St Paul wrote to the Colossian believers: ‘Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful’ (Col 4:2)
The north of England has been my home for most of my life. And now we’re settled in the historic capital of the north it feels like my northern roots are sinking yet deeper and growing much stronger. This is significant as it coincides with the an increasing longing felt by the leadership at St Michael le Belfrey that in 2010 we need to be praying for the transformation of the north.
In the south, there are lots of churches, organisations and individuals who are working and praying for spiritual and social transformation – but their focus and sphere of influence rarely spreads north of the Watford Gap, never mind the River Trent. In reality, their vision is mainly for the south, which raises the question: who is praying and working for transformation in the north? Who are the people and where are the organisations and churches with a passion for the north? As I survey the UK church, I see very few.
This is the challenge which we feel God is calling us to take up. Of course we need to partner with others. And of course it’s not all down to us. But someone needs to be taking a lead. Someone needs to be wearing holes in their trouser-knees as they cry out to God in prayer. And someone needs to be getting their hands dirty as they give of their time and energy and resources to see the north transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
That’s why yesterday at St Mike’s Roger Simpson and I shared across the day this vision of the transformation of the north. Praying for that is going to be our Number 1 focus in 2010, and we invite you to join us. To pray with us. To seek God together. For nothing of significance takes place without prayer.