Sunday, September 18, 2011

Introducing Street Pastors

Nigel Bennet of Cheltenham Street Pastors joined us to speak about Street Pastors. He was joined by Andy and Mary who spoke of their experience of Street Pastors.

One of our Prayer Pastors, Lyn, spoke movingly of a tragedy in her own family with a young student many years ago during Freshers week. How important it was, she said, to offer the support that Street Pastors offer. Lyn and Ivy both are committed to praying for Street Pastors each Friday and Saturday evening as they go out on the streets.

We then went on to share in a reflection on the importance of prayer ...

It’s great to have a mission focus on Street Pastors – and the call is there for us hear – do take the opportunity to chat with Nigel or one of the Street Pastors and put it into God’s hands.

One thing to share with Nigel and the others – it’s also something for all of us to take with us from here – the words of Ephesians 1:15-23

That's why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the Christians, --- I couldn't stop thanking God for you--every time I prayed, I'd think of you and give thanks.

The importance of prayer – and prayer that starts with thanks to God …

I couldn't stop thanking God for you--every time I prayed

Prayer is wonderful because from thanks we can make our requests known to God …

But I do more than thank. I ask

Signing up people as Street Pastors but also Prayer Pastors. We have two people who do that – Ivy Saddler and Lyn Horne. Prayer that is informed … there is a value in keeping a note – planning our prayer. Something shared by the Street Pastors – one way they do that is by emailing …

Street Pastors email …

The value of keeping a notebook, a journal or a diary …

There is something very powerful in such prayer.

But I do more than thank. I ask--ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory--to make you wise and discerning in knowing him personally, --- your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, --- oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him--endless energy, boundless strength!

The power of prayer is not only a power in itself … it is also energising.

All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, --- in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. --- He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church. --- The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. --- The church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence.

That is what we can each take from this service. Maybe it’s to keep up the work of Street Pastors, maybe it is to keep up what it is we are called to do, maybe it is to get going in a new venture – new school – especially thinking of Sharon about to start her degree course at the Uni

All this energy issues from Christ:

Not in our own strength – but in the strength that comes from Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit of God working deep within us.

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