It was like a spring day when we had our HOTS session at St Martin’s. We even enjoyed the sun warming our faces at times. The Market place was busy and there were lots of people from all faith, culture, social and economic backgrounds.
I guess it was just like this when Jesus sent his disciples to go out and make disciples of all nations. We do not need to go out very far at St Martin’s to do that. It seems that ‘all nations and faiths’ have come to our doorsteps, and this seemed especially true on that Saturday. Having all nations and faiths around us is good but it can create a sense of confusion.
Before we went outside to pray, Digby, one of our team members, told us of this incident:
“I happened to be walking through a field of sheep when they all gathered together and came to within a few yards of me. They must have thought I was the farmer. I then started talking to them, but as soon as they heard my voice they all ran away. It reminded me about the words of Jesus in John 10: ’I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me’. I’d taken these words for granted, but seeing those sheep run away from me reminded me how true this is for us – that Jesus the Good Shepherd knows us, and we can know him. I happened also to be doing a painting of a shepherd for a gentleman who loves sheep at the time so I think it was a bit of a God moment for me.”
How important and vital it is when we are in the midst of so many other voices to hear and recognise our Shepherd’s voice and follow him and not anyone else’s. It is not easy to stand in the middle of confusion. Our reaction (or mine) is to run away, but God calls us to be salt and light in that situation.
We need to learn to recognise our Shepherd’s voice. Hear what the he is saying and pray His words in the situation. I am glad we all meet to pray together and hear God before we go out on the streets and before we start giving out leaflets and inviting them to sit on the chairs. Without this we will indeed be amongst confusion and we will be unable to recognise our Shepherd’s voice.
These are some of the prayer requests we had:
- Prayer by proxy – wife with Lupus
- Someone came to give thanks as daughter was prayed by proxy and experience healing.
- Prayer for a family by proxy – Mother to have peace and be lifted of confusion. Daughter to be free from sickness and oppression.
- A man seeking asylum in UK. He has a wife and child who also love God.
- A number of folks with physical pain, illnesses arthritis, blood related idleness and cancer. Also folks suffering from addicting, rejection and lack of forgiveness.
- A young girl from a Buddhist background came up for prayer. At first she was not so sure if this is what she wanted. As she sat on the chair we could sense the Holy Spirit’s prompt in her life. We prayed she would have a revelation of Jesus. We prayed for God’s blessings and guidance in her life. When she left her face was beaming. (Is this what happens when people are touched by Jesus?)
When I hear so many prayer requests as the ones above, I can only but just begin to understand why Jesus sent out this disciples to go out and preach the Gospel, saying ‘the Kingdom of God is near, heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.’ (Matthew 10: 7)