West Church Ballymena

Prayer Report

 

Prayer Ministry

Team Leader: Angela McClintock.

 

The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it." - 1 Thessalonians 5:24 People sometimes wonder what difference prayer makes but 2010 has proved God's faithfulness again and again with many wonderful testimonies of answers to prayer and God's presence being felt in so many of our daily activities. Hearing so many stories of answered prayer sometimes moves people to tears but here are just a few examples:

 

Ann; "the Good Friday reflections helped me talk and draw closer to God. Sometimes we need to give thanks rather than always ask!"

 

Mary Ann: "On Sunday I came to church and I visited your Prayer Room. I was amazed at the presence of the The Holy Spirit and how close I was to God." (June)

 

Mavis: "As consultants debate the possibility of a more effective treatment for my eye, I would like to acknowledge ,with thanks, the group's prayers on my behalf. (Sept)

 

Mary: "Thank you for praying for a lady over the past year. She had been diagnosed with bowel cancer and was in a very dark negative place. I am now pleased to let you know that through God's healing hand she has recovered after treatment and is now back at work. She is now much happier and more open with friends and family. (Oct)

 

Elaine: "Thanks to you all for praying for my mum. She is doing well and was getting home from hospital today. Please continue to pray for her." (Nov)

 

Tommy: "Thanks to everyone who prayed for Adam, and to the Lord for His goodness. Adam is home, nothing serious to worry about, just an infection he has picked up."

 

Jennifer: "Wild West is now into its fifth year. Prayer continues to be an important element of Wild West. I have asked frequently for prayer that God would lead me to the right people and those requests have always been answered. This year we have appreciated and have felt the prayerful support and cover provided each week for individuals within each team."

 

During the past number of years the prayer ministry team have sought ways to generate more prayer by adopting flexible approaches to encourage maximum participation. The Prayer Team are extremely thankful to the congregation for their participation and involvement in the prayer-life of our church and as we continue to strive to "extend our tent pegs (Isaiah 54 v2)" as we can reflect on God's goodness to us in the blessings He has poured out.

 

One of the hallmarks of 2010 is the establishment of the Prayer Room. We give thanks for the hard work undertaken by Colin, Jenna and our young people in setting up and securing the Prayer Room for everyone's use. We have relocated our Prayer meetings to the prayer room and our desire is that many people will use this space to spend time with God and pray in the peaceful, tranquil and still environment.

 

In 2010 the other action teams provided specific prayer needs and in outreach activities a Prayer request card and reply envelope were circulated to 790 local families with the distribution pack. There are 300 + prayer bulletins printed each week. We have set up a new email address for prayer requests westprayer@hotmail.co.uk. To-date we have approximately 70 e-mail prayer chain members registered and this remains an effective tool within prayer ministry.

 

Our prayer Ministry team are available to pray with/for anyone after Sunday services. Our aim is to have a culture where prayer is available and members of the congregation will avail of this, but sadly, there is a reluctance to partake of this ministry. To-date we have had several beneficial and meaningful team evenings where we have felt God's presence and His desire in setting out our stall for this ministry and the need to encourage and engender this culture. In June Darran McCorriston's challenge about the "speed of the leader" and prayer highlighted that Prayer is the most valuable tool we have to move forward as a church and be part of changing people lives for good.

 

In October, Daniel and the Ministry team started a Session time of prayer. This has been well supported and encouraging. I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who prays within our church family, the prayer team for their dedication and commitment and the support given by the Ministry Team and others throughout the year. For the continued teamwork of Bob Sheppard helping us 'ring the bells in Heaven', Myra who has faithfully printed the Prayer Bulletin and gone far beyond her call of duty! I extend a BIG THANK YOU to the Montgomery family for their ongoing kindness, helpfulness, hospitality and for the use of their premises.

 

We are all guilty of bemoaning life's little trials. We complain about the weather, the economy, our politicians, and all the other everyday difficulties we face. But in reality, these are just minor irritations for the most part. As a church we must continue to show leadership in prayer during these difficult days. Over the course of the next year, the calling is clear. Our goal is to respond to the challenges our church faces with a new energy – and a refreshed commitment to prayer throughout 2011 and as we pray:

 

Lord God, We thank you not only for the year that's ending, but for the year ahead – a gift to us full of promise. As we celebrate 150 years together in this place In 2011, we want to know you more Follow you more faithfully, Share you more passionately And worship you more deeply Amen

 

We know 2011 will be a difficult year ahead – elections, economic recovery, sickness, budget cuts etc, but prayer can and will make a difference! Therefore we would like to invite you to prayerfully consider becoming more actively involved in our prayer Ministry. We invite you to consider joining us at prayer-time on a Sunday before the services or on the first Saturday of each month at the prayer breakfast. My prayer is that you will prayerfully remember our Ministry team throughout 2011 and use our prayer bulletin to pray for specific needs. God is calling His people to prayer and this is going to be a forerunner to any transformation in Church, the local community, our country and our world. That can only happen when we all do it together. We are dependent on you.