Pastors Patch May 2018
In May 1940, there was a significant turning point in the war against Nazi Germany. France and Belgium had been unable to withstand the advance of German forces, and 400,000 soldiers were forced back to the beaches of Dunkirk.
Seeing the desperate situation, King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer on Sunday 26th May. Such was the response that in Westminster Abbey alone, that people were actually queuing to go in for prayer. This was to be the greatest plan of all.
For after that prayerful day Hitler inexplicably halted the advance of his armoured divisions, even overruling his own generals. This was perhaps the first miracle.
Next, on Tuesday 28th May there was a violent storm over Flanders, that grounded the German Lufwaffe planes, which undoubtedly enabled the British troops chance to gain ground in their retreat: a second miracle.
Then an armada of ships and boats of all sizes had set out from Britain, at just the same time as a great and unusual calm settled on the English Channel. This third miracle enabled perhaps as many as 335,000 troops to be rescued and returned to English soil. In his report of events to Parliament on 4th June, Churchill (like many others) described it as “a miracle of deliverance’.
There were surely countless other miracles on a smaller scale, including the personal bravery and sacrifice of so many individuals, that the whole event is often called “The Miracle of Dunkirk”. But this is the power of prayer.
Imagine if nearly 80 years on there was a united turning to God in prayer for a miracle of deliverance not for soldiers on the beaches but for souls in Britain: would it bring about change? Imagine the if we as a church, with others were to mobilise and together seek the Lord’s face for a move of His Spirit in our homes, our communities and our workplaces: surely we would see God do great things.
Beginning this month we will launch a new series of Sunday sermons at The Beacon entitled “Your Kingdom Come”, which will also overlap with a prayer initiative in the Church of England and other denominations. Over several Sundays we will turn to the pages of the bible to see what we can learn about prayer, to see how we can be inspired in our intercession, and most importantly to engage in the joy and power of prayer.
As it says in the letter of James
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective
(James chapter 5 verse 16)
If we have given our lives to Jesus, then we have already been made righteous, and therefore we can expect our prayers to be powerful and effective. So let’s begin to pray as one people and one nation under God.