Pray For Scotland

Lighthouses of Prayer – the last 3 years – 2007-2010:

This vision that has been shared across Scotland since 2007, is one with which we are still seeing fruit and expect to see even more. It is becoming vital to so many who engage with it. Not only is this the simplest most practical way to live your Christian life but it is fundamental to building your faith as you practise the pray-care-share lifestyle. It has also been a bridge in many places to Churches working together and a more unified approach being part of the resultant witness. It also takes the Church out of the building and deals with our daily walk. It causes us to engage with people in our community. It is the great commission in a nutshell, so wonderfully modelled by the early Church, encouraging the Church to engage with people where they live and work. Not so many years ago Mark Greene was encouraging us to “take God to work” and the Lighthouse vision is to “take God to your street, work, indeed wherever you go and touch the lives of other people”.  It is about being the “Good News”.
A recent report from Sylvia Norton in South Uist tells of a number of groups engaging in prayer for their community and also their use of the “trypraying” booklet as an outreach tool. In February Ola Norstrom and I visited Shetland to share the Lighthouse Vision and found that it had arrived ahead of us. Groups having been established in Orkney in 2009 word had spread to Shetland and even though Ola and I did not arrive till 2010 the Church in Shetland was already functioning in the community with practical support a major factor. Recent reports from Shetland indicate that Lighthouse groups are continuing to function and there is real expectation for growth in their number. This month (April) I went back to Orkney to support the “Love Orkney” initiative and shared again the Lighthouse vision. There are regular praise evenings in the various parishes and outer islands and these events coupled with the establishing of Lighthouse groups is a good way to build the Kingdom there. As many Churches are threatened with closure for either financial or numerical reasons there is a real concern for these congregations about their future. Lighthouse groups are one way of staying together and taking steps to engage and change your community without the burden of maintaining an expensive building. In Orkney I joined a fellowship meeting in the Community Centre. Now I come to think of it the “Love Orkney” evening was also held in one in Finstown.
Perhaps there is a greater power at work encouraging us to consider what is more important. This vision has stayed with me for these three years and I believe that it is certainly one way that blesses those involved in it, creates unity, as churches work together and shows people that God loves them as we become the conduits that carry the message through supporting them in prayer, practically caring in so many ways and sharing our faith and what motivates us when they begin to enquire.
Derek Jardine

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