The start of a new year is a time to look forward, but it also leads us to reflect and look back.
As we kick off the New Year here at Streatham Baptist Church, with hope for all our tomorrow's in 2024, we can't help but remember those situations and circumstances that have followed us into this new season. There are still those particular challenges we're facing as we get back into a routine or return to school, work, volunteering, church...
It would appear that as a church community we have come to a cross-roads and the direction we now take will be imperative to the shaping and projectory of the life of the Church both now and in the future.
So what should our response be?
How are we to discern the Father heart of God towards us?
In some ways, the answer is quite simple:
Humility and prayer... we are to cry out to the Chief Shepherd.
The following passages of scripture have been chosen to help facilitate our focus during our week of prayer between Jan 22nd - Jan 28th.
2 Chronicles 7 - To position us and focus us on the Chief Shepherd. Within this chapter we find themes of humility, sacrifice, consecration, re-dedication, observance and obedience. Ask God to help you to model these characteristics, for forgiveness where we have been falling short and to demonstrate repentance (literally, to "turn around").
Ephesians 3 - We then turn our attention to pray for Streatham Baptist Church. That we would be a Christ-centred church in all we do, that we would be balanced and relevant in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and that we would uphold the councils of God in Spirit and Truth, in righteousness and holiness.
Psalm 133 - If we are to receive that which God has for us then it is imperative that we lay aside those things that seek to hinder and entangle us. This is so that we might better hear what the Spirit of God is saying to us as the body of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:18 tells us that we are to be transformed into the image of His Son. We know that the Son always did that which pleased His Father, and so we are to do the same too. This requires us to come into line with His Words and teaching so that the blessings of His Spirit an be poured out upon us.
As we build up to our week of prayer, may the God and Father of our Lord and only saviour Jesus Christ help us by His Holy Spirit to earnestly seek Him.
Stephen Joseph, Discipleship Team