Over the course of this year, my wife Ev and I have been powerfully aware of the prayers of many through the difficult journey which has been Samuel's life. (Samuel was born at 24 weeks' gestation on February 28, 1997) Your support in prayer during this time has had a significant impact in sustaining us, teaching us, and leading us through. I am eternally grateful, and know that these prayers are still being offered for us all as a family. The whole experience has taught me in a profound way something about the power of concerted, focussed prayer. James says, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (5:16), then relates the power of Elijah's specific and earnest prayer.
When we, as God's people, devote ourselves to prayer - specific prayer - lives are saved, God's work is advanced. We have witnessed that first-hand this year. But why do we have to wait for specific instances of dire need to be moved to prayer? Do we not realise that we are engaged in a spiritual battle? Through prayer we enter that battle, and utilise spiritual resources to fight it.
I am aware that almost every one of our Deacons has been through significant struggles and battles during the course of this year - of a varying nature, but reaching critical intensities. How do we explain the extent and the depth of these? No simple explanation can be offered to cover every instant, but we need to remind ourselves that we are engaged in a battle: the major weapon for our fight being prayer.
of a righteous person is powerful and effective". Let me ask each one to
continue to pray for those who lead our ministry - Deacons and pastoral
team in particular. As we seek to be faithful to God's calling, let us
engage in concerted prayer for His leading, His empowering and His protection
as we seek to extend His kingdom.
For more information about Samuel's birth, click here.
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