The church in York and the North is being called back to prayer. Because nothing of lasting significance happens without prayer.

At The Belfrey we’ve recently had inspiring Sunday teaching on prayer from Rachel Hickson and James Fletcher. Catch up online if you missed them. Last month I also spoke on prayer, calling us to pray for revival in the North inspired by the prayer of Isaiah 64. I summarised the chapter in 4 phrases:

  • On Earth as in Heaven!

‘Rend the heavens and come down’ (64:1) was Isaiah’s passionate prayer. It’s just like Jesus telling us to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth as in heaven, which is basic yet crucial to prayer.

  • Do it Again!

Like Isaiah we can look back in history and see times when God has done amazing things. In prayer we can ask him to do it again.

  • We need you!

Without God breaking in, we only have the best of human efforts. Our sincere cry for the Lord to intervene touches the heart of God.

  • Will you?

Isaiah’s prayer interestingly ends with a question. He is full of hope and yet not 100% certain how or when God will respond. This is often how it feels when we pray. We’re not always full of faith. And yet we keep going, crying out to the Lord and humbly praying simple prayers from a hungry heart.

We can pray like this because we have a God who is near, not far away. A God who is kind, not cruel. A God who receives rather than rejects our prayers.

I said in September that this is a season not to be sitting back but to be stepping up our prayers. Rachel Hickson said something very similar a couple of weeks ago: that now is the time to pray; it’s not a good time to give up but rather to press on in prayer.

So what are we going to do? Will we pray, like Isaiah? Will we get on our knees each day and cry out to God to come in power again to our city and region? Will we commit to gathering regularly with others to pray for these things?

Are we prioritising prayer?