The Power of Silence


18 May 2019 - 25 May 2019

Dear friend and Community Service’s leader

Greetings and blessings to you.

Trusting you are well and enjoying the blessings of the Lord. Praying also that your work in Community Services is proving productive as you reach out in compassionate ministry, responding to the needs around you.

I am writing to you in relation to an urgent matter that comes under the umbrella of Community Services, and that is - Social Justice and the church response. Please take time to read this letter carefully and prayerfully as you take up the challenge of what is being requested.

THE SDA RESPONSE TO KNIFE AND GUN CRIME:

For some time, I have been praying about the gun and knife situation on our streets. In my prayer time, the image of our churches doing a prayer walk through the streets in their local areas keeps coming up.

Years ago at the Brixton SDA church, the church en masse undertook a prayer walk through Brixton. It was a very powerful experience, people even stopped us to ask for personal prayer etc. Prior to that, we informed the council and the police what we were going to do, and we received their support.

In light of the recent increase in murders through knife and gun crime, there is something our churches can do to make an impact and effect change. Being spectators to the news is not going to help. Realising the tremendous power of prayer to transform situations, we need to bring the power of prayer to the very streets of our nation, putting God out there on the battle field, as we ask Him to pull down strongholds of crime and preserve life.

We have had the numerous debates in parliaments, discussions on TV, radio, engagements with politicians, professionals, churches and schools etc. Let us now connect with the God of heaven in prayer and let Him speak through us as we connect with His source of power and wisdom to break this stronghold of murder that is pervading our streets.

This letter is therefore asking for our churches to go out into their local communities en masse

and prayer walk the streets, declaring life over the residents (in silent prayer), as we embrace the promise of John 10:10 that the abundant life that God intended, would be experienced.

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PRAYER MATERIALS & ADDITIONAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE INTERCESSION INTERVENTION AGAINST KNIFE AND GUN CRIME

 

Praying in church on May 18th & May 25th                                                                                                                      

·      Observe a moment of silence for all the victims of knife and gun crimes.

·      Pray for those who have survived serious injuries from knife and gun crime and who now live their lives in fear or struggling with serious disability as a result. Pray that they find peace and get the necessary help they require to move forward from this trauma.

·      Lead out in a prayer for the families and friends of those killed or maimed by violent crimes. Pray that they get the support they need to come to terms with their loss if their loved one has died.

·      Pray for the families who now care for survivors of violent crime that they will get the necessary assistance to support their loved one living with a disability or experiencing challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

·      Pray for the families of individuals who have been the perpetrators of crime and who may be experiencing repercussions as a result.

·      Pray that our churches will become more responsive to the community when such incidents occur. May our churches become places where the public can come for solace and support as we open our doors to them.

·      Petition God for the outpouring of His Holy Spirit on all who go out on the prayer walk that their prayers will be impactful and effective according to James 5:16 so that the ‘effective fervent prayer’ of all will  ‘avail much’.

·      Pray for peace, God’s presence and protection, to accompany the prayer intercessors.

·      Pray for the Prayer Walks that churches will undertake on May 18th and 25th that God will use it as a positive witness and that it will be a way of further connecting to the community as we respond to their needs.

·      Pray for individuals that the prayer intercessors may meet on the prayer walk, so the community will realise the church cares about Social Justice issues and the lives it impacts.

 

 

Praying on the Neighbourhood Prayer Walk on Sabbath 18th & 25th May

·      Pray for God’s favour on the Neighbourhood walk, so that it will have a positive impact on the community and His name be uplifted.

·      Pray for the residents of every household that you pass on the walk, that peace and safety will prevail in their home.

·      Pray for individuals that you walk past on the street that the protective shelter of God will cover them with favour as a shield so they would be kept from all harm and danger.

·      Pray life giving Scriptures over each resident and pedestrian you encounter. See list of Scriptures to memorise and pray as you walk.

 

7 Days of Prayer 7 Days of Power – Sunday 19th May – Sabbath 25th

·      Pray that the reality of God’s abundant life as declared in John 10:10 will become evident.

·      Use the attached Scriptures during your prayer time over the 7 days.

·      Pray for wisdom for our parents, educational systems, youth, politicians and support agencies as they respond to the issues surrounding knife and gun crime so effective solutions will be found.

·      Pray for peace in our communities as God convicts hearts and minds about the evil of violence.

·      Pray that individuals experiencing adverse social issues such as poverty, unemployment and drug addiction will seek for positive ways to address their circumstances and to accept help when it is offered.

·       Pray for individuals perpetrating drug related crimes that the stronghold of addictions and criminal mind-set will be broken in the Name of Jesus.

·      Pray for those who have survived serious injuries from knife and gun crime and who now live their lives in fear or struggling with serious disability as a result. Pray that they find peace and get the necessary help they require to move forward from this trauma.

·      Pray for the families and friends of those killed or maimed by violent crimes. Pray that they get the support they need to come to terms with their loss if their loved one has died.

·      Pray for the families who now care for survivors of violent crime that they will get the necessary assistance to support their loved one living with a disability or experiencing challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

·      Pray that our churches will become more responsive to the community when such incidents occur. May our churches become places where the public can come for solace and support as we open our doors to them.

·      Pray for our communities as they seek to foster ways in which we can live in harmony, peace and safety.

·      Pray for our Adventist Youth so that they will be positive influencers and role models to others in their communities.

·      Pray for godly associates for our youth so they make positive choices in their friendships and not become closely attached to individuals who will have a negative impact on their Christian principles.

·      Pray for the protection of our young people so they will not be tempted to get involved in gangs and criminal activities.

·      Pray for the BUC Community Services department and their work with Urban Ministries through ADRA-UK as they seek to address social issues.

·      Pray for the next step in our social engagement as we partner with external agencies and work with them to assist in the reduction of knife and gun crime.

 

Sabbath 25th May – Thanksgiving Prayers

·      Thank God for your church’s willingness to engage in this Prayer initiative; and their openness to get involved in subsequent outreach.

·      Lead out in a prayer of thanksgiving for the Prayer Walks that have been undertaken over the 2 Sabbaths.

·      Give thanks for the community individuals engaged with the Prayer Walk.

·      Give thanks for connections that were made with the church.

·      Give thanks that we are currently living in a country of relative religious freedom where we can make prayer a priority in private and public.

·      Give thanks for the various Government initiatives and their attempts to try and tackle knife and gun crime.

·      Thank God for the current Government law and order guidelines that seek to address the repercussions of violence, uphold justice and engage in the rehabilitation of perpetrators.

 

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NEIGHBOURHOOD PRAYER WALK – SABBATH 18TH / 25TH MAY 2019

  • The Lord has impressed me to caption the Church Neighbourhood Prayer Walk - “The Power of Silence” to represent the soundless voices of those killed. In the silence, we will be praying that the lives of residents will be preserved.

 

  • I am calling for a national ‘7 Days of prayer - 7 Days of Power’ intervention as part of this initiative. We commence the Neighbourhood Prayer walk on Sabbath 18th May with the churches going out en masse, following their morning church service.


  • Then during the week that follows, every day for 7 days, our households, churches, church groups and schools, will pray on this matter in their personal prayer time, as well as when they come together. Along with prayer, use Scriptures declaring life, including John 10:10 as well.


  • I am asking that in your church prayer meetings and house groups, you undertake a special prayer focus on this. On request, we can provide some relevant prayer materials to assist you.


  • On Sabbath 25th May, those churches who did not go out on May 18th will have a chance to do so on Sabbath 25th. Those churches that went out on May 18th can engage in ‘prayer-praise’ and thanksgiving for what God will do (Philippians 4:6).

 

PRAYER WALK PROTOCOL

  • This is a silent prayer walk.


  • There is to be no loud or audible praying.


  • Let the Holy Spirit do the speaking whilst we pray silently.


  • Please do not talk amongst yourselves as this is a solemn act as we engage with heaven for God’s will to be done on earth.


  • Walk in twos silently.


  • If members of the public approach to ask what this is about, fall out of the line, and let them know why you are doing this, then when you have finished speaking with them, catch up again with your walking partner.


  • Please do not use this as an opportunity to distribute any leaflets of any kind. This is not a literature evangelism exercise. It is solely a prayer walk.


  • You can carry a banner or banners with Scriptures about life on it (if the council is happy for you to do so – please seek approval).


  • If you are jeered, shouted at or confronted, please do not respond. It would be good to have a police escort if possible or neighbourhood safety officers in high visible jackets to accompany you.


  • Each church will need to have a few prayer intercessors who will stay at the church to pray whilst the rest of the members go on the prayer walk. This would most suit our older members who are frail, or those with mobility issues, but who are committed to prayer. In so doing, they can provide prayer cover as the church en masse, go out to minister on the streets.


  • If you are a small congregation, then get other local churches to join you, but ensure you provide them with this letter so they are aware of the protocol.


IMMEDIATE ACTIONS TO TAKE:

  1. Please share this letter with your pastor and church board.

  2. Connect with your prayer ministries team and prayer co-ordinator to engage with them.

  3. Mobilise your Community Services and prayer teams to pray towards this as well as the church at large in the weeks leading up to the march.

  4. Inform your local police of your intentions.

  5. Map the area you wish to walk, so that you are aware of the route and walk in an organised fashion. The council / police will need to be informed.

  6. Take time to pray about the march beforehand, asking God to consecrate and empower you for the task so that you will be a positive witness.

  7. You may wish to include other churches whom you work with in the community including those of other denominations.


Please indicate whether your church will be involved in the prayer walk and 7 day prayer focus, as we would like to send you some specific prayer guidelines. With our prayers of faith and Jesus at the forefront, we give thanks for the outcome to the honour and glory of God.


Yours in Christ and Christian Service

Sharon Platt-McDonald

BUC Director for Adventist Community Services, Health Ministries and Women’s Ministries


Enc:

Neighbourhood Prayer Walk Poster


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Seventh-day Adventist Church Headquarters
Stanborough Park
Watford
WD25 9JZ
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel: 01923 672251
Email: info@adventist.uk

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