We fast together as a whole church on particular days. If this is new to you, you might find it helpful to watch the video below where Elizabeth talks about what fasting is, why we do it, and how to fast.
I like getting things done, and helping others get things done. But over several years God has been recalibrating me, teaching me that a healthy rhythm of life in God includes both times of retreat as well as times of getting things done. (You can read here about what I learned from Aidan, an earlier Christian leader from 635AD.)
Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine last week, bringing outright warfare to Europe again.
In Philippians 4:6, Paul invites the church to prayer. He says in every situation, by prayer and petition, we should present our requests to God.
We want to call all in our OCC family to pray for Ukraine, and propose the following resources to help us do that.
OCC has connections with a network of churches in South East Ukraine, led by Pastor Viktor, who has given the following prayer requests.
This is a phrase from Jesus’ words in Matthew 11: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”. The Message Bible beautifully paraphrases this as
As we looked at Isaiah 51-52 we saw the repeated encouragement (that's a gentle British way of saying "challenge"!) from God to his people to wake up, and really get what he wants to say and show them. A short paraphrase of the passage could read: "Listen, listen, listen! Awake, awake; awake, awake; awake, awake!"
Earlier today the elders reviewed and weighed the various prophetic and other contributions from the week of prayer. They said: "First of all, thank you for taking part! Secondly, as we've reviewed what came out, we see that God is reminding us to focus on him in this season. We note that our prophets, who often hear God with direction for the church, are not now hearing something about change, or a fresh focus - but simply that this is a season when God wants to draw us close!"
Lent is an amazing opportunity to commit to God in a new way. Some people choose to give something up (or ‘fast’) during Lent, others choose to try something new to enrich their devotional lives. Whatever God leads you to do, we wanted to provide some suggestions for how we could approach this season together as a family.
At the start of this year, Steve Jones called on us as a church family to be ‘praying for rain’ – and there really is such power in our joining together to cry out to our loving God!