Being Positioned For a Move of God (part 2)

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Last month I wrote about all that we have felt the Lord is doing in the nation and the nations (you can read about it here). As a staff team here at the house of prayer we have felt an increasing sense that the Lord is looking for His people to respond to Him and position themselves well so that we can fully participate in all that He has planned. We have felt this with increasing urgency over the last month and as a result have made the radical decision to completely shift our schedule for the next few months.

We believe this is a critical time for the church, a time where we must be willing to stop what we are used to doing and commit to listening to Him and making room for Holy Spirit all while focusing on intimacy with Him and responding to His worth. As such we have decided, until Christmas, to stop all that we are used to doing and simply commit to meet, to worship and to pray; with no rotas, no models and no agenda, other than to exalt Him and pursue Him. For us this is a radical step of faith and obedience. Every prayer meeting we have run for the last eight years has had a structure, a focus and we have worked from a model and whilst none of those things are bad or even wrong we felt challenged for this season to lay aside those things and go after the one thing.

So, from now until Christmas our schedule will look like:

Monday Nights
@ 295 Hollyhedge Road, SK8 4HH

5.30pm - Community Meal. We’ll provide the food, you bring yourself
6pm-10pm - Worship and prayer

Wednesday Daytime
@ 295 Hollyhedge Road, SK8 4HH

9am-1pm - Worship and Prayer
2pm-3pm - Meditation/Teaching

All our prayer and worship times will continue to be “drop in” style, so you can come and go and stay as long as you like.

It’s hard to put into words all that we hear the Lord saying to us and all we are believing for, so if you have any questions please do drop us an email at admin@mhop.org.uk or come join us and ask us over a coffee! We hope that you are equally stirred by what the Lord is doing and would encourage you to join us on this journey! He is worth it!!

Being positioned for a move of God

There is a stirring of the Spirit in our nation and the nations which is both exciting and demands our attention.  Over the 8 year history of MHOP we have seen first hand the explosion of the prayer and worship movement in the earth and watched as God has answered the prayers of the saints for the region, nation and nations. We are hearing stories of people being drawn to churches and giving their lives to Jesus, healings and miracles happening, and people experiencing the liberating Spirit of God.  Jesus told us to be aware of the times and seasons and our heart at the house of prayer, as watchmen for the region and nation, is to see what is happening and discern how we respond.

The Lord has been speaking to many organisations and churches about preparing for s new move of God.  For some it looks like laying things down in preparation for something new (Jn 12:24), for others it looks like a course correction.  

At IHOPKC they have heard the Lord calling them to make significant changes, specifically with regards to their annual Onething conference.  You can read what Mike Bickle has to say about it here. Having spent a few days with leaders of houses of prayer in the UK it seems there is a growing sense that it is no long time for "business as usual" and we must respond to both the growing crisis but also the growing move of the Spirit.

Michael & Becci Ball, who lead our house of prayer have felt stirred and prompted by the Lord to go to this years Onething conference and participate in the Leadership Summit (the last one to be held in KC) and we want to invite you to partner with them as they raise the fund to go. 

We really believe that God has something new and significant for our city, region and nation and believe that sending Michael & Becci to Onething this year will form a valuable part in positioning our house of prayer to fully participate in all that God has for us. They are looking to raise between £1,500 - £2,000 and we see this as an opportunity to invest in the both the house of prayer and the church in the region.   If you would like to, you can give to them at give.net/onething18. Also, UK tax payers will be able to give gift aid, helping your gift go further.

We appreciate you all for your interest and involvement in the house of prayer and look forward to furthering the kingdom together!

Childlike Faith

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Until recently, the thought of praying with children just didn’t cross my mind.  I remember laughing at a prophetic word given to me many years ago about working with children in the house of prayer.  I just didn’t have an imagination for what a positively engaged child at church was… I certainly didn’t recall my own childhood at church being an image of saintliness.  But for three years now we’ve been gathering families for prayer, young children and all, and my wrestling with God’s heart for the family has affected more than my confidence around children.  It’s challenged some of the values I carry into my own prayer. 

Unless you turn, and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
— Mt 18:3

Jesus isn’t inviting you to stomp your feet and have a tantrum.  Jesus is challenging your values and inviting you to be familiar enough with children to be challenged by them.  In an age where childhood carries so many unprecedented pressures created by our very much adult world, Jesus’ words only carry a greater emphasis.  We need to have a different perspective.  Repent! 

So much of how we value our own participation in prayer is about our understanding.  We want to be able to concentrate and not be distracted, whether that’s at church or at home.  What we want from our children is to pay attention and engage at the level of their understanding.  But Jesus challenges us with this radical call to simplicity.  Don’t hide behind clever ways of saying things that hide the true depth of His call, which is simple and direct.  As we spend time with children we’re challenged not to rest on our own understanding and to let our prayer be simple.  

There’s a wonderful quote from a child psychologist who summarises:  “There is no significant learning without significant relationships”.  Children always live in reference to others, their weakness requires it.  Children confront us with the truth that what is really personal is often more relational than individual.  Children’s prayer is always first prayer together, but adults find it more difficult to pray together than children do.  As we spend time with children in prayer we’re challenged for our prayer to be shaped in relationship with others. 

Children do everything whole-heartedly.  Unless they see others whole-heartedly engaged in prayer then prayer will always seem a bit put on.  Our prayer with children has to be real if we want our children to really pray!  The uncomfortable reality is that we’re often incapable of keeping our own hearts engaged.  That poverty of heart belongs to the nature of prayer.  Indeed, how blessed are the poor in heart - for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Children confront us with the reality that our own participation in prayer isn’t usually what we would want it to be. 

Gathering together in prayer with other families is a great opportunity to grow in familiarity with what your prayer together can look like.  When we gather families in the House of Prayer we always keep children and parents together.  Our prayers are simple, always rooted in His word – so they always have substance.  It’s only by spending time together in prayer in His word that children start to grasp the value of prayer for themselves.  But it’s also only by spending time together in prayer in his word that we start to grasp the value of prayer for ourselves too! 

How will you accept the challenge to let your prayer become more real? How will you become more like a child in your prayer today? 


Pieter Hermans

Pieter is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer. With a heart to see families grow in prayer together, he brings leadership to our Family Prayerwatch. He also serves in the prayer room as a worship leader, singer and prayer leader. 

August Update 2018

Hello!

It's August! The sun is still with us (mostly) and whilst we enjoy the summer it's also a time of preparation for the new term.

NO PRAYERWATCHES IN AUGUST

Over the month of August we will not be holding any of our usual prayerwatches of community meetings. We will be back with our full schedule from Monday 3rd September.  We'll see you there!

We will be meeting in a smaller setting to discuss and pray for the house of prayer.  If you are interested in find out more about these meetings then get in touch.

We hope you have a great August and are praying God's richest blessing over you, that He would refresh you and re-envision you!

History or Mystery

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Put simply, which is the only way I can digest history, The English Civil War came about because King Charles 1 took idolatry to it's pinnacle, living and proclaiming that he alone heard, spoke and acted for God. Like many kings of the Old Testament ''he did what was evil in the Lord's sight'' 2 Kings 15-24. Against this oppressive rule the Parliamentarians defended themselves and much blood was shed across the land. In his book on the Lancashire leader John Bradshawe, 'God's Battleaxe', Richard Lee Bradshaw reminds us that in Manchester  ''on the afternoon of July 5th 1642 the first blood of the English Civil War was shed.'' Two years later Bolton, the closest market town to the ancient Bradshaw manor, fell and 1200 Bolton defenders and four ministers were put to the sword. ''Farms and manors in the neighbourhood were devastated.''  

That is history but what of God's mystery?

My research is incomplete but might it be possible that some of those farmlands soaked in blood under the rule of an idolatrous dictator were situated out across the moors above Bolton, the very lands currently in danger of being devastated again, this time by unprecedented fires.

But in His mercy and through His redemptive Love, I wonder, is the Lord revealing something of His mysterious ways?

God loves all that He created. The land is very important to the Lord. It can speak to us of his character and nature if we will look and listen from His perspective. God cares about the land and as we line up our hearts and understanding with His, the land which is precious to Him becomes part of our inheritance and blessing. What we do on the land and how we care for it matters to God.

While he was King, Charles 1 was in a covenant with God to protect,nurture,develop, rule and sustain God's dominion over the land through His people. In his humanity the King violated and broke that covenant and shed the blood of those created in God's image across God's land. The spiritual outworking of his human pride and lust for power, wealth and control was to bring defilement through murder and oppression onto the land. This defilement sank deep into it's roots. (Numbers 35:33-34). 

In the shedding of Christ's blood and his death on the cross, the  resurrection and the releasing of the Holy Spirit's power, God has demonstrated His desire to restore and renew all that has been defiled or died through man's self government and self justification and to bring new,true life. The healing of land is intimately connected with the healing of people in relationship to God and the power of the cross is sufficient to cleanse not only the human heart but also the land on which we walk, if we will walk with Him.

... if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong
— 1 John 1:9
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.
— 2 Chr 7: 14

He gives us the power to walk with Him through the presence of the Holy Spirit, who is frequently depicted in scripture as Fire and Wind.

Might it be that the moorland fires are the most encouraging sign and symbol of God's faithfulness and His presence with us that we could possibly be shown. He has heard the repentant heart prayers of his people and in a merciful and loving response is pouring out His Spirit by Fire, redeeming and cleansing the defiled roots of our land.

It is a deep mystery but God alone can fully redeem our history and give us new life.

For further reading I recommend ''Releasing Heaven on Earth'' Alistair Petrie.


Sara Hailwood

Sara is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer.  Her desire is see the church in Manchester walking in unity and to see every believer experiencing deeper intimacy with Jesus.  Sara helps shape and lead our Life Prayerwatch.  She also serves in the prayer room as a singer and a prayer leader. 

July Update 2018

Hello!

We hope you've all been soaking up the sun while it lasts! We certainly have been making the most of it by occasionally holding our Family Prayerwatches outside.

June was a busy month as we prepared for our Sessions event with Barnabus. We had a great night hearing from Neil about the work that Barnabus do and God's heart for the homeless and then being able to respond in prayer. If you missed it, don't worry you can watch it here.

Coming up this month we have our Interest Night (Fri, 13th July), which will be an opportunity to find out more about what the house of prayer is all about and chat with some of the staff team. We'd love to see you there!

More details at mhop.org.uk/interest-night

Our Meditation Verse for this coming month is Revelation 8:3-4,
 

"Then another angel, having a golden Censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand.

This will be our verse for our meditation groups as well as for each Worship with the Word this month.   To help you focus over the course of the month we've created wallpaper images for phones, tablets and computer desktops. You can download them now from our website here.  We make a new one each month, so make sure you check them out!

 
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Don't forget, our Prayer Room is open each Monday from 6-10pm for our prayerwatches and each Wednesday from 9am-1pm.  

We have our final Family Prayer of this term coming up this coming Monday 9th July this time at Michael and Becci's house for a party. We will be celebrating how amazing the kids have been this past year and how hard they have worked at planning for prayer leading and practising their instruments to be on the worship teams. 

As always, we can't wait to see you soon!


KEY DATES FOR JULY


Wednesday 4th, 2pm - Meditation Group
Friday 6th, 7:30pm - Meditation Group
Monday 9th, 4:30 - Family Prayer Party
Wednesday 11th, 2pm - Sessions Teaching
Friday 13th, 7:30pm - Interest Night
Wednesday 18th, 2pm - Meditation Group
Wednesday 25th, 2pm - Sessions Teaching


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Michael and Becci have an exciting new project they have been working on for a little while. "Tracks" is a new series of audio recordings, captured live in the prayer room and elsewhere. Each one will be a spontaneous moment of worship starting withe this one 'Find me Waiting' recorded at MHOP last month. We hope you enjoy! 

To listen to the whole track click here!


Psalm 1 encourages us to meditate on His word night and day and our Meditation Groups give opportunity do this with others and be strengthen and built up as we encounter God through His word.

We would love for you to join us at our next Sessions.  Sessions are hour long times of informal teaching, focusing on topics such as intimacy with God, a lifestyle of prayer or the urgency of the hour.

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MHOP is a charity.  We rely on our members, regular attenders and others who love our vision, whose giving enables us to do all that the Lord calls us to do.

May Update 2018

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April saw the end of our Internship which has been an incredible 6 months.  It's been great to have Mark, Peter and Enyo strengthening the house of prayer in this season and we're really looking forward to all that Enyo will bring to us moving forward a she joins the staff team.  If you're interested in joining us on our next Internship in September then head to mhop.org.uk/internship to find out more and to apply!

Our Meditation Verse for this coming month is:

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
— 1 Peter 2:9

This will be our verse for our meditation groups as well as for each Worship with the Word this month.   

Don't forget, our Prayer Room is open each Monday from 4.30pm for Family Prayer and then from 6-10pm for our prayerwatches and each Wednesday from 9am-1pm.  

As always, we can't wait to see you soon!


KEY DATES FOR MAY

Friday 4th, 7.30pm - Meditation Group
Monday 7th - No Prayer Room (Bank Holiday)
Wednesday 9th, 2pm - Meditation Group
Sunday 13th, 6pm - Life Prayer
Wednesday 16th, 2pm - Sessions Teaching
Saturday 19th, 6pm - Community Meal
Wednesday 23rd, 2pm - Meditation Group
Monday 28th - No Prayer Room (Bank Holiday)
Wednesday 30th, 2pm - Session Teaching


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Psalm 1 encourages us to meditate on His word night and day and our Meditation Groups give opportunity do this with others and be strengthen and built up as we encounter God through His word.

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We want to see families praying and worshiping together and we want it to be fun!  Join us Mondays from 4.30pm from worship and prayer led by different families each week!

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Each month we come to gather for a bring and share meal.  It's open to anyone, whether you're a regular in the prayer room or are interested in who we are and what we do!

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Every other month we meet to pray for life issues in our nation (such as abortion and euthanasia) as well as for the work of Image pregnancy counselling service, here in Manchester.

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We would love for you to join us at our next Sessions.  Sessions are hour long times of informal teaching, focusing on topics such as intimacy with God, a lifestyle of prayer or the urgency of the hour.

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MHOP is a charity.  We rely on our members, regular attenders and others who love our vision, whose giving enables us to do all that the Lord calls us to do.

February Update 2018

Hello!

January has been and gone and was full of precious moments of encounter and powerful times of intercession for topics such as the church in Manchester, justice for the poor, the media and more.  We are really looking forward to seeing how God leads us to pray over the next month!

We continue to work through Psalm 23 as a house of prayer, having taken a break in December.  This month we'll be focused on verse 5,

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.

This will be our verse for our meditation groups as well as for each Worship with the Word this month.   

Don't forget, our Prayer Room is open each Monday from 4.30pm for Family Prayer and then from 6-10pm for our prayerwatches and each Wednesday from 9am-1pm.  

As always, we can't wait to see you soon!


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Our next Meditation Group is tomorrow,  Friday 2nd February.  As usual it's 7.30pm at Michael and Becci's house. We also have Meditation Groups on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm on the 7th and 28th.  Let us know if you are coming!


Full details at mhop.org.uk/meditation-groups

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Our Community Meal is coming up on Saturday 17th February.  This is a bring and share and everyone is welcome! It's at Michael and Becci's from 6pm and then we'll worship together later on.

Full details at mhop.org.uk/community-meal

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The Freedom Sessions is an evening of worship and prayer for justice.  We are excited to be joined by Esther Swaffield from IJM who will share about the work of IJM and how we can pray effectively for God's justice to be released across the earth.
 

Full details at
mhop.org.uk/freedom-sessions

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MHOP is a charity.  We rely on our members, regular attenders and others who love our vision, whose giving enables us to do all that the Lord calls us to do.

 

BECOME A MONTHLY PARTNER



Following the release of their debut single in January, Michael & Becci have released a lyric video for Sing Over Me you can watch on Youtube.

Check it out!

Rejoice… the Lord is at hand!

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I come from a church tradition that follows keeps a season of Advent before Christmas.  For me, the changing of seasons is always an opportunity to get back to the heart of things we easily fall into a routine with.  Advent in particular is one of my favourite seasons because it’s such a rich and privileged season of prayer.  That said, it’s also a very easy time of year to do anything but pray!  There’s so much to do - so much good to do!  Family, Charity, Generosity, Outreach, Traditions… With so many pressures on our attention, our time, our money and our energy, it’s easy to loose sight of the heart.  Even our prayers, and those traditions that are intended to enlighten our prayer, can become something we just do.  So it’s important to ask why…

Rejoice in the Lord always… The Lord is at hand.
— Phillipians 4:4-5

Jesus is coming - and I don’t just mean that He was incarnate as a man in the year 0 for some 33 years.  Jesus is alive today, and He’s got a plan to come back.  We find it easy to forget that Jesus spoke clearly about His coming again.  We find this truth throughout the new testament writings – Jesus is coming back immanently.  The Lord is at hand.  Do we even believe that?  Is it important? Does it demand a response from us?  


We often complain about secularism in the world, but we’re less quick to see it in our own lives.  It’s easy to find ourselves believing the immediate demands of the day more than the eternal truths of the gospel.  Don’t we?  I honestly don’t think it’s a big problem for us to feel like we should pray more.  I’ve found that the more we pray the more we feel the need to pray… so I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty.  But I do think it’s worth checking whether the little prayer we do get round to doing is getting more secular by the year or if it still carries the marks of an authentic encounter and relationship with God! 


Is it possible to prayer to be secular?  Surely we wouldn’t pray if we lost sight of the God that we’re praying to?  Really?!  Here are some confessions of my part.  Sometimes my prayer can be really functional – I’m not actually concerned about God except that I get to the end of the day.  My prayer can be focused on my own plans and the ways I think my plans should work out.  My prayer can be focused on justifying myself…  Sometimes even my corporate prayer can be more to persuade those people I’m praying with than to actually ask anything from the Lord!  Prayer meetings can be more about exhortation than intercession.  My prayers can be about developing my own virtues or discipline.  At times I’m more satisfied with my poverty than I am desperate for God that I never quite move on from confessing my need for Him to actually asking from Him the things on His heart.  Sure, at least I’m still praying and at least I’m actually talking to God.  But when my prayer gets like this it gets exhausting!  It’s a relationship I’m hardly keen to invest my time in & it’s an encounter that isn’t joyous.  But God wants our prayer to be enjoyable.

 
There’s a prayer that I’ve really started to enjoy.  “Maranatha”, “Come Lord Jesus”.  Asking for Jesus to come back is so far removed from our own plans, our own understanding, our own strength, that it does something to our hearts to take any time at all to ask it of the Lord.  It begins to offer perspective, not just rationally, but in wonder.  That’s the best preparation of our heart to encounter the familiar again and again without loosing heart.  Wonder before the mystery of the person of Jesus Christ.  Not just a story, or not even just history… a Man who today stands in heaven interceding and singing over us, and whose heart burns with passion for the day of His return.  As we catch a sight of Him again we guard our hearts and minds from the pernicious tendency to become secular, worldly or just bogged down with the immediate.  
 
At home, we’re looking at which traditions to pass on to our children.  How do we leave space in our traditions, whether at home or at church, for a fresh revelation of God Himself?  How do we make the most of this season to break out of our worldliness and go after the heart again?  God wants you to enjoy Him.  He’s after your heart, and He’s coming for your heart.  Rejoice - He’s at hand.


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Pieter is on staff as an intercessory missionary at Manchester House of Prayer. With a heart to see families grow in prayer together, he is developing our Family Prayerwatch. He also serves in the prayer room as a worship leader, singer and prayer leader.