Passing on the baton – December 2014

A message from Jean Black

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Since taking over responsibility for leading Pray for Scotland, at the start of each year I have asked the Lord for fresh direction for the ministry, and especially if I should continue in the role of Director.

At the start of 2014 I felt the Lord say that it was time to hand over the Director’s responsibilities, and that this should happen by the end of the year. I told the Pray for Scotland Trustees in the Spring and we began to pray about the future. The first question we had to decide was if there was still a role for Pray for Scotland in the nation, and we soon felt God’s confirmation that there was.

Given the momentous events that were about to happen over the summer, we agreed that we should take our time over any transition and that this should be finalised later in the year, after the Referendum. During the year there was so much taking place it was not possible for me to be involved in everything and in PfS we agreed that I would focus on all the prayer surrounding the Commonwealth Games and Alistair Barton, our Chairman of Trustees, would focus on prayer for the Referendum and the weekly prayer emails going out under the banner of The StAnd group – of which we are both members. As many of you know Alistair played a large part in ensuring that the weekly emails were written and issued, and he was instrumental in approaching national church leaders and getting their agreement to sign the joint letter calling the Church to pray before the Referendum.

I have worked with Alistair since he joined the Trustees in 2006 and became Chairman shortly after, but this year we worked more closely than before and I appreciate his heart for the nation – to see Jesus lifted up and honoured as Lord over Scotland, to see the church once again on fire for Jesus and the Gospel, and to see transformation in every part of Scotland. In the course of the year we talked about the future and he began to sense God saying that this was a time of ‘transition’ for him also. There followed a period of discussion and prayer, ending in the autumn with a special Trustees and Core Team ‘vision day’ together when we brought the proposal that Alistair should step into the role of Director before the team and the Lord. In the times of prayer for each other there was confirmation that the decision was right – and also a confirmation and honouring of the role each Trustee and Core Team member was carrying out in Pray for Scotland.

The Trustees agreed that Alistair should take on the role of Director from 1 December, and at that time he would stand down as Chairman of Trustees while remaining a Trustee. Maurice Howson, who has been a PfS Trustee for many years agreed to become Chairman from 1 December.

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to tell some of you personally about the changes, and I appreciate all the kind things you have said. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have faithfully supported this ministry, and in particular myself, for many years. It has been a real privilege to share fellowship with so many of you, and to hear of God at work in your area of ministry. Thank you for all the friendship and hospitality I have experienced with you and from you.

Please pray for Alistair as he moves into the role of Director – I hope and pray you will support him and the team as you have supported me. Pray also for Maurice as he takes on the role of Chairman, for Anne McIntyre our other Trustee (who is also Director of Parliamentary Prayer Scotland) and for myself, as I will remain a Trustee and a close friend of PfS going forward – I will still be taking part in prayer events. Pray also for our Core Team which we are looking to expand with some younger folk – more about this in our next newsletter.

When we had our Trustees/Core Team vision day Alistair stated ‘The PfS vision given to David & Jean Black has not changed, but how we carry out the vision changes from season to season.’ It is still essential that we hear from God then obey – please pray that we will continue to have ‘ears to hear’ what He is saying to the nation in these days. We also need to hear from you, what God is saying to you for your area and the nation. The work is not done – there is still much prayer needed for our nation, and many parts of the church that need to be encouraged to pray. I encourage you to persevere in prayer – we know it does change things – and to go on believing for ‘revival in the church and transformation in the nation.’

The late Selwyn Hughes [Crusade for World Revival] said that “Evangelism is the work man does for God, revival is the work God does for man”. Let us believe together for people of all ages to come alive to life in Christ, and for God’s life, love and light to fill every part of this nation, and the nations!

The Lord bless you,

Jean Black

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