This Week @ The HOPE Project

Revitalizing Prayer

ALL renewals in the body of Christ recorded over time have been undergirded by consistent, persistent, fervent, focused and strategic prayer. This is a time of significant advance for the Kingdom of God in the midst of increased warfare and we need to step up our strategic PRAYER effort, not out of duty but in the context of being desperately needful of all the resources that can be found within a deeper, heart to heart relationship with Jesus.

People connected with our community of HOPE are battling all sorts of unwellness and some challenging life circumstances. Let’s press into God together for Breakthrough and Holy Spirit infused health and energy for this season as it unfolds.

The first guiding principle of the HOPE Project is ‘Pre-prayer Without Ceasing’ and so along with the initial strategies to increase consistency and opportunities that should enrich our corporate prayer-life, we’d like to keep adding things from time to time to help develop the process. Simple tools that will help keep undergirding missional prayer as our priority.

This week then, I will try (enlisting help over time) to add a weekly prayer diary to THIS journal so that prayer points are added when the focus of our united prayer effort is needed. It won’t be exhaustive but simply designed to highlight what otherwise might slip by without any, little or ‘after the fact’ prayer support.

Getting the Message Out

Over the last week we have been sharing thoughts about how we can be BOTH more efficient AND more engaging with our promotional efforts. The static methods that we’ve used over time are becoming increasingly limiting, so we need to think creatively about how we can keep an increasing number of people well informed about what’s happening without spending the sort of money that good, consistent promotion usually requires.

This is a birthing season and as such will be a little messier for a while, particularly as we experiment with methods and explore opportunities, some of which might be helpful and worthy of development and others not so and as such will come and go.

We’ve been talking with John Mac and an initial, cost effective option or two has emerged and you will no doubt notice some of these promotional efforts shortly.

Let us be clear together that as important as being well informed is for US, particular for prayer and support when possible, our message and connection promotion is primarily for others that haven’t yet engaged with us or haven’t understood who we are and what we stand for. We thank God for you in advance, for your patience as we experiment, and for your help to forward promotional information on to family, friends and connections as you receive something that works for you. We value your partnership in this.

What We’ve Learnt from the Neighbours So far …

Stage One of The HOPE Project is focused on building bridges and making connections. Community engagement is crucial to advancing the kingdom of heaven ON earth and so we are making ourselves available, we are listening AND discerning (Ref. Mark 5).

The following are things we have overheard people in our neighbourhood say since mid-September. Please pray that God will reveal himself more as the relationships open up.

‘We consider this to be OUR church …’;  ‘We appreciate your community-mindedness … your willingness to serve others …’;  ‘We like the new open feel …’;  ‘There seems to be more energy around the place lately …’;  ‘I’ll help serve coffee if this is going to be a thing …’

Mark Chapter SIX (What did Jesus actually DO?)

  1. Jesus WENT – Disciples FOLLOWED this time intentionally to his home town. (vs 1)
  2. Jesus continued consistently to TEACH in the Synagogues – didn’t renege just because it was Nazareth. (vs 2)
  3. When Jesus discerned that they were offended, He wondered at their unbelief and emphasised his task and purpose with prophetic insight. (vs 2-6)
  4. Jesus laid hands but NOT all were healed. NB: an atmosphere/culture of unbelief
  5. Jesus continued to pursue the task the Father gave Him knowing that the Kingdom is demonstrated IN, THROUGH and AROUND the purpose. (vs 6)
  6. Jesus SENT the disciples out with His own authority with very specifically detailed instructions. The equipping was to be followed exactly. (vs 7-11) – Disciples WENT and obeyed.
  7. Jesus permitted people to come to their own conclusions (then hopefully seek revelation) about who He was. (vs 14-16)

NB: Mark first refers to the 12 as apostles after they had BEEN SENT

  1. Jesus sought a report from His followers and then invited them to the first mission RETREAT to debrief and be refreshed. (vs 30-32)
  2. EVEN Jesus had interrupted retreats. COMPASSION still the kingdom demonstrating driving force, Jesus’ tool of choice. (vs 33-34)
  3. Jesus understood MOMENTUM and was keen not to break the flow of the teaching opportunity. (vs 34-37)
  4. Jesus was ALWAYS equipping. Demonstrating the Kingdom is not just about the changed circumstances for the person(s) receiving, it was also about building faith, obedience, skills and shaping the hearts of His followers to catch something that THEY could impart. (vs 37-44)
  5. Jesus demonstrated the kingdom LAVISHLY. The resources of heaven are limitless (beyond our belief) and people weren’t just full and satisfied, there were ample leftovers. As in Mark 5, the evidence of kingdom COME is visible, testable and measurable. (vs 42-44)
  6. Reading the WHOLE CONTEXT of the next few verses in Mark’s edition of this story, it is important to understand that the Fish & Loaves episode had alerted Jesus to the fact that the disciples had still not OPENED their hearts to the kingdom – they were still trying to fathom it in their human ‘filtered’ mindsets. This is EVIDENCED by their reaction after everything they had seen, when Jesus came walking ON the water. Jesus was DETERMINED to keep representing the ‘mystery’ of the kingdom that was ONLY understandable through complete surrender of HUMAN control. (vs 45-52)
  7. Jesus KEPT turning up, KEPT dealing in compassion and stayed true to the revelation He had brought from Heaven. (vs 53-56)

NB: (vs 54) When Jesus steps OUT of the boat – He is recognizable

Here’s the Link to What’s Happening at the HUB this week

Here’s the Link to this week’s Prayer Diary for The HOPE Project

Have a Great Week Dwelling in the Revelation Christ Brought