My good friend Andy Henman has been rallying the Cambridge church with the termly Call To Prayer for a number of years now. The most major one was two years ago when Pete Greig joined us as we gathered at the iconic King’s College Chapel. (I speak as I was there, for I would have been if I could–but unfortunately I was in the middle of my DTS lecture phase at YWAM Harpenden, and so I was unable to make it.)
This Thursday we were hosted by the Great St. Mary’s and had the privilege of being joined by Jonathan Oloyede, a Nigerian convert from Islam, and the visionary catalyst of the National Day of Prayer. And a couple of hundred (my own very rough estimate) Christians from a broad range of churches came together to pray for the Kingdom of God to come on earth — and in our city — as it is in heaven. Leaders representing the full range of Cambridge evangelical churches led us in praying through the Beatitudes, before Jonathan reminded us that whatever our churchmanship, we are one body in Christ:
“We are divided by colour, by class, by culture, by creed. But we are united by the Cross of Christ!” [Tweet that.]
He then led the whole congregation in lifting up a roar of praise unto God: “You might think this is just a charismatic thing or a Pentecostal thing. But this is Biblical! In the Bible it says, in Psalm 47:1 it tells us to Clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy!“.
As well as the main Call To Prayer in the evening there was also a midday Church Leader’s Lunch at Histon Baptist Church, at which Jonathan shared a little about how he is involved with joining the dots between the different groups of praying Christians that God is raising up across Britain to pray in the coming revival. Our DTS had the privilege of being invited to this, church leaders though we aren’t, as help was needed setting up the lunch. And I was able to sit next to Jonathan and talk to him over lunch before he spoke. ‘So when did you first have the vision of praying in Wembley stadium?’ I asked, thinking I had read somewhere that it was about six years before the Wembley event. Turns out I was wrong–it was in 1992, twenty-two years before it happened. (So maybe I shouldn’t be frustrated that the vision for night and day prayer in Cambridge hasn’t already become reality!)
Later in the afternoon, before the main evening meeting, there was another bonus meeting–this time for the city’s intercessors. Again our DTS team was able to join. Jonathan spoke about unblocking the wells, apparently without any knowledge that we have prayed a lot along this theme. And from there he continued to encourage us that prayer was vital:
“If Jesus had not obtained the breakthrough in Gethsemane, he would not have won the victory at Golgotha!” [Tweet that.]
Wow! I think I still need to get my head around the implications of that idea, but it makes sense in terms of the gospel narrative, and it rings true in my spirit. So let’s start praying for breakthrough unto revival!