Today is Sunday, March 15. My name is Sandra. Thank you for joining me to intercede for Northern Europe this weekend, during our 40-day Lent journey!
Theme: We are justified before God through our faith in Him
Scripture: Romans 5:1-11 (NRSV)
During our Lenten journey, each weekend we will pray for a different area of the Eurasia Church of the Nazarene.
The first weekend we prayed for the countries of the Western Mediterranean. The second weekend, we covered the Commonwealth of Independent States with our prayer. This weekend, we are interceding for the nations of Northern Europe, and for our brothers and sisters in Christ there.
The Church of the Nazarene describes Northern Europe as Germany, Switzerland, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands.
Nazarenes have shared the following challenges facing the Church:
Believers say that as their societies continue to sharply secularize, they need a spirit of risk-taking, creativity and innovation to reach people in new ways with the enduring Gospel. The old paths of sharing about Jesus are no longer effective.
Despite more than a thousand years of rich Christian heritage, Northern Europe has largely forgotten its Christian identity and legacy. Believers seek discernment for how to maintain an uncompromised faith while at the same time embracing those societal changes that will help them reach people.
Internally, ethics in discipleship are not easy to navigate amid the influences of pluralism and postmodernism. Overall discipleship and next level leadership is a challenge. Believers have difficulty helping people move from simple church attendance to giving Jesus complete Lordship over their lives.
Among aging populations, attracting, retaining and discipling children and youth is a challenge. Yet, annual children and youth camps in Germany and the Netherlands are popular, and offer opportunities to evangelize and disciple children and youth.
In the United Kingdom, overbearing government rules combined with declining numbers of church involvement has put huge strain on local churches. It is difficult to find people willing and able to serve in administration. As a result, many churches struggle to keep focused on mission due to the constant demands of bureaucracy.
Here are prayer requests for The Netherlands:
- The Nazarene church in Utrecht is introducing bilingual Dutch and Arabic worship services in collaboration with Arabic-speaking Christians. The church wants to be a witness and accessible to its neighborhood, where a large number of Arabic-speaking people live.
- Pray for the pilot project to start a leadership development program for new leaders as well as lifelong learning opportunity for those in ministry.
- Pray for our churches as we explore new ways of reaching our surrounding communities though compassionate ministry projects, being present and presenting Jesus Christ in the neighborhood.
- Pray that we gain wisdom for how our communities can be safe for children and vulnerable people. We want to know how to protect the weak.
- Pray for the preparations of our district children’s camp with Pentecost and our district youth summer camp. These two events attract many children and teenagers.
The United Kingdom asks for the following prayer requests:
- God’s leading and blessing on new church planting initiatives;
- A renewal within our churches and revival in our nation;
- That we are a holy missional and transformational movement in the communities God has placed us in.
- That our new emphasis on diaspora church planting would be fruitful, both in reaching people, but also in establishing a sense of oneness and reciprocating blessing with the traditional British church(es).
- That we would be able to establish both a method and the means to renew our smaller churches into missional communities, less focused on maintenance and survival, and more focused on new missional opportunities.
- We are in a season of significant leadership transition: That the right next generation of leaders would be appointed across the district.
- That we would be fruitful in witnessing in our workplaces, schools and colleges, anointed of the Spirit with a renewed strength, graceful boldness, and humble clarity. That this would result in us personally seeing friends find faith in Jesus, and corporately that we would be able to plant new missional communities and churches.
Pray for Switzerland and Germany in the following ways:
- Pray for God to raise up and prepare a new generation of lay and clergy leaders to lead the Church through the coming decades.
- Ask that many called young and middle-aged people will pursue theological education to better prepare them for church leadership.
- Ask God to prepare and bless the popular children’s and youth camps that are scheduled after Easter. These are annual times for new commitments to following Christ, and for discipling those who are already believers.
- Pray that God would open churches’ hearts and minds for a new spirit of creativity and innovation to preach the gospel in fresh, true ways.
- Ask the Spirit to pour out a revival that will infuse God’s people with persuasive boldness in sharing Jesus with their communities.
Our wise and powerful God,
We come to Your throne today with many requests. Our hearts are burdened with love and concern for the peoples of Northern Europe. We know that You love them more than we ever could. We also know that You have all the power to intervene with Your prevenient grace to open their hearts to You. This is a power we do not have. It comes only through Your infinite grace and patience.
Father, You have a faithful and persevering Church across the nations of Germany, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Your people have held firm to their resolve to follow You. They have endured many trials of marginalization and discouragement, and not abandoned You.
The enemy has tried to convince Your people that they are few. That they have no voice, and are irrelevant to their secular, atheistic societies. The enemy has tried to steal their hope and victory in You.
We know these are lies. Through You, Your Church has all the power it needs—and more—to reach the lost, and draw many into a vibrant, transforming relationship with You.
Please pour out Your Holy Spirit upon Your Church in Northern Europe. Fill our brothers and sisters with Your Spirit of victory over the principalities and powers of atheism and secularism. Root Your Church firm and deep in Your Word. Through the power of Your Truth, enable them to resist the seduction to compromise with the culture for the sake of being favored by people who defy and scorn You.
Make Your people’s joy, hope, love, and faith attractive to their families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. Let their love for each other be a witness of Your love. Heal and restore Your people to wholeness and wellness. In this, make them a witness for the kind of healing and wholeness You long to bring to the nations of Northern Europe.
Give Your Church discernment, wisdom, creativity, and courage to try new ways of reaching their societies with the gospel. Please bless the many church planting projects underway across Northern Europe. Lead and guide all those involved, so that they are doing this in Your love and wisdom.
Please raise up committed, mature, young and middle-aged people who will lead the Church through many years to come. Call hundreds to community ministry through volunteering or vocation, and hundreds of others to full-time church leadership. Plant a desire for ongoing theological education, and open doors so they can study.
Father, this week communities and nations of Northern Europe are taking important steps to slow the spread of COVID-19, often by temporarily stopping public gatherings. Please make Your Church shine bright with peace and love during this time of anxiety and uncertainty. While believers may not be able to gather physically for worship or compassionate outreach, please show them the doors You will open to minister to the emotional, spiritual, and physical needs of their neighbors.
We entrust all these requests into Your hands, and pray all this in the name of Your wonderful Son, Jesus. Amen.
The additional scripture readings for today are from:
To watch a video about the Northern Europe Field, visit: www.eurasiaregion.org/fields/northern-europe-field/
Join us again on Monday to start a new week of Lent!