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Sarah Whittleston

Prayer Theme: Fresh Perspective

This month we want to think about 'breakthrough'. As we pray, we partner with God in His Kingdom purposes. He gives us insight, wisdom and a godly perspective on how to respond when we come against challenges.

I want to encourage you to keep praying, to persevere until you see God bringing an answer. What are you contending for in prayer? Whose voice are you listening to as you pray for a breakthrough?

Inspiration from David

Arguably the most famous story of David is that of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17. David steps into the story of two armies facing one another. The Philistines are arrayed against the armies of God, Israel and Judah, with a valley in between - both longing for victory but no breakthrough yet!

They were at an impasse. For 40 days Goliath taunted and mocked God’s people, laying down this ultimatum, “Choose one of your men and have him come down against me. If he wins in a fight against me and kills me, we will be your servants. But if I win against him and kill him, then you will be our servants and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “I defy the ranks of Israel today. Send me a man so we can fight each other!” (1 Samuel 17:8-10).

All it produced in God’s people was dismay and terror. They were going out to positions and shouting a war cry but it was empty, faithless and just for show. They were held by a fear that the enemy was greater, and eyes blinded to the power of God.

This is a spiritual battle first and foremost! Goliath represents the enemy, the systems of this age that set themselves up against God and his people; they seem to loom and tower tall, diminishing our confidence and crushing our courage. But there is another way.

David steps into the story and changes the outcome. His perspective was that Goliath was an ‘uncircumcised Philistine who defied armies of LIVING GOD’. He responds by volunteering to go and face Goliath himself! A young lad, facing off against a nine-foot experienced warrior! David weighs up the situation and believes God is more than able to meet this challenge.

His perspective is so different from all the others, All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.’ (1 Sam 17: 47).

He ignores the voices of his older brothers who try to quench his passion and the concern of King Saul who thinks he’s too young and inexperienced. Instead, he reminds himself of who God is and what He can do. David’s confidence was in God, “The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:37).

Goliath is so offended at this seemingly small and insignificant response. Everything was at stake here, the slavery of a nation, but as David steps up with a sling and some stones he kills Goliath with one slingshot stone to the head. Taking the enemy’s sword he chops off the Philistines head. This final decisive victory emboldens the army to action and brings a breakthrough.

David’s perspective activated his faith, courage and confidence not in his own ability but in God’s. There are two verses to define and describe David in 1 Samuel 16, that show us the source of this faith and perspective. He is Spirit Empowered (1 Samuel 16:13) and The Lord is with Him (1 Samuel 16:18). His internal struggle wasn’t the same as those around him, who responded in fear, because of his pursuit and friendship with God.

It’s clear from the Psalms that David lived a life of intimate friendship and a close connection with God. This was the basis of his perspective, the foundation of his response and the source of his courage and confidence. This is our testimony too. We are Spirit-empowered and the Lord is with us!

Goliath’s threat and challenge seemed impossible and impassable. David, as an overflow of his friendship with God, is able to see a better outcome and respond in faith for a breakthrough.

Is it time to wake up to the power and presence of God? Is it time to stand confidently in who God is and who you are in him? Is it time to see God’s perspective rather than our own? Is it time to pursue God personally so we may stand for God publicly?

Be encouraged by the life of David and make the most of prayer!

Sarah Whittleston

 

Elim Stories: Gloucester Elim Church and Christian Life Church

Many Elim Churches began the year with times of extended prayer and fasting. We want to encourage and celebrate all God is doing through prayer across the Elim Movement. God is good!

Email us your stories: liftup@elimhq.net

 

“This year started with a month of prayer around the theme of being EXPECTANT. Through this time, God opened up our hearts to see His desire for us to ask or imagine big things for His kingdom. The half-night of prayer in January with Sarah Whittleston was a significant time with over half the church in attendance.”

“ We have found our regular prayer meetings have gone up a level since as we push past the outer courts into His presence, seeing the Spirit of God being breathed into people’s prayer lives, encountering Him and finding the whole body prophesying and praying for healing. God is good and He is waiting for us to meet with Him.”

Pete Millward, Minister - Gloucester Elim Church 

   

“We had a great week! Started a prayer meeting and ended with a real sense of revival as God reawakened faith in His promised and a renewed hope for the future at CLC for 2019! Sarah Whittleston challenged us to empty ourselves so we can be filled with God’s best, Helen Yousaf challenged us to step out of our comfort zone and make ourselves available to God and Mark Ryan taught us to expect breakthrough that will be more than we think.

Andy Boxall, Senior Pastor - Christian Life Church, Selly Oak, Birmingham

 
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Prayer Resource: Prayer Magazine

If you’re looking for something to inspire Prayer we recommend Prayer Magazine.

Prayer Magazine was launched in 2004, to mark the centenary of the Welsh Revival. Our key desire is to mobilise and teach on prayer in order to see God move again in our family of Nations. Prayer Magazine is the only UK Christian magazine dedicated to Prayer. Each edition is full of news, prayer points, teaching and reports of what God is doing around the Nation.

You can subscribe to Prayer Magazine by visiting prayermagazine.com

Church and Prayer group packs are available at a discount through resourcesforchurch.com

Elim Prayer Highlight: LIMITLESS

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We love to pray with and for the Elim Movement. This time we are highlighting Limitless.

LIMITLESS is the national youth ministry of Elim Pentecostal Churches in the UK and Ireland. They exist to reach young people, equip youth leaders and inspire dynamic youth ministry through the local church.

2019 is an exciting year for Limitless. With four key events throughout the year, LIMITLESS has transformed its annual programme to focus on two events specifically for young people and two for youth and children's leaders.

Here are a few highlights of what they do and how they serve the Movement:

ONE - In February they launched a new event called ‘ONE’. This gathered Elim young people, all on the same day, across 7 locations as one Limitless Family to encounter God!

LIMITLESS FESTIVAL - In August Limitless Festival looks

OXYGEN – September 2019 an equipping and training day for Youth and Children’s Ministry Teams.

PIONEERS – Helping churches without youth work to pioneer youth ministry.

Please Pray:

  • LIMITLESS PIONEERS: We have a vision to pioneer 100 new youth ministries through churches who are not currently reaching young people. We have started 11 new youth groups so far which is wonderful, but there’s still some way to go! So please pray for churches to partner with us, workers for the harvest, and financial provision to release more people to the task at hand.
  • LIMITLESS FESTIVAL: Please pray for salvation and transformation this coming summer. Please also pray for us as we prepare to transition the event to Stafford in 2020, with the need to significantly upscale on every front as we open up the doors to the wider church family!
  • YOUTH LEADERS and TEAMS: pray for wisdom and strength, pray for provision. Ask God to fuel the passion for the lost and for discipling young people.
  • YOUNG PEOPLE: to be reached with the Gospel and become faithful and faith-filled disciples of Jesus.
 

Guest Highlight: The Wall

Each month we want to highlight other prayer organisations and friends who are doing great things in encouraging and resourcing prayer. Hopefully, they will provide inspiration to your times of prayer.

This month we introduce you to THE WALL.

“The Wall of Answered Prayer is a plan to build a national landmark about Jesus. It will be an architectural sculpture like the Angel of the North built next to a motorway in the Midlands. The Wall will be built of one million bricks, and each brick will be linked to an answered prayer. Visitors will be able to interact with these testimonies using their phones or through our online database.

The answered prayers will tell of times when people prayed and God answered; whether that answer was yes, they had to wait for years, or even if the answer was no.

The Wall has three main aims:

  • To preserve the Christian heritage of our nation
  • To ignite a faith for prayer on a national level
  • To reveal Christ to the nation

We believe that if God has done something once, He can do it again. Our hope is that this will be a piece of art that provokes discussion. When people visit The Wall they will be able to read one million testimonies that each reveal a small glimpse of God’s character; we hope this will have a significant impact on our nation.

We're currently seeking a breakthrough in our finances to get us through the planning stage and towards a building, which should begin in 2020! We would also ask that you pray for the UK, that as they see one million testimonies of God's goodness they will learn the power of testimony, and as they remember what God has done before there will be an outpouring of hope and God's love across this nation.”

They would love to hear your story of answered prayer! Check it out and get involved - thewall.org.uk. This is such a brilliant and bold vision. We encourage you to get connected, get praying and get involved!

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