general
Upstairs at the Woodside

1)       For thanksgiving for all Christ has done, for fruit given, and the privilege of sharing the gospel with others.
2)       For the year to be one in which we increase in our sense of the urgency of evangelism, in our love for the lost, our boldness to speak, and our opportunity to do so.
3)       For real interest and conviction amongst our non-Christian contacts and people in Bolnore.
4)       For appropriate wisdom for Jon in writing a monthly article for BolnoreNEWS!
5)       For attendance, good relationships, conviction and interest for those without clear faith in Christ, at Messy Church, IMPACT and SALT. Wisdom too about the way to make the most of these ministries.
6)       For courage to prayer for, speak to, give books to friends – or offer to read 1:1 with them.
7)       For understanding and faith in those coming through Simply Christianity and Life Explored, and those reading 1:1 with Claire and Poppy.
8)       For time and motivation for Jon in doorknocking, and good conversation and follow up.
9)       For good attendance from friends at our men’s nights.
10)    For us all to have a godly impact on people and the structures of school and our workplaces.
11)    That we would make time for our friendships and see and take opportunities to serve others.
12)    Our partners, the “S” family, serving God in Indonesia. For evangelistic opportunities, conversations, and conversions.
13)    The work of New Life church that we support in Moulescombe, Brighton.

1)       Thanks for so much resource and blessing in the church, and for the work of the Holy Spirit in building us up in Christ.
2)       For new folk at Grace Church to be welcomed, included, and want to commit to the life of Grace Church.
3)       The Lord to bring more believers to Grace Church who might be edified by its ministry and serve alongside us.
4)       Specifically for a committed Christian family with gifts in outreach and children at Bolnore school.
5)       For enthusiasm, time, skill, good preparation and clarity for those who lead and teach at kids@4, IMPACT, SALT and Community Groups, and for teachability in those who attend..
6)       That everyone who attends Grace Church would this year be committed to making time for church each Sunday, and for attending a Community Group/SALT/IMPACT, or to fellowship with other Christians in some form mid-week.
7)       For wisdom about how to best lead our gatherings, and for the time and resources to develop the band and music.
8)       For God’s provision of the right person to continue David’s work (this may now be sorted), and for their settling in.
9)       For David and Emma as they prepare to marry in July, and for preparation for moving on, wisdom about whether the right next step is as minister of Hurstpierpoint Evangelical Church, and the right job for Emma.
10)    For love of God, self-discipline, wisdom, time, prayerfulness and studiousness in Luke, David and Jon as they seek to lead the church.
11)    That evenings would take place on parenting, marriage and serving Christ in the workplace, and be well attended and truly helpful.
12)    For self-discipline, insight and opportunity for those who are excessively busy to order their lives according to God’s priorities.
13)    For strength of faith for those who are ostracised by friends or colleagues because of their Christian convictions.
14)    For God’s equipping for parents with patience, wisdom and determination to raise their children to love and serve the Lord, and especially for those who are having to parent alone.
15)    For a deep concern and commitment to prayer publicly and privately.
16)    For the time, energy and wisdom to truly care for one-another as a community of God’s kingdom.
17)    That God would pour his Spirit out upon us, that all would deepen in their knowledge and love of God through his word, and that this would overflow in the fruit of righteousness to his glory and praise.
18)    For good attendance at Bible by the Beach, Explore 814, church and SALT weekends away, and for much growth in faith through them. And for Steve Rees (Vicar from Crowborough) in preparing for our church weekend.

1)       Thanks for God’s restraint on evil and the many goods he showers on all.
2)       For faith, hope and love in those persecuted for their faith throughout the world, and that the media and politicians would take up their plight.
3)       For the raising up of godly, biblically faithful and able workers for the harvest field, to pastor churches, and serve as evangelists and missionaries, especially where the gospel is least preached.
4)       For the Lord to continue to restrain evil and terror in the world this year, and use governments to provide for the most needy.
5)       That peace and stable government would finally come to Syria and other places of conflict.
6)       For wisdom, influence, courage and commitment to God’s word in Christian politicians.
7)       That the Lord would bring those to political power and influence who would be more concerned to shape policy according to his word and will, and for wisdom for the government and nation with respect to the EU.
8)       For a change of mind with respect to abortion and a reduction in the time in which babies can be terminated.
9)       For an increased conviction as to the brokenness of society stemming from rejecting God’s ways, and particular his will for marriage and gender. With that, an increased recognition of the wisdom of scripture on these matters and the care of Christians.
10)    For a realisation of the seriousness of assisted suicide and euthanasia meaning that the law would not be changed.
11)    For wisdom, energy, opportunity, resource and finance for Christian organisations, and especially Andrea, who are seeking to restrain the rejection of God’s values in Jesus’ name. Especially for the right words for Andrea as she speaks of Christ in the eye of the media.
12)    For these same things for those seeking to stand up for persecuted Christians, or the most needy in the world.

Try fasting for a day
In speaking to his disciples, Jesus said: “When you fast…” (Matt 6v17). He assumed this would be the normal practice of his followers.

Fasting is to abstain from food (or something else) in the context of praying with a deep concern for God to act.[i] In this sense it is to “seek the Lord” for whatever matter is at hand.[ii] It is often linked to mourning, whether over our own sin or others’, or over a realization of the state of the world or church that has moved us to pray.[iii] Abstaining from food shows how desperately we long for God to help. More than that, where this desperation is sincere, fasting may reflect the fact that we can’t even think about food until we have properly sought the Lord. Although some Jews fasted regularly in Jesus’ day, fasting is usually therefore engaged in more occasionally, when a particular need is faced.[iv]

The act of fasting aids prayer not by somehow twisting God’s arm, but because by fasting we “humble ourselves,” submitting ourselves to his will whilst being reminded that we are weak creatures who are wholly reliant upon him.[v] By focusing us on the Lord in this way, fasting also therefore increases our hunger for God and his work in our lives.

Types of Fast
The normal fast: To eat no food and drink only water.
The partial fast: To eat only vegetables or fruit, or skip a meal. This obviously benefits those in heavy work or who cannot fast more fully for medical reasons. Daniel 10:2-3
The juice fast: To have a liquid only fast. This allows for more physical work too, or can be a means of engaging in a longer fast.
The absolute fast: To fast completely without food or water for up to three days.[vi]
The alternative fast: To abstain from something else, eg. the TV.

1)    God rebuked the Israelites for not fasting “to him.” He and his purposes must be our concern, not our own benefit or pride.
2)    Time for prayer needs to be planned in. Some choose to give the time they would have given to preparing or eating food to prayer. You might agree to fast with others, meeting for prayer at set times.
3)    Be prepared for it to be hard. You may experience opposition from the evil one. Your own body will certainly struggle, and you could experience headaches, dizziness, tiredness and irritability as your body aches at the lack of the caffeine and food it is used to. Well meaning people who know you are fasting may even urge you to stop, seeing it all as rather extreme.
4)    Agree with yourself how long you are going to fast for. But be prepared to change that if your health or circumstances change.
5)    If you are underweight, pregnant, or have any medical conditions, consult your doctor even before a small fast.
6)    Don’t boast about fasting. It is to be done in secret, if possible, with only God knowing. However, don’t be legalistic about this. If people such as family members need to know, then tell them.
7)    Plan in regular rest breaks when you get tired, and don’t do more than light exercise.
8)    Break a fast for anything above a day only gradually.

[i] Jud 20v26, 2 Sam 12v15-23, Est 4v16, Joel 1v14.
[ii] 2 Chr 20v3-4
[iii] Matt 9v14-15, 1 Sam 31v13, 2 Sam 1v12, Ps 35v13-14, 69v10, Zech 7v5, 1 Sam 7v6, Neh 1v4, Joel 2v12
[iv] Lk 2v37, Matt 17v20, Acts 12v2-3, 14v23
[v] Ezra 8v21-23, Ps 35v13, Is 58v3-9
[vi] Esther 4:16, Ezra 10:6, and Acts 9:9 Some fast for longer, but this should only be done after serious thought and having regularly fasted previously.