From the earliest days of Newfrontiers in the UK we have gathered our pastors and leaders (and as many wives as can make it) three times a year to pray and fast. Initially each event lasted three days and concluded with a meal. For some years now it has been a two-day event with no meal. We started with about 30. Now about 750 gather.
We have just concluded our most recent. I wish I could invite every pastor in the nation to attend. The sense of God’s presence, the comradeship, the awareness of common purpose, the fervent prayer are all truly magnificent.
A list of 40+ towns where new churches are being planted was projected on the screen. Testimonies were given by recent church planters with wonderful stories of God’s guidance and provision. Prayers were offered for their success, together with fervent prayers for our Together on a Mission conference in Brighton this July, and for revival, which is a theme very much on our hearts.
Our overseas commitment was expressed as we prayed for an upcoming church planting conference in India. Finally, several testimonies of the increasing number of healings in our churches was followed by more fervent prayer for further breakthrough in this area, and in conclusion some healings took place amongst us.
David Stroud from ChristChurch in London led us superbly aided by many who spontaneously came to the mic and led in prayer or prophecy. We often break into small groups of 4 or 5 people to intensify our involvement in prayer.
David Holden from New Community Church gave a short but excellent devotional word on our middle evening, underlining the importance of worship in the leader’s life as well as in the gathered church.
Off to Japan
I was personally grateful for prayer for Wendy and myself as we leave tomorrow for Japan, where I have the great privilege of not only addressing our Newfrontiers church plant in Nagoya (the third largest city of Japan) but also speak to a nationwide pastors’ conference in Tokyo where 550 pastors are anticipated. I am particularly thrilled that my book God’s Lavish Grace has been translated into Japanese in advance while I have been asked to address themes of grace. I do trust that this will have remarkable impact upon the church across Japan.
When I was last with our church plant in Nagoya we experienced a beautiful outbreak of healings. May God’s power and presence be with us throughout this visit. Wendy will be addressing the women in some seminars and I will be taking four main sessions with the gathered pastors as well as hopefully enjoying good fellowship with them throughout the conference.