In a just two weeks time we’ll be hosting a prayer weekend for our church plant. We have two aims: to pray for our city and to pray for our church plant. As part of that weekend we’ll be doing a series of prayer walks and we’ll be posting some of those walks here on the blog. Here is one recent account of prayer walking around the city from one of our team – it was a a month or two ago as there’s no ice now!
“For the first prayer walk I wanted to start with the royal palace and the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament building. As I took the Tunnel-bana to Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm I asked God for a scripture for the walk. Immediately John 3:16 came to mind so I read 3:1 – 16. What struck me was how Jesus described the work of the Holy Spirit as a wind with no one knowing where the Spirit came from or where he went, but the result was new birth. One of my early impressions of life in Sweden is how little spiritual awareness there is – very few notice the wind of the Spirit. But God has said that He loves Sweden so much he gave his only Son that whoever believes in Him will be saved. It felt a very definite promise for Stockholm/Sweden at the start of the prayer walks.
Standing on the bridge across to the royal palace I was again delighted by the beauty of Stockholm on a bright, sunny, fresh morning as I watched ducks and swans circling by the feeding station while small blocks of ice floated down the river to the Baltic. The royal standard on the palace was flying merrily in the wind! So here I was, not quite sure what to do, but enjoying the moment. I walked over to the royal palace, admired the soldier on guard duty outside an entrance door, then headed to the Riksdag where it is possible to walk round the outside of some of it. After that I headed back by the steps in Lejonbacken to the palace main entrance, then past Storkyrkan, the royal chapel and a parish church. At that point I felt it was done for this time and headed down to Gamla Stan T-bana station and home.
What can I say to describe my feelings and thoughts? For the whole walk I had a clear sense of His presence and pleasure, and also a sense that Stockholm is waiting, the ground is ready to be taken. We are kingdom carriers and wherever we go, we bring His presence. I came home with a sense of excitement, anticipation and something like His satisfaction in a good start for our prayer walks.”
Church planting is all about engaging with people, meeting them, talking with them, listening to their stories and engaging with their lives and asking God to come and meet them too. We’re constantly on the look out for opportunities to share the reasons for the hope we have and to demonstrate the love of God for lost and hurting people. Praying for people who are ill or hurting is a great way of showing the love of God and the reality of God. Here’s a recent story from one of our members Kate:
“I recently had the chance to pray with one of my teachers and one of my friends while at my Swedish class. My teacher had hurt her back on and she thought she had a broken rib. She had been off school the previous day and was moving awkwardly. Just before the break, at the end of our practice writing test, she was telling us about it. So during the break I spoke with her in the corridor and I told here that I had seen backs healed and broken bones mended, that God still heals today and so then I offered to pray for her. She asked how long it would take, where would we go, what did she have to do.