Today, following the EU referendum, it's a time to remember faith, hope and love.
The uplifting response from the church in the UK is a call to show love and to pray for reconciliation. We have a message of hope that is constant and faith in a God who is good.
The subject of faith - and mountains - was the focus of the Heart for Ipswich leaders prayer meeting this week (June 21st 2016).
"Prayer projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God." E M Bounds.
A question we asked ourselves - "do I REALLY have the faith Jesus talks about?"
Jesus says that faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains.... Mustard seeds are very small! Maybe I haven't yet reached a grain - or even a mustard seed - but I can start from where I am and pray that, with God's help, I will move up a little, and then a little more.
Help us Lord to stop operating in the "This is what I can do" zone, and to begin to look for the mountain moving God, getting on board with him in his removal business. Help us to start looking for the "slightly bigger things" than those we are already used to.
Help us not to take on mountains ourselves, just because we feel like it or think it would be good.
Remember the disciples were unable to cast a demon out of a boy but Jesus reminded them (and us) that nothing is impossible for God - be it moving mountains, stilling the winds and the seas, speaking light into being or raising the dead to life.
God is already moving mountains - sometimes we just don't see or recognise what is under our very nose. On Saturday Ipswich Town Pastors celebrated ten years of caring on the streets, and praying in the back room. At Christmas 2005, 12 people set out into Ipswich Town Centre, covering three very busy nights as a pilot project, prior to the 'official launch' of the project on June 23rd, 2006.
Ten years on, over 600 volunteers are active in Town Pastor projects across the county of Suffolk, and now spreading beyond. Prayer has been offered up night after night, weekend after weekend by our prayer teams, for ten years. That's approximately 1040 nights of prayer in Ipswich alone - approximately 6,240 hours of prayer; at least 49,920 man hours of prayer, based on a minimum of 8 people involved centrally or at home each shift.... And there's often double that number.
"All wonderful works depend on wonderful praying, and all praying is done in the name of Jesus Christ"
E M Bounds.
So does all this prayer and walking of the dark streets make a difference? Yes! On Saturday we heard from the Chief Constable who talked about responses by his officers when he asked them their opinions of the difference the Town Pastor scheme (in its entirety of prayer based action) makes, and the word used was 'awesome'. He spoke about prayer and his thoughts on the subject - very positive - and we heard about the huge number of incidents logged where TPs have reduced crime and impacted individual lives. Now, we believe, the whole culture of the Night Time Economy and binge drinking is changing across Suffolk. That's an answer on many levels to our prayer by the God who moves mountains.
If it was said in June 2005 that these would be outcomes in 10 years time would we have believed it? Probably not! The mustard seed of faith has certainly produced fruit. To God be the glory.
These blogs are written by different people from the IIP team. They are prompted by the things we talk about and pray about when we meet together and by words shared from the praying community in Ipswich.