This article was originally published in Edition (9) of Prayer Magazine,  Jan-Mar 2007.

Monitoring the trends of Prayer within the Britain and Ireland, we see a wonderful mosaic of people energetically engaged with all kinds of prayer in their locality, for all sorts of issues.  There’s people focussed on Prophetic Intercession, others on Prayer Walks, others touch on encouragement and praise, others on Strategic Intercessions, Spiritual Mapping and Identification Repentance.  All in all it’s quite a mix, which is only determined by the diversity of everyone involved.

Toward the end of 2005, we began to feel a shift in emphasis ourselves, and wondered whether we could run a conference to demonstrate some of the streams and area’s of prayer that we felt were cutting edge for this moment in time.

The cutting edge of Prayer right now, seems to be a shift toward Prayer for social action and Prayer to see actual issues within society be resolved or influenced by Prayer. 

We have tracked around 85 separate area’s of society where there are specific prayer ministries each one has their own mailing list and prayer group, so it’s safe to say, this family of nations with all it’s problems is being constantly soaked in prayer.

In trying to reflect some of the social needs around the Nation, we wanted to very clearly deliver a ‘hands on’ type of conference that brought very accurate factual information from leaders operating within specific areas of social concern, whilst getting down to prayer and being an spiritual influence ourselves while we were there.

We invited twenty-two speakers, hoping that around twelve would be able to make the dates we had planned, and to our surprise everyone said they could make it !!  So we then set out to see if we could deliver sessions from all 22 speakers and what that might look like.

In the run up to the conference we also very much felt that 1 Peter 2:9 was a key verse for this time together :-

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

The premise being that we should stand up in our spiritual authority and be the people God has called us to be.

As the weekend of the conference approached and excitement of our time together really started to gel, and as the doors to the conference opened, everyone started to engage with all that was on offer.  It was very interesting to note that two of the lowest attended sessions of the conference were talking about the development of prayer in local area’s and the highest attended sessions included How to pray for Government, and teaching on Prayer.  We felt that also signalled a change in people’s hunger, or simply put the work behind developing new prayer networks was coming to an end.  The work now is what we could and should do with them.

Someone once said that if all the Christians voted together we would control the Government. 

Imagine if we all Prayed together, what that could achieve, our compassion for society increasing also to the point where social action becomes a fundamental outworking of our prayer times – wow!

We covered quite a bit of ground in the three days together, looking at the Theology of Prayer, Prayer in the Media and on Mission.  Prayer in the Voluntary Sector and within Evangelism.  We brought together wonderful examples of Transformation projects like Sporting Marvels and also reflected on contemplative prayer models inspired by St. Patrick in Ireland.

If we are to Impact the Nation for God, we need a joined up approach to our walk with God and our interaction with each other, who would also say they are on a similar walk.  We need to move from division and any form of negative criticism toward projects of inclusively and regional unity.  We are so pleased for example of the Hope ’08 initiative which brings together so many streams to work on showing love to area’s of pain within our Nation, whether that pain be as simple as loneliness or as complicated as drug abuse or abuse within the family.

What the conference demonstrated so wonderfully, is there are ministries operating in extremely diverse aspects of society and that it only takes one person to stand up and do something to make a difference. Most of the ministries represented started with just one, and many have grown to become international players in their own right.

So when all is said and done, to Impact a Nation, it only takes one.

Working together we pulled off three days that changed peoples lives.  When the Key Note speakers, Debra Green and Suzette Hattingh spoke, they spoke with such passion, people we visibly moved.  It was awesome to see how the Holy Spirit moved in and through these powerful women of God.

Next years conference is held on 4th – 6th October 2007 in our home city of Cardiff.  You can find out more information by visiting www.impactthenation.com where you can also get the 2006 Conference CD’s.

 

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