Ever wondered what it would be like to sing God’s praises in Italian, Hindi, Swahili, Lingala, Portuguese and English (of course!!) with a little Arabic, Korean and Spanish thrown in?
My friend, Philippa Robb, has written a helpful summary of how we can pray after the horrific fire just a mile from where we worship in Shepherd’s Bush. As Paul states in Romans 12, may we “weep with those who weep” and seek to “overcome evil with good”. And in it all, may the name of the Lord be praised!
Can we remember those who died in the very places they should have been at their safest.
Can we remember those who have lost family, friends and precious possessions. Many of those living in Grenfell House were from refugee or poor backgrounds who already were burdened with life’s big issues and now have the added burden of having to start again – some carrying immense grief in their hearts.
Can we pray for swift resolution for them – they need somewhere to live and they need to be given the option to stay in their community rather than being shifted to the outer reaches of far East London.
Can we remember the emergency services – the fire, police, doctors, nurses, social workers, support workers, religious leaders; that the Lord strengthens them all and provides them with deep wisdom as this situation unfolds.
Can we also pray for the newly-elected MP, for the local authority and for the landlord; that despite the difficult questions that will need to be answered and the heads that will inevitably roll, it is the community that benefits and not the skin that is saved at the community’s cost. That this tragedy is never repeated.
Can we pray for the organisations that have thrown open their doors to beleaguered residents. The churches, the mosques, the community centres and the Westway Sports Centre.
And finally, can we pray for the media and for calm. For calm on the streets; for the peace and the protection of London. We have so much to be thankful for. We have life. Let’s pray, let’s give thanks and let’s live each moment to the full.
I posted the following on Facebook after the recent terrorist attack here in London. It obviously struck a cord as it was shared many, many times.
Here’s the statement from the Muslim Council of Britain in regards to last night’s attack. Christians need to stand together as co-belligerents with our Muslim friends to work against terror in order to make London better for all.
What is a “co-belligerent”? Francis Schaeffer states it well: “A co-belligerent is a person with whom I do not agree on all sorts of vital issues, but who, for whatever reasons of their own is on the same side in a fight for some specific issue of public justice.”
Sometimes, I’ve had people ask me “What do you do all day? Don’t pastors just work one day a week?”
My work as the pastor of New City Church is involves a variety of activities which vary day to day. Private prayer & study, preaching & teaching, meetings & talking to people one-on-one, as well as administration & various other tasks (Who’s going to change that lightbulb?)
Yesterday was a good long day which provides a snapshot of my work. Although my days are not normally this long, it was a day which touched many of my responsibilities.
7am – Drove a Korean-American university student, who had been staying at our flat, to Hammersmith in order for her to catch the tube to Heathrow
8am – Read (Confessing the Faith by Chad Van Dixhoorn, Brothers we are Not Professionals by John Piper, and The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller)
9:15am – Attended the New City staff prayer meeting
10:15am – Met with two men (Marcus and Oong) who are growing in leadership at New City. We discussed Marcus’ upcoming sermon from Genesis 16 and verbally worked through a few theological questions
12pm – Lunch with a young Iraqi from New City who’s preparing to fly to Sweden to visit his family
1:30pm – Nap for 20 min (Got to squeeze in my nap!!)
2:30pm – Josephine and I met with someone who’s struggling
3:30pm – Joined “Open Church” during which I had extended conversations with an Irish man who’s nephew had recently died, a young teen I hadn’t seen in a year, and a homeless man who writes poetry. During this time, I stepped aside for a 20 minute phone call with a former New City apprentice who’s now in seminary
5pm – Closed “Open Church” in prayer, had a short conversation about a toilet without a working light and walked home in the rain
6pm – Hoovered the flat, took out rubbish and helped with a few other items as Josephine was cooking
7pm – A young couple arrived for dinner. She’s from New City, while he’s from another London church. They’ve recently started dating and this was the first time Josephine and I were able to have long conversations with the two of them together
12:30am – Couple left
I’m tired just reading that. But thankfully the day before was a quiet day with no meetings!