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First Prayer Summit Update

General, News & Prayer

Friends,

I attended three out of four of the inaugural Prayer Summit sessions yesterday, and they were the best hours of my day.

I can report combined attendance of about 120, when previously our monthly prayer meetings were averaging 20 in total attendance, and 30 on a really rare good day.

So that’s something like a 500 per cent improvement!

Anyone who was able to attend will tell you it was a joy and privilege. So encouraging to be with people of all ages, from across the backgrounds, to hear their prayers, and to add some hearty “Amens”!

I have two observations to share…

1. There’s an old say that “one swallow does not make a summer”. In other words, one good day of attendance at prayer meetings is not yet proof St Michael’s has turned the corner in regards to this priority.

So let’s make it a trend, not a statistical blip.

Two ways to do that. If you didn’t come, do everything you can to make it a priority next time. Don’t miss out.

And if you did come, make it a basic commitment, but part of something exceptional that you do. And see if you can invite personally someone else from church along next time to share the occasion, but who might not know what to expect.

2. Do not think that a bigger attendance means God is more likely to answer our prayers, let alone give into the temptation that somehow our efforts are what ‘twists God’s arm’.

Of course, it’s the other way around.

Two verses from our Bible reading yesterday were Philippians 2:12-13. V12 said to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”.

And prayer is part of that work of growing in gospel-based maturity and godliness. Colossians 4:12-13 reports that Epaphras was always “wrestling in prayer” for the Colossians maturity, which Paul then describes as his “working hard for you”. We are called to the work of prayer.

But we must not think of it as our achievement. As I said, it’s the other way around, for we work at living the saved life, because, Philippians 2:13 continues, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

That is, prayer changes us, not God. Instead, God has willed to include us in his plans, and has worked in advance that we might be prompted to pray. So he has woven our prayers into his plans. And I am very encouraged by how many he willed to respond this week. (Thank you to those who could not come but prayed in a concentrated way at home.)

The date of the next St Michael’s Prayer Summit is Wednesday 2 May. Why not put that in your diary now, if you have not already done so?

Sandy Grant
Senior Minister

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Corner of Church St and Market St Wollongong