The Church that I lead is the Woodbank Community Church on Woodhouse Road in Whitehaven. This week we are praying for Greenbank Avenue and Gameriggs Road, part of our ongoing plan to pray for every road in Woodhouse and Greenbank.
What we do
Every couple of months we choose one and drop flyers into every house, telling them that we are going to pray for them.
Then we go to each home and ask those in, what they want us to pray about. A full list of these prayers is given to each of our members, to pray about in the week. To protect people’s identities, we only put the first letter of their Christian names in front of their prayer need. My name being John would be written ‘J’. I’m sure God knows who we are talking about.
It is a real privilege to take people’s requests to the God who answers prayer. Now we are a Church that is used to knocking on doors. For the last three Christmases we have delivered boxes of chocolates to local streets as early Christmas presents. But going to ask people what we can pray for them has been a real pleasure.
The response has been a mixture of bewilderment and thanks with very few refusals. The fact that we also put it on our Facebook page means some are ready for us when we arrive.
But I think it is going to take years to cover the whole area, if we ever do. New homes are being built around us as we look.
So why are we praying for our streets?
Because we believe that God is interested in all of us and the lives we live. He is not some benevolent grandpa in the sky, but the creator God who cares about us, is listening and wants to get involved with everyone. A lot of people ask me to pray for them because they think that as a ‘religious leader’, God will listen to me.
The truth is that God listens to us all; we are all special to him.
So as we are praying for Greenbank Avenue and Gameriggs Road this week, why not talk to God yourself about the needs you have. You could add those of your family, friends and neighbours as well. Let’s get West Cumbrians well known in heaven as those who talk to God about things that are important to us. You never know, the angels may get used to the accent.
I was lucky enough this week to hear about the work that the Holy Spirit is doing among the Pashtun people of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Those who convert from Islam to Christianity do so in the face of severe persecution. Labelled apostates by the Taliban their lives are forfeit, and they often have to leave behind family, communities and possessions. Martyrdom is a daily reality, and yet God is moving powerfully among them.
There are 49 million Pashtuns in the world (30 million are in Pakistan), yet they are one of the most unreached people groups for the gospel. In their culture to be Pashtun is to be Muslim, so choosing to accept Jesus means breaking this connection. However over the last decade thousands have been called out of Islam into the truth. Even among the Taliban God has been bringing some into the light.
And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. – Rev 12 v 11
For the moment this all has to be done secretly, becoming a Christian means you are no longer safe where you are. They have to be moved to other parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan, or into Iran. Any property they have has to be left, taking what they can carry they become refugees overnight.
Mountain Spring Ministries is a Pashtun led organisation that is supporting, training and encouraging Christians and seekers among the Pashtun.
They have asked for the following to be prayed for
- Team safety and wisdom
- Protection for the coordinator as he travels in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran
- Strength and comfort for the believers
- What to do about the believer’s children, who will miss out on schooling as they flee.
- The wives and children of those who have been martyred, and are left destitute.
- Protection for those Muslims who are seeking the truth, our speaker said they had 700 contacts who are on this journey.
- Mountain Springs run 2 safe houses for Christians and their families who are on the run for their lives
- They also provide training and communications equipment (mobile phones) for leaders in the area.
- As illiteracy is high among the Pashtun, one to one and audio materials need to be used to disciple Christians.