'Once, as I rode out into the woods for my health, in 1737, having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been to walk for divine contemplation and prayer, I had a view, that for me was extraordinary, of the glory of the Son of God, as Mediator between God and man, and his wonderful, great, full, pure and sweet grace and love, and meek and gentle condescension' - Jonathan Edwards
Our Plant plan and budget was approved by the Holy Trinity Barnes PCC yesterday so thunderbirds are go!
A while ago I preached a sermon about prayer and quoted the principles from The Sacred Pathways and remember being absolutely amazed by how many people came to speak to me afterwards. I think people have a view that the Christian life is one than can solely be worked out sitting alone, probably early in the morning, reading a bible trying to pray intentionally and often unsuccessfully for five minutes at the end. Now, of course time in the 'secret place' is good but there was something very freeing that happened when I gave people permission to 'walk and pray'. I don't think it had crossed lots of people's minds that you can talk to, listen to and love God whilst on the move. Here are '9 reasons to pray with your feet'
Prayer (I think, hope and believe) has been crucial to my dream to plant a church. I have been walking and praying and walking, fishing and praying for many years (I am someone who walks in the water rather than 'Walking on the water' :) In recent months, we have as a team been pacing the land in prayer and this has even happened, at times, in the middle of the night. So do please feel duly encouraged/invited/commissioned to walk and pray the streets of Barnes (map provided but note Holy Trinity is not yet on it) and please walk wherever you are and pray for me and the plant and the dreams we are dreaming. Jon a Vicar pal of mine loves to do this and has prayed for me lots and loves to pace the streets of London in prayer.
The book Long wandering prayer tells the story of a defeated pastor who decided to shelve all his own efforts and programs and instead wandered and prayed and the impact was amazing not just in terms of fruitfulness for his church but also in the soul of the man who had decided to pray this way. As Hansen writes, ''Prayer comes to us from a people who spent the first thousand years of their existence living in tents'. And my loyal readers will know, once a year I spend a week with six others (The Men on Mountains) holding my life to account before them walking, climbing mountains, confessing, thanking and praying.
Mark Batterson is the author of 'In a pit with a lion on a snowy day (which I banged on about for months) and he has captured all this in his latest book The Circle Maker. So why not pace out your neighbourhood, your parish, your church plant that is not yet, your building you don't yet own, your community centre, your school, your workplace and dream a few dreams and pray a few prayers and then just see what happens.