Brendan’s announcement on Sunday about a second Curatorship at St Marks in Athlone starting February 2022 (4 months’ time!), sent shockwaves through our community – what a reason to pray! One of the things he mentioned was when you do a series on change, guess what?!!
We played the song ‘King of Kings’ by Hillsong – right up front, no matter what, we can still praise our God, for who He is, for what He has done, & what He is still going to do. He is working out His purposes, He is building His Church, & as we are learning in the current series, we all have gifts & we all have our part to play.
Good, bad, or ugly, God can use all things & situations for the good of those that love Him …… we’ve got to keep looking at Him, praise Him, confess our sins to Him, be dependent on Him, read His Word (which will stand forever), do things His way, pray to Him, continue to walk by faith in Him, & ……. find our joy in Him …… CS Lewis was ‘surprised by joy’ & wrote a book with that title. Nicky Gumbel wrote that joy ‘is not a fleeting emotion, but a deep way of being – a state of mind that is available to everybody. It is not found in things, but in a Person.’
We prayed for Brendan, his family, the staff, the leadership team, for the new pastorate members, for our Church, the Parish, the Bishops, & for others in authority.
We prayed for healing, forgiveness, for new life in the Spirit, new wineskins for new wine, that He would order the footsteps of the righteous, for guidance by the Spirit, for liberty & strength, that He would bring unity, for where there is unity the Lord commands the blessing.
God’s Word cuts through to bone & marrow meet – it reveals the heart & plans of man. Is 55:11 – His Word will accomplish that which it was sent out for. We prayed for a humility, an openness, a listening & a hearing of what God is saying – that we wouldn’t just look inward at the problems, but outward at the world. That the unsaved would come in, that we could reach out & have spiritual impact.
We thanked the Lord for our current venue & for how well it was working & continued to pray for the new venue & the finances that are still required. We prayed for the various ministries of the Church, that there would be deep & meaningful connection within the homegroups & huddles.
Psalm 84:10 ‘Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere’ …. Thank You Lord for your Peace, Your Presence, Your Plans, Your Power …….
Lead us Lord….! 😊
Another amazing prayer meeting!!
Started off with the song “Goodness of God” – WOW, take a listen …. I love You Lord, Your mercy never fails me …. All my life you have been faithful … I love Your voice … You have led me through the fire …. Known You as a Father, ….as a Friend … lived in the goodness of God ….
Such a privilege to be in His presence which was so powerful, with other believers, of one mind, in unity.
Led into a time of praise & thanksgiving – For who He is, His love that is so deep & so wide, heaven & earth are filled with His glory! His miracles, healings, every small thing, so much to be thankful for, for His choice of choosing us & inviting us as humans to work with Him in His creative work that He is doing around us … open our eyes Lord to see, our ears to hear & our hearts to perceive ….. Let us share Your Words that are living & active …..
We prayed for an outpouring of His life, the River of Life, into our communities, the city, the country, for the hungry & the thirsty, for His pure life, new refreshing in a sea of toxicity ….
There was a picture of water coming down a mountain – that even huge boulders moved & started to roll away ….
We prayed against all sorts of restrictions, barriers, blockages, impurities, wrong mindsets, sin, unbelief, lack of vision, lack of faith …. The goodness of God leads to repentance … confession ….. give us clean hearts & hands Lord, that we might be conduits of Your Holy Spirit … that You may rule in the midst of our enemies …. Even like Goliath fell at the sword of David. We ask Lord for your gifts, for faith for healing …..,
There was a picture of a massive ‘earth-moving caterpillar / bulldozer’ on its side – compare with the picture earlier of the boulders being moved, that nothing is impossible with God. We can give Him any & every situation …like Corrie Ten Boom used to pray “Lord Jesus, won’t You please just hold this for me!”
We prayed for the pastorate meeting that was taking place right after the prayer meeting – for God’s direction, discernment, clarity, courage, graciousness ….
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom ….. no restrictions, flow … like the Spirit flowed in Wellington during the revival that started with the Dutch Reform Church…..
Its not time to get disillusioned with our faith, but to be discontent with our level of faith! There was a picture of gold being refined … like we are being refined, so that our levels of faith may increase …. Being made into a beautiful mirror of gold that reflects & shines His light & glory.
Acts 10:1-4 – Cornelius, a God-fearing & devout man who gave generously to those in need & prayed to God regularly, had a vision where the angel said “Your prayers & gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God”.
Ps 77:1, 7-8 – The Psalmist crying out to God & wondering where God is & if His love has vanished … sometimes (often!?), we feel like this ….. for encouragement you may want to think of or play the song ‘The Eye of the Storm’ by Ryan Stevenson … he sings …’Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm’ – so true!
The word ‘banner’ came up a number of times. Song of Songs 6:4 ‘… as majestic as an army with banners’. ‘His banner over me is love’ (Song of Songs 2:4), Reminder of the song “We wanna see, we wanna see Jesus lifted up .. a banner that flies across the sky …’
There was also a picture of God birthing something new, a Midwife was there, but there seemed to be complications ….. a breaching maybe … not sure ….. we know that the devil often tries to take out something as it’s born or whilst very young (many stories in the Bible of this), …..we’re asking God to show us more ….. please let us know of any words, scriptures or pictures you may get as you are praying!
There’s been a definite theme over the last few weeks about waiting on the Lord, & as we do so, He will give us the strength, & an innermost joy, that we need so desperately – (Is 40: 28-31, Song – ‘Strength will rise’).
PRAISE POINTS: Help us Lord to turn every blessing back into praise to glorify your name!
- The first service at the new venue at the Sea Scout base was fantastic & nearly full – Brendan preached up a storm for the start of the new series (Dependant on the Spirit) – if you want some tips on pancakes, take a listen (link on website)!
- It was really good to see people in person again & have some ‘proper’ fellowship & chats!!😊
- A number of people who have been sick have been making great recoveries & fantastic progress. We are keen to get some short testimonies onto various media platforms which will be really encouraging!
- The building site coming on in leaps & bounds, huge difference from last week – the demolition & bulk earthworks contract should all be completed by 23rd Sept! Ready for the piling thereafter!
- Joy is in You – there’s still a picture on the side wall at the building site of animals in the Ark – one of which a monkey looking through a porthole with a huge smile on his face – totally dependent on the God, & smiling all the way, making the most of the journey! Let’s give Him thanks & praise!
PRAYER WALK: We split up went for a prayer walk around the site – mostly levelled & looking great – what a difference from last week’s swimming pool!
SONG: Came back & sang ‘Come Holy Spirit – Uthando’
- Flow, Living water, flow through us. We need your presence, power & our gifts to work in us.
- Prayed for the Parish Leaders
- We prayed especially for the leadership, for their protection, wisdom, provision & discernment.
- Knit & weave us together Lord, even as the foundations are being compacted & prepared.
- John 15:1-10 – Thank you that You Abide in us, help us to abide in you – the word Abide or remain appears eleven times in these ten verses – need this for bearing fruit. Compare with the theme about waiting on the Lord & strength & joy will arise as we do – these too are fruit & evidence that we can see in each other.
- Roger had a picture on Sunday about a snowy scene that was coming into spring – we are going into a new season – the snow is beginning to melt – water beginning to flow, brings with it new life … also washes away that which is not of Him.
- We are hungry & humble before You, without You we can do nothing, we are dependent on You Lord – Lead & guide us as we journey on & do life together.
- FROG acronym – Fully Reliant on God!
There are times for each season – just as the building is coming along, sometimes feels slow, so are we being built, as living stones …. You’re the Builder Lord …. from glory to glory ….
You’re the God of the impossible…
We ask for a Spirit & gifts of wisdom, discernment, your anointing breaks the yoke.
Hope is in You…
Protection is in You – Ps 91
Let’s go out & serve The Lord, in His strength, with His joy, in His timing, with His Love!😊
To give thanks & the concept of thankfulness appears around 150 times in the Bible! It’s such an important principle & I love the description that giving thanks is like an antidote ……. to so many ailments & issues – will let your imagination run! Let us remember to ‘give thanks’!
In Ps 107 ‘give thanks’ appears 5 times. So in the prayer meeting after an update from Angie & a song “Let the Redeemed” by Josh Baldwin (I encourage you to listen to the words), we give thanks, for many of the things that He has done for us. Some of specifics for being so thankful, were for Brendan, our inspiring, wise & valiant leader, whose birthday was on Monday (!😊), the team around him & the living stones that form part of our community, the building (or rather rubble!) that is making such fantastic progress, the finances that are coming in & the many items on our list which have been answered!
Ps 107 also talks about that we, the redeemed, should be telling our story – in so many ways the Life Centre is bellowing out part of God’s story, the CHS story, of His envisioning, leading, guiding, providing, protecting, faithfulness & love. Let us not grow weary in doing good … (Gal 6:9), let us remember that ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength’ (Neh 8:10), & I think of that song ‘Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord’.
Big items for continued prayer are: Venue, finances, health & provision for our community, wisdom for so many decisions, strength for the fight, unity, our leaders – all the way to provincially & nationally, for the nations – especially those at war, & for the light & love of our glorious God to shine through us to redeem the those who are lost.
Come & join us in prayer at the cottage in 16 Chelsea Crescent, 6pm on Mondays!
“Rejoice always, PRAY continually, give thanks in all circumstances ….. (1 Thes 5:16-18)
Thank You Lord that in You we can REJOICE, we PRAISE your Holy Name! We THANK YOU for all that You have done, are doing, & will yet do! There are so many answered prayers & for these we thank You!
ETERNAL LIFE: This was the main theme coming through, & what we must never forget is the ultimate purpose of the Life Centre – bringing eternal life to those around us, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s about sharing this & an outward focus.
LIVING STONES: ‘’… you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy proesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ’ – (1 Peter 2:5).
There was prayer for the team & requests & various needs in our community & beyond. A big one is the right venue – please direct us Lord & make a way for an amazing interim venue!
Come & join us for praises, prayer & minstry on Monday night in the Chelsea Street cottage at 6pm!😊
“Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence’ – Charles Spurgeon
The last few Monday nights have seen many praises & prayers ascend to the throne-room as we’ve sung, worshipped, given thanks, listened & prayed to our amazing Father God.
After opening in prayer, we’ve had updates & prayer requests from Brendan & Zane, followed by songs, corporate prayer, prayer in groups of two or three or as was the case this past week, on our own as we walked around the construction site. We then came together & shared what we felt the Lord was saying – WOW! I have placed some of the different words & pictures from different people into a few themes below:
TEARING DOWN & BUILDING UP: “You continuously underestimate the work I am doing in this place, says the Lord, & this requires a deconstruction of both people & place”; “God is not stagnant. He is a God on the move. As He is building a physical building, so He is building the living stones that will worship in the new building”; “Tear down & build from ruins to a palace”.
REMAINING FAITHFUL: “Courageous peacemaking comes with bold humility, brave repentance & being continually filled & guided by the Holy Spirit”; “The Lord calls this community to remain faithful through process & obedience as He builds & invests here for future generations”.
GENERATIONAL IMPACT: From a WhatsApp message of someone who couldn’t make it to the meeting, there was 2 Sam 7:27 – 28, which spoke about a house being built with a generational impact (a royal dynasty)!
The word ‘Sent’ – that as people walk across the land, their feet would catch fire & they would take this fire wherever they were called. A scripture related to this was Joshua 1:3 & 9 – every place your feet shall tread … I have given you! There was a picture of a lighthouse being built on solid foundations, a picture of an Oasis – a place of refreshing & rest, also depicted by the palm trees which also act as a beacon. As with the fire carriers, there would also be water carriers.
Numbers 11:16-30: … ‘gather 70 elders filled by the Holy Spirit to share the burden of leading in this place …”
The picture of the cross standing tall in the middle of the chaos, God with us, every step of the way.
Let us never forget that we are waging battles in the heavenlies & that “The prayers of the righteous availeth much” – we may not see the wind, but we often see the effects. Remember Jehosophat in 2 Chronicles 18 -21, when the foreign armies faced him & they sent out singers how the Lord went before them & destroyed the enemies. Listen to the song ‘Raise a Hallelujah’ – notice key words such as ‘symphony of prayer, ‘our weapon is a melody’, ‘when you sing, walls come down … heaven comes to fight for me… heaven invades the earth’!
Let us continue to pray on … come & join us on Mondays at 6pm as we watch a bit of heaven invading earth!
Join us 6-7pm on Monday 9 August for socially distanced prayer in the main hall.
Saint John Chrysostom (349–407) wrote, ‘Prayer… is the root, the fountain, the mother of a thousand blessings… The potency of prayer has subdued the strength of fire, it has bridled the rage of lions… extinguished wars, appeased the elements, expelled demons, burst the chains of death, expanded the gates of heaven, assuaged diseases… rescued cities from destruction… and arrested the progress of the thunderbolt.’
History belongs to the intercessors. We can shape our generation through prayer. We can influence the course of history (Nicky Gumbel).
In Acts 12 there was an extraordinary prayer meeting, and the results are evident (vv.6–15). In answer to the Churches prayers God acted supernaturally. Peter ‘escaped’, or was ‘freed’ the night before his trial, in spite of being guarded by four squads of four soldiers each (v.4) – this was double the usual guard, and chains on both hands (v.6). Peter himself ‘slept like a baby’ (v.6, MSG). God’s answer involved visions, angels and chains falling off (vv.6–9). Obstacles were removed. The guards did not bar the prisoners’ escape, and the iron gate to the city opened in front of them (v.10).
After his miraculous ‘escape’ from prison, Peter went to where the Church was praying, but Rhoda, the girl who answered the door, was so astounded, forgot to let him in, and no one else believed it was actually him when she told the rest (vv.12–15)! They told Rhoda that she was out of her mind (v.15), but actually God had done what seemed impossible in answer to their earnest prayers.
The word of God continued to increase and spread (v.24). As John Stott wrote, ‘This chapter opens with James dead, Peter in prison and Herod triumphing. It closes with Herod dead, Peter free and the word of God triumphing.’ (Excerpt from Day 168 Through the Bible in a Year with Nicky Gumbel).
A few weeks back, before the week of 24/7 prayer, CHS had no Life Centre building approval from the City of Cape Town, a R4 million-rand deficit to start demolition, & an unlikely ‘go-ahead’ decision was needed. Just over a week later, the approval had come through, & the Parish Leadership was unanimous for the go ahead, in spite of there still being a large shortfall financially!
On August 1st, we had our last Church services in the existing buildings, which were all really special (follow the link or visit website for Brendan’s message ‘Setting Sail’) with handover to the demolition contractor planned for August 12th!
Lord, help us to pray like the early church. May your hand be with us. May we too see a great number of people believing and turning to the Lord and the word of God triumphing.
Come & join us on Monday 9th August for our last prayer meeting inside the hall!
We are delighted to be able to announce that the St John’s Parish Council Executive and CHS Pastorate have both given unanimous approval to start with the first phase of the Life Centre – demolition and piling! After many years of prayer, a lot of hard work, many generous donations, the help of some amazing partners, a few miracles along the way and God’s incredible provision, we will be breaking ground in August.
We give thanks for the council building approval which we received on 9 July, the roughly R21 million raised in pledges thus far through donations both large and small, and for the prayers and encouragements which have kept us going even when we felt our strength was not enough. Please join us in sharing the story and praying for the remaining R4 million needed to reach our minimum build cost. We look forward with great expectation to all God will do by the transforming power of his love.
Angie shares further encouragement for the Life Centre and recounts the faithfulness of God in this long journey we’ve been on in building the Life Centre!
Everyone I speak to at the moment is feeling the weight of what is happening around us: Covid. Economic uncertainty. The continual battle against corruption, injustice, racism and gender based violence. Our legacy of years and years of oppression, greed, wide-spread dehumanizing and pain.
And now our country is literally burning. It feels like so much of our country, our infrastructure, our economy and people’s lives are in ruins.
We have to open our eyes to reality. This is not actually something new.
The situation our country now faces is something that has always been there. Many citizens of this beautiful nation of ours face these issues on a daily basis. They are hungry, homeless, jobless, living under the stress of institutionalized poverty and having to protect themselves from gang violence crossfire and lawlessness. However, society at large so often ignores this, rationalizes it through debate and hides away in our relative comfort and security.
This time we can’t.
Which is awful and painful. It is terrifying and shocking how things have escalated and how palpable the fear and worry is.
However, I also believe this is good because we cannot continue to ignore what is happening and continues to happen in our country on a daily basis.
Something has to be done. Something has to change. We, individually, and as a people have to change.
The big question is HOW?!
There is so much fear, anger, hurt and division…
How on earth could we ever move to a better place? To a space where people from all tribes and tongues will be welcomed at the banquet table and have a fair share?
I don’t know the practical answers. The problems are too systemic and too big for my little brain to comprehend, but I do know one thing. We need Jesus.
There are two scriptures that keep coming to mind as I press into the pain of all that’s happening. My own pain. My friends and family’s pain. Of my country’s pain.
2 Chronicles 7:13 – 14
13 ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
These scriptures lead me to believe that we need to repent. We need to lament and we desperately need to pray. We need to humbly come before Jesus and seek him. We need to ask him to renew us. To change our hearts.
We can all point fingers. Blame them. Whoever “them” or “they” are supposed to be. However, let’s be real for a moment. The problem actually lies within each one of us.
Me. You. Everyone.
We ALL need Jesus to clean us and give us new hearts. Hearts of flesh. Hearts that love like Jesus does. We all need the Holy Spirit to be our true guide and transform us from the inside out so that we can keep God’s law: To love the Lord your God with everything we have and are, and love our neighbour as we love ourselves.
This song, Ruins, was written as I reflected on the series we went through at CHS called Christ and Culture which looked at some of the systemic issues we face in South Africa such as racism and gender based violence. (Click the link to see the series: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXy4DkZW8WSRE32GBC62kiQ0QOGJmuSo_)
I wrote the song as I wrestled with my own difficulties reconciling the victim in me with the perpetrator that also lies within me.
I have been sexually assaulted, judged, robbed and abused. Yet I know that although what I do is often more subtle, I have that same capacity in me. I can use my power and privilege to exploit others, I can ignore someone else’s pain for my own convenience and I can be silent as I watch brothers and sisters continuously struggle under the burdens of economic oppression and continued injustice.This truth is made most obvious in how I treat my children. I love them dearly and yet even with them I can use my power, my words, my actions in a way that definitely does not come from a place of love but a place of selfishness, just like every other human parent in the world.
This song is my way of coming before God and laying it all down – the pain, confusion, hurt, frustration and sorrow – and acknowledging my own role in the mess that we live in.
I do feel that God gave this song to me for this time as a call for us to collectively come to him.
I choose to put my hope in God’s promises.
I hope it helps. I hope it inspires you to be real before Jesus and really come laying it all down in desperate acknowledgement that we need Him. I hope that it inspires you to trust him and allow him to work in your heart. To change our hearts of stone to ones that are made of flesh. To trust that he is at work even in these times.
He can take our burning, broken country and in his grace, mercy and love somehow work a miracle and bring about his life and restoration and the change can start with me.
What is he calling me and you to do? How are we going to respond to his call to walk humbly, act justly and love with mercy?
33 ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: on the day I cleanse you from all your sins, I will resettle your towns, and the ruins will be rebuilt. 34 The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass through it. 35 They will say, ‘This land that was laid waste has become like the garden of Eden; the cities that were lying in ruins, desolate and destroyed, are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I the Lord have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.”