The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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January 2017

Friday Focus 2017


Calling on Christians across the UK to join in

Churches across the UK are preparing for mission together in 2018 to make Jesus known. A major new initiative, ‘Friday Focus 2017’ provides the opportunity for us to pray where we are, and unite across our nation on Fridays (whenever possible), supporting all on-going mission across the UK and preparing the way for HOPE 2018.

Many Christian denominations, agencies and churches are already part of HOPE 2018 (www.hopetogether.org.uk) There are many local and national initiatives being planned to make Jesus known to people in our villages, towns and cities during 2018. The aim is to see the entire church mobilised to work together for a year of mission, so that the good news of Jesus Christ is shared in words and action. The dream is to see 10 per cent church growth in these next two years. Without prayer and seeking the empowering of the Holy Spirit, our work will not be as fruitful.

Each week Friday Focus will be taking a different theme supporting national initiatives of prayer and mission. Leaders from denominations, mission and prayer organisations and networks are writing the reflections based on a Bible passage, and there will also be a written prayer to accompany each theme. Use Prayer Focus for private prayer or in church services and prayer meetings.

Colossians 4 verses 2-3 sums up what Friday Focus longs to see from this year of praying together. We want to see every individual and church devoting itself to prayer – being watchful and thankful. We want everyone to be asking God to open the doors for mission opportunities, and asking for clarity as we talk about Jesus. We want to encourage each other to make the most of every opportunity, to give the reason for the hope we have, with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15).

Do join in – and be part of the answer! Download the prayers from www.hopetogether.org.uk/prayer

Friday Focus prayers for January 2017
January 6 - Epiphany Jesus for all John 3:16
Because of Jesus we can have the free gift of eternal life with Him. Give thanks for Jesus’ death and resurrection. Pray that churches will work together using both words and actions to make Jesus known. Consider how churches in your area can work together to plan a rhythm of mission through 2018, especially at Easter, Harvest and Christmas.

Heavenly Father, we long to see lives in our villages, towns and cities transformed by your love. We pray that churches will catch the vision to reach out with words and action to make Jesus known. Rekindle passion for evangelism in this area. Help us to find creative ways to connect with people in our community so they find Jesus for themselves.
Roy Crowne, HOPE’s Executive Director

           
January 13 Pray for five Colossians 4:2-3
We discovered in the Talking Jesus research (www.talkingjesus.org) that one in five of the people we talk to about Jesus wants to know more. So join us as we each pray for five of our friends or family members who don’t know Jesus. Pray that you are given opportunities to share about Jesus with them and that they come to follow Jesus for themselves.

Lord Jesus, Please lead (name your 5) …….. to know, love and follow you. Use me to show them your love and to tell them about you. Amen
Dr Rachel Jordan-Wolf, Church of England

January 20 Crossing barriers John 17: 22-23
HOPE unites the church across denominations, race, culture and customs. An unprecedented number of churches are committed to mission in 2018. The dream is to grow the church by 10 per cent. Thank God for churches working together. Pray that Christians will show God’s reconciling love and peace.

Almighty God and Father, we praise you for the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ. We join with Him praying ‘your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven’. Help us to work with Christians from other churches to make Jesus known in this place in 2018, so that lives will be transformed by God’s redeeming love. We pray in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.
Revd Yemi Adedeji, Redeemed Christian Church of God


January 27 Hope for prisoners Acts 16:25
Lives can be changed for good in prison. Praise God for all who work in prisons. Pray for protection for prison officers and their families; for all involved in the Prison HOPE initiative to link churches, prison chaplains and organisations involved with prisoners, former prisoners and their families.

Gracious Lord, who told us to look for you in the isolated and the excluded, bless, we pray, the efforts of Prison Hope to stir up your Church. Give us wisdom to restore the fallen, encourage the fainthearted, welcome the stranger, and proclaim the year of the Lord's favour – even the redemption of our debt through your grace and mercy. Amen.  
Bishop James Langstaff, Bishop to Prisons

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