Kevin Reilly and our band of praying brothers and sisters
Last Tuesday, our Ukraine prayer group used this job-like song of David (Psalm 6) to settle our hearts to the business of once again praying and interceding for Europe and for the terrible effects of the war in Ukraine.
At first glance, David’s song appears a little inaccessible as he describes his long-languishing and his troubled soul to the point that even his bones are troubled. He is weary with moaning and his bed is wet with tears; grief wearies his eyes and he grows weak because of his foes. Yet, all of this desperation occurs in fellowship. God is present and so David wrestles with him – not really in a spirit of petition but with simple, heart-wrenching honesty.
It is what it is. I am what I am. How long O Lord!
By the end of the Psalm, David’s circumstances are unchanged, but he isn’t. A season of long-suffering of the soul has ended and David is able to sing with confidence: The Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. The Lord has heard my plea. The Lord accepts my prayer. (v8-9). He is then able to move forward with great hope into his unchanged circumstances, confident that his enemies shall be put to shame and forced to turn back (v10). It’s a magnificent and timely song.
On February 25, 2022, a group of us began a journey of daily prayer. Our single heart-aim was to stand with Edik and Liana in Uzhgorod and to begin our day as they begin theirs – with our eyes and hearts fixed upon some of the things that they face. This journey of prayer in the psalms – in its present form – will finish on Sunday 10th July. On that day, our fellowship of interceding friends will have gathered for a total of 136 prayer meetings and 102 hours of prayer.
But like David, we feel that it is time for us to be able to lay our tears, our groans and our wrestling before the Lord, confident that he has heard the sound of our weeping; has heard our pleas and has accepted our prayers.
It takes faith to begin a journey like this and it takes at least as much faith to surrender it as well.
We were greatly encouraged this morning (with no-one knowing of our decision to finish until the end of the prayer time) as God spoke to us through our friend Jem, a farmer. The previous day he had been out cutting hay in a field and was just about to finish when he turned around and saw that what was left in the field on fire – he thinks he caused a spark when driving over a stone! Eventually he managed to put the fire out.
Our praying is like that spark in the field – he prophesied! We present ourselves before a sovereign God and then he takes us by surprise and pours the breath of his Spirit upon what we bring, setting everything on fire!
We have, in this journey, discovered something of an appetite for engaging with the great and oppressive things of this world – for nations and for wars and for leaders and for things far beyond our human capability. And in this spirit, we recognise both our own limitations but also our desire to wrestle in prayer…and so a change is coming.
Our last daily prayer meeting for Ukraine is on Sunday 10th July. We will end this prayer-season there. But (from August 30th) we will continue to pray every Tuesday and Wednesday morning at 06.30 BSST / 07.30 CEST for a move of God upon the church and upon the nations. You are welcome to join us (details below).
Lastly, if you have joined us at any point in this prayer-journey, thank you. Whether you joined us at the beginning, have popped in and out or have come in on the tail end…thank you. And for those dear friends who have been with us from the start, may I simply express how much your daily fellowship has meant to Emma and me. This has been a remarkable journey for us and we feel deeply connected to you all – our dear, praying friends.
We began this journey because, like David, our soul was greatly troubled for what we were seeing unfold in Ukraine. But we finish this journey, rich in fellowship and blessed. I have no doubt that many of us will continue to pray for Edik and Liana and that will gather together once again from August, but for now we retire and rest, confident and in full assurance that:
The Lord has heard the sound of our weeping. The Lord has heard our pleas and the Lord accepts our prayers.
Join us for prayer every Tuesday and Wednesday from 30/08/22 at 06.30 BSST / 07.30 CEST for 45 minutes of seeking Heaven’s fire and the advance of God’s Kingdom in the earth.
Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/9482728926?pwd=UnFJVTV4VlZjemFaUXV2MVNQUzFEZz09
Meeting ID: 948 272 8926