Spark *

uniting.loving.being

Archive for the ‘Prayer Journey’ Category

spark prayer journey #4 – your prayers

Posted by rickhill on August 8, 2008

okay, enough of us being the ones who are doing all the praying, today it’s your turn!!

so what are the things you want to pray about in regards to Spark 08? what do you have on your mind and heart that you want to give over to God?

why not put your own prayers up on this blog by leaving a comment below? it’s that simple!

it’s over to you – go for it!!

Advertisements

Posted in Prayer Journey | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

spark prayer journey #3 – hope

Posted by rickhill on August 7, 2008

each morning at spark, before we go to our individual areas and projects, we are gathering together as one huge collection of people to take time to meet together, pray together, laugh together, worship together and get involved in God’s word together.

last year, many of you commented on how these times were one of the highlights of your week, and we’re hoping the same applies this year. and so today we want to pause and pray for these morning gatherings.

the theme we are focusing on this year is ‘HOPE’. hope is a word that’s been used so much in our country over the past year or so. we’ve had the hugely successful ‘celebration of hope’, as well as numerous events, initiatives, books, songs and cds called hope. it’s kinda been the buzz word!

when thinking about Spark 08, it seems that Hope is the word which best describes what we’re wanting to bring to Ballymena.

Hope as we cut people’s gardens. Hope as we help those who feel helpless. Hope as we pick up litter on the streets. Hope as we chat with residents about what were doing. Hope as we play with kids who few friends. Hope as we pray for those we’ve just encountered. Hope as we invite young people to events. Hope as we share our own stories. Hope as we worship together each morning. Hope as we encourage churches.

and so, much more than a cliche or a nice phrase, we want Hope to be a living reality in Ballymena next week. because Hope is more than a word. Hope is a Person and His name is Jesus.

Posted in Prayer Journey | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

prayer journey #2 – look around

Posted by sarah hill on August 5, 2008

Sometimes i think it’s so easy for us to slip into the mindset that God only does big things and only changes lives in miraculous ways in far flung places….places you’ve travelled to on the back of a minibus down hundreds of miles of dirt track under the blistering sun to some tribal community.  That’s where God works, not sleepy little Ballymena in comfortable Northern Ireland.

Yet our God is that same God, the God of the universe, beyond our earthly minded limitations…He does far more in Ballymena than we’ll ever see and has been here for centuries. So often we may as well drift through everyday life with our eyes closed and ear plugs in, we’re not really expecting anything to happen here.  We focus on the obvious things of life, not really searching for God’s presence in every moment.

i was challenged recently by this passage from Mark where Jesus speaks to His disciples about the yeast of the Pharisees.  Here’s a key few verses,

“You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?  Don’t you remember anything at all?  What about the five thousand men I fed with five loaves of bread?  How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

“Twelve,” they said.  “And when I fed the four thousand with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?” “Seven,” they said.  “Don’t you understand even yet?” he asked them.

Let’s not be like the disciples as prepare for next week.  We believe in a God who powerfully acts, everywhere on his earth.  Let’s ask Him in our prayers today to show us how He is already working in peoples’ lives in our own town.  Let’s not be so rooted on the physical practicalities of Spark that we can’t see the spiritual truths.

Let’s be open to the ways of God, ask Him today to reveal ways that you can join Him in the work He is already doing. Watch closely for places God is, if we ask expectantly He will reveal Himself in Harryville…in Dunclug….n Fisherwick…on the Doury Road…in Ballykeel…in Ballee…in the Town centre and in Demesne.

Open our eyes and ears today to see God at work, He’s already there.

Posted in Prayer Journey | 1 Comment »

prayer journey #1 – what are you bringing with you?

Posted by sarah hill on August 4, 2008

Well here we are, just under a week until Spark 08 hits the streets of Ballymena.  Hundreds of God’s young people flooding the streets in service of their king, sweeping, weeding, chatting, laughing to show people Jesus.

It all sounds so exciting, the potential housed in this week is phenomenal but it’s up to us, the volunteers, to be totally available and willing for God to use us and send us wherever he wishes.

How are you feeling right now with God, have you talked to him today?

I know that during the summer it can be hard to maintain regular times with God I suppose it’s partly due to the lack of routine in life or maybe I just wind down and get a bit lazy.  Yet the calls us in Hebrews,

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run…” Hebrews 12 v1

As we enter next week it’s vital that we’ve talked to God and off loaded the burdens we’re carrying.  The worries of friends, the stresses of work, our attitudes, our habits or even anxieties about our relationship with God himself.

It would be foolish to try to enter an exhausting, trying race carrying extra weight.  Clearly you wouldn’t do as well…so let’s take that same attitude to Spark.

Today let us bring these hindrances to God, throw them off at his feet so that we can be totally focused on progressing towards our goal of serving in Spark next week. Seeing people come to know our Saviour.

…it’s as simple as that, no strings or baggage attached, just us and our Father walking hand in hand as we enter the week.

Today let’s seek our true freedom in God.

Posted in Prayer Journey | 1 Comment »

Prayer Meeting

Posted by sarah hill on March 22, 2008

Saturday 29th March
Lantara Baptist, Ballymena

We’re meeting from 10am to 11.30am but feel free to call by for a short while if you can’t make it for the whole thing. It would be great to have you join us!

This month we are focusing on the churches in our town and reflecting on how God has blessed it through them. More so, we’re going to pray for how God is moulding and shaping our churches to share His love in today’s world. It’s so important to support and pray for our churches and their leaders so please join us for this uplifting and exciting morning!!

Also, application forms are now available!! If you haven’t recieved a copy yet but are keen to get involved in Spark08, please email info@sparkballymena.com with your name and address and we will get you one asap!

Hopefully you are getting as excited as we are!

Posted in Prayer Journey | Leave a Comment »

6. Ready – Spark Prayer Journey

Posted by rickhill on August 3, 2007

After 12 months of vision casting, plans sharing, preparation meetings, praying gatherings and organising we stand on the eve of Spark 07. We’re fed up of talking about it and just can’t wait for the action to get underway! We say it a lot but we’re genuinely excited about playing a part in building God’s Kingdom in Ballymena and beyond. What a privilege!

So all the plans are in place and preparations done…and we’re ready to go. We hand our feeble efforts back over to God. We place them firmly into His hands, trusting that He has been guiding us every step of the way.

And so today we simply pray:

“Father, have Your way through all that we’ve done. The build up is over and the plans are in place. We give everything to You, asking You to multiply it to impact and change the lives of countless people. Blow our minds with what You can do through us small and weak people! Holy Spirit, breathe Your life and breath into every project and event. Cause people to turn to You and realise their need of Jesus. All for Your glory. Amen”

__

” ‘But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!’ they answered.
‘Bring them here,’ Jesus said.”

Matthew 14:17-18

Posted in Prayer Journey | 1 Comment »

5. Small details – Spark Prayer Journey

Posted by rickhill on August 3, 2007

With 1 day left before Spark 07 commences, there are lots and lots of small details that still need to be put in place before all our volunteers arrive tomorrow. Yeah the main plans are in place and things seem under control, but there are many minor details that many people will be involved in today and tomorrow morning.

Making up 190 volunteer packs, picking up posters, setting up the halls, worship team practising, buying first aid kits, printing, photocopying, praying…

But isn’t it amazing that our God is the Lord of small details as well as the huge things. Just look at creation. The vastness of the galaxies, stars and solar systems, yet the intricate designs of flower petals, human eyes and the fish of the sea. The small details of God’s creation always adds to the grand design and the bigger picture. Awesome!

And these small details that are being finalised over the next 24 hours are important to God. And are vitally important to the smooth running of Spark. So let’s make it our focus for prayer today. Let’s ask God to be Lord over every single small thing to do with Spark 07.

Thanks for all your prayers this week. Keep going!

Posted in Prayer Journey | Leave a Comment »

4. A Generation – Spark Prayer Journey

Posted by rickhill on August 1, 2007

“Who may ascend the hill of the LORD?
Who may stand in his holy place?

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Saviour.

Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob.” Psalm 24:3-6

hands.jpg

It’s so amazing to think that the all-powerful Creator God wants to use young, small and weak people like us. He could do it all Himself, but He chooses to work through you and me. What a thought!

But God also wants His people to have clean hands and pure hearts, and have no idols or falsehood in their lives. He longs for a generation to seek His face.

Today’s simple thought is more of a question. Can we be that generation? A generation passionate about living for God’s name and glory? A generation excited about being like Jesus? A generation of cleanliness and purity?

So let’s pray…

“Father, give us those clean hands and pure hearts that we so need. Before we ever get to Spark 07 would you purify us from all the stuff that so easily trips us up. Forgive us and keep us close to the cross of Jesus that enables all our failings to be forgotten. Let us be that generation you seek. Amen.”

PS – Not long to go now! Anyone getting excited?!

Posted in Prayer Journey | 2 Comments »

2. Jesus – 7 Day Journey

Posted by rickhill on July 30, 2007

The vision of Spark is really all about lifting up Jesus.

It’s about representing Jesus. Being like Jesus. Living like Jesus. Serving like Jesus. Talking about Jesus. Showing Jesus.

The focus of our morning worship times will be Jesus. The motivation of all the afternoon practical projects is Jesus. The reason behind all the evening events is Jesus.

I guess this is our prayer for every Spark participant. That our attitudes would be so like Jesus that it would cause people to see our good deeds and praise our Father in heaven. That Jesus’ name would be lifted up so much that people would want to bow their knee and confess Jesus as their Lord.

Please join us in that prayer today…and then reflect on these words below…

__

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:5-11

Posted in Prayer Journey | Leave a Comment »

1. Rest – 7 Day Prayer Journey

Posted by rickhill on July 29, 2007

Sabbath. Rest. Set apart.

It’s not that God ever needed a rest. He doesn’t grow weary. Ever. But He knows us so intimately that He has set aside 1 day in every 7 for us to rest in Him.

You see, you and I so often get caught up in the things that fill our lives from Monday to Friday that sometimes we can lose sight of our Father who wants to be Lord of every moment. And so He created a special day to return to our first love and leave the worries of our lives at the door.

A day to be still and know that He is God. To grab extra time in His word and in prayer. To switch the mobile phone off. To enjoy time with those closest to us. To rest. To chill. To realign our hearts to the heart of the Father!

What a positive day! And what a great way to commence our Spark 07 Prayer Journey! We start from a state of rest. We begin by realigning our hearts to the heart of our Father God. And so today we encourage you to take time doing just that. Before our frenzy of activity next week, let’s be still, knowing that it’s God who will create anything good from Spark 07.

Father, thank You that You never grow tired or weary, and that You promise strength and power to those who call upon Your name. Lord, would those who rest in You today find themselves with a new sense of freshness and enthusiasm for all that lies ahead of them. Sustain us for the energy sapping days ahead. Realign our hearts with Yours. And help us be still and know that You are GOD.

“The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:29-31

Posted in Prayer Journey | 2 Comments »