Rejoice… the Lord is at hand!


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.

Such Is His Gracious Will...


Developing our Family Prayer has been a challenge and an adventure. In many ways its enriching my own worship and prayer. Week by week, as we take God at His word and pray it back to Him, I’m challenged not to rest on my own understanding. I love being surprised by the simple but deeply meaningful things that come from the mouths of our children when they pray His word!

Father, I thank you that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and have revealed them to little children; for such is Your gracious will.
— Matthew 11:25-26

At the very foundation of our prayer is God’s revelation of Himself and the plans of His heart. As valuable as our study of God certainly is, it’s our devotion that God looks for. Thomas of Aquinas famously said that all his theology was as straw compared to what God had shown him. His heart was gripped by revelation, far beyond his academic passion for God.

It’s our good Father’s gracious will to reveal Himself to our children. Who really knows the Father except the Son? Who really loves Him and asks of Him - freely and boldly - but His Son? Which child does not understand the lesson: if your father on earth knows how to give you good things when you ask, how much more will your Father in heaven!

When it comes to prayer, there is a hidden treasure in our children that we could easily overlook. It is more natural for them to know a Father than to know theology, so we should give them at least as many opportunities to encounter Him as to learn about Him. Nothing draws our hearts to prayer more than the revelation of God.

As we pray His word back to Him, using apostolic prayers, we keep ourselves rooted in who He says He is and what He says He’ll do. At our Family Prayerwatch, our children use apostolic prayers in their own words because it’s not about understanding God better, it’s about trusting Him more. 

As you spend time in His word today, why not ask Him to reveal Himself to you in a new way, as though through the eyes of a child?  

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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.

Exciting new things coming up at MHOP


Hello Friends!

As we build the house of prayer here in Manchester we are increasingly aware of how vitally important it is that we are continually going deeper in our love and knowledge of God.  Intimacy with Him is the fuel that drives the intentional Christian life and one of the primary ways we can do that is by feeding on His word.  

This is why we're excited to let you know about our new regular Sessions teachings and Meditation Group, taking place alternate Wednesday afternoons.

Sessions is an opportunity to hear teaching and join discussions on some of the key messages within MHOP.  

In our new Meditation Group we will continue to meditate on the monthly verse, giving more opportunities to encounter God is His word, grow in our relationship with Him as He speaks to us and encourage each other as we share what He is saying.

You're invited!  Join us from 2-3pm each Wednesday at Michael and Becci's starting THIS Wednesday with Sessions, next week for Meditation and then on rotation from there.

November Update

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November starts tomorrow, this year is moving along quickly!

We started our first Internship in October and we're really excited to see all that will come as these three interns press into all the Lord has for them and give themselves in this season to building the house of prayer.  Please be praying for Enyo, Mark and Peter!  

We continue to work through Psalm 23 as a house of prayer and this month we'll be focused on verse 3,

"He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake."

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 this week, Friday 3rd November.  As usual it's 7.30pm at Michael and Becci's house. Let us know if you are coming!

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Our Community Meal is coming up on Saturday 18th November.  This is a bring and share affair and a great chance to get to know each other. It's at Michael and Becci's from 6pm and then we'll worship together later on.

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We love seeing families equipped to pray together! Join us in the Prayer Room every Monday from 4.30pm for our Family Prayerwatches and Family Devotionals. 


We have a big vision to see a permanent place of worship and prayer in the city of Manchester. We are about 10% financed to be able to take the next step to seeing this become a reality.  We invite you to partner with us.

Introducing Mark!

Last but not least we want to introduce you to Mark!  We are so looking forward to having him pour into the life of MHOP.

"Hi, I'm Mark Taylor, I live in Sheffield and I'm part of Burn 24 7 in our city. I'm starting the internship in October at MHOP and I'm excited to come and support and also learn about the prayer room.

I'm looking forward to hearing from God's heart for Manchester, experience prayer leading, songwriting and journey with you in prayer to our Father to build His kingdom purposes."


If you are interested in supporting Mark financially as he serves in his community in Sheffield and here with us in Manchester you can reach him at

Over the next 6 months, Enyo, Peter and Mark, as interns in the house of prayer will be serving in various roles as well receiving teaching and practical training in every aspect of the house of prayer.  We can't wait to get started!

If you are interested in finding out more about Internships at MHOP then please get in touch here.