Network for Revival – January Newsletter

We are pleased to reproduce the latest Newsletter of Rev Tony Higton’s, Network for Revival.

Please go to networkforrevival.co.uk for further details or contact Tony at email: tony@higton.info

Prepare

Network for Revival January 2020

In the last three issues I have been dealing with major foundations for prayer for Revival:

·         Praying in Holiness

(http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Prepare-13-August-2019.pdf),

·         Praying in Faith

(http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Prepare-14-September-2019.pdf).

·         In-depth Intercession. 

http://networkforrevival.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Prepare-15-November-2019.pdf

In this issue I add to “Praying in Faith” in the context of the spiritual battle going on in the church at present.

How to pray for Revival: We’re in a battle

I know of a church which has prayed for this New Year to be a time of 20:20 spiritual vision and I believe we need that in Network for Revival. We need to see the bigger vision, to see what’s going on spiritually. One of the important things taking place is a major spiritual battle and part of its aim is to undermine our prayer for revival. It is a fairly new, very widespread and powerful attack on the attitude of Christians to Scripture. I’ll give the specifics below. I wasn’t intending to write on this but a few days ago I believe the Lord, out of the blue, spoke clearly to me about it.

I am not someone who “sees demons everywhere” but the New Testament does teach that we are in a battle. It has 212 references to the devil or demonic forces. Peter warns “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith” (1 Peter 5:8-9). Paul writes “Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph 6:11-12). Prayer for revival includes such spiritual warfare. But what are the battles we are currently facing? I note 3 major attacks. The first two are:

Destroying the church’s reputation and seriously undermining its witness. You may have seen two very shocking recent TV documentaries about the Church of England bishop who sexually abused teenagers and young men. It also accused the church hierarchy of a serious cover-up. This will do huge damage to the church. (The C of E Daily Media Digest for the day of the second documentary also referred to a TV programme on a former deputy churchwarden who committed murder, a vicar who stole £60,000 of wedding fees and an 81 year old former priest convicted of sex offences).

Removing freedom to convey some vital Christian truths (this is developing but not yet established). The legitimate concern about religious extremism is moving towards banning Christians from communicating publicly about biblical teaching on sexuality or difficult subjects such as hell and possibly the uniqueness of Jesus as the only Saviour. (Such restrictions will cause great difficulty to conservative Christians but we must remember that full-scale persecution of Christians throughout the world is worse than it has ever been).

However it is the third one I want to major on in this letter. Amongst conservative Christians there is a spectrum of views of the Bible. Some are very fundamentalist, others are not, but they all firmly believe (as the Evangelical Alliance puts it) in “The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.”

It is absolutely crucial in Network for Revival that we firmly believe in the promises of Jesus to answer prayer and that we take our stand in prayer on those promises:

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer” (Mt 21:22).

“Everything is possible to the one who believes” (Mk 9:23).

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you receive it and it will be yours (Mk 11:24).

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt 7:7).

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven” (Mt 18:19).

“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (Jn 14:14).

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (Jn 15:7).

Because it is so vital, it is only to be expected that there would be a strong spiritual attack on trust in God’s Word, encouraging Christians to ‘sit loose’ to Scripture or to denigrate it. What the Lord impressed on me the other day was that this spiritual attack is currently based upon the same-sex marriage, homosexual practice, transgender issue. I am used to the controversy over homosexual practice because it was my private member’s motion on the Church of England General Synod in 1987 which led to the synod voting by a 98% majority that “homosexual genital acts  … are … to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion.” That is still the official position of the Church of England.

How things have changed in the last 30 years! It is extraordinary. We live in a different world where, first, homosexual practice and now same-sex marriage are widely accepted – including amongst Christians. During that period disapproval in society of homosexual practice has fallen by 27%. Now only 13% of British people think it is wrong.  But this letter is not about homosexuality as such. It is about the damage being done in the church through the discussions about it. Christians, including evangelicals and others who are conservative in their theology, are being challenged to take a liberal approach to Scripture in order to justify homosexual practice, same-sex marriage and transgender issues. But they may not be fully aware of what is going on.

The arguments that the Bible accepts homosexual practice are, in my view, very weak – and invalid. Currently, our Methodist friends are discussing them, and being encouraged to accept same-sex marriage. The literature (study guide) being circulated to and discussed with all Methodists over the next few months includes asking all of them to live and let live with various views of Scripture – some conservative, some in-between and some very liberal. If you want my response to those arguments from the Methodist Conference see Critique of Methodist study guide on same sex-marriage report. It also is a cause of deep concern that a significant group of evangelicals on the Church of England General Synod have come out as supporting same-sex relationships.

Those Christians in favour of same sex marriage use the following arguments: “The Bible was written by people living long ago who didn’t have the scientific knowledge about sexuality we have. They didn’t know, for example, about faithful, loving same-sex relationships. What we read in the Bible about same sex relationships is in the context of idolatry and ancient ceremonials.  The New Testament is all about loving each other, not rules and regulations about sexual behaviour.” These are all inaccurate comments and I respond to them briefly in the attached paper and more extensively in Critique of Methodist report on homosexual relationships .

If we let such arguments convince us they can undermine our view of Scripture in other ways: Some Christians may wonder: “Maybe the amazing New Testament promise that God will grant salvation to all who believe is from a different age and is simplistic.” In addition, some may think: “Maybe the amazing New Testament promises that God will answer prayer are from a different age and are simplistic.”

So the most important battle is not over sexuality but over the authority of the Bible in our lives and, in particular, for Christians on this Network, over our attitude towards Jesus’ amazing promises to answer prayer. Yes, there are conditions to him answering our prayers: praying in faith, perseverance in prayer, agreeing in prayer, ‘remaining” in Jesus and his word remaining in us, ensuring the petition is biblical. But if these are fulfilled Jesus PROMISES to answer.

If we let reason or experience rule (the liberal approach) we will think God may not answer such petitionary prayers (and that will undermine the prayer). Some people will say “Oh, God won’t always answer prayer so he might not bring revival.” If we approach the situation in faith, the Lord promises to answer. The Lord has challenged me about this recently and I’ve reached the point where I’d rather have a problem with God apparently not answering a prayer because I firmly believe his promises, than I would allow myself to doubt his promises, toning them down rationally.

As Paul puts it, our faith should “not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power” (1 Cor 2:5). The battle is between faith (based on trust in God’s Word) and rationalism. Choose faith!

Having fulfilled the biblical conditions listed above, we need to pray boldly and persistently for revival on the basis of the seven promises above, without being deflected by rationalism. When the Lord grants revival he will bring spiritual cleansing to the church and call people back to His Word in Scripture (including on the sexuality issue).

So, let’s be aware of what is really going on in the church at present and remain true to the authority of the inspired Word of God, and let us also pray that God will intervene powerfully in revival and restore those who have compromised over their view of Scripture.

[Click here to download a paper where I give further details about this attack]

Be assured of my prayers for you.

God bless you,

Tony

Network for Revival banner

Day of Prayer for Evangelism – 2 May 2020

From Eurovision, the ministry of David Hathaway

Day of Prayer for Evangelism -David Hathaway May 2020

“Join me for a Day of Prayer for Evangelism on 2 May 2020, at Emmanuel Centre, London. This will be a great day to pray for Revival for Britain through Evangelism!” – David Hathaway.

This will be a day to remember, a time of worship and declaration. David Hathaway will show how God moves when Prayer and the Gift of Faith are combined. This will be a Day of Impartation when David will pass on the Fire and Passion for Revival through Evangelism to you. Prophecy says, this is the last Revival before Messiah Comes! This will be the launch of Eurovision’s new programme of Evangelism for the 2020s. Places are limited – book now!

This is part of a Day of Prayer for Evangelism which is taking place worldwide. Without specific prayer Evangelism is weakened. The last 70 years of David’s ministry have been extremely powerful because they are an evidence of the Power of Prayer in action.

More details an to book, go to www.eurovision.org.uk/prayerforevangelism

The Wall of Answered Prayer – January update

Some highlights from an update we have just received from our friends at The Wall of Answered Prayer. What an amazing project. We encourage you to get involved.

2019 – a year of incredible growth

In 2019 we were given a phenomenal piece of land, announced the winning design, and successfully raised £169,439 in our 2019 Heroes campaign.

What does 2020 have in store?

Planning application approved (please pray!)
New branding
Land visit for all 2019 Heroes
The first ever National Day of Answered Prayer
Summer tour of churches and festivals
Construction begins

To meet the demand of all these exciting plans, we shall be expanding our team. We’ll need people to delve into the UK’s history and reach out into our communities to find answered prayers; people to help with our fundraising; people to help find monthly donors, and so much more!

Further details: thewall.org.uk

Worship on the Streets – update Dec. 2019

Worship on the streets

Stories from the Streets newsletter – December 2019

CLICK HERE to view

 

Worship On The Streets has a vision to see God’s love and power released on the streets of the UK through worship. It is about making worship more accessible to people who are not a part of a Christian community and helping them encounter Jesus and the love He has for them. They believe worship was never just intended to stay in church buildings but to overflow into every arena of life and be an invitation for those who don’t yet know Jesus to come and experience Him for themselves.

Visit worshiponthestreets.co.uk

Two days to raise £30k for The Wall of Answered Prayer – can you help?

The Wall of Answered Prayer
A National Landmark of Hope

A piece of architectural sculpture built on the outskirts of Birmingham about Jesus. Made of a million bricks with each one representing an answered prayer.

10 Things You May Not Know About The Wall of Answered Prayer

ONLY TWO DAYS TO GO!

The Wall are raising £145,000 for the next stage of their planning application and with just two days to go to their 11th December deadline, they have raise an incredible £115,000.

But, they still require nearly £30,000.

They are looking for 2019 Heroes to donate £72 each – could you be one of them – or could you give a smaller donation, or maybe a larger one?

Follow this link to give 2019 Heroes Campaign Page

2019 Heroes - The Wall

A Day of Prophetic Intercession for Essex – 18th January 2020

An event organised by our friends at Transforming Essex and City Prayer, Chelmsford:

A day of prophetic intercession -180120 - A4 -A5
Click on the above image to open as a pdf – please feel free to share the event widely!

City Prayer in Chelmsford have joined with Transforming Essex for a Day of Prophetic Intercession – a call to all around the County of Essex with a heart for prayer and the prophetic.

There will be time for worship, to listen and to pray, for networking and together we hope to discern what the Lord is doing around Essex and to join Him, to see our County transformed by the Kingdom of God.

Saturday 18th January 2020
Refreshments from 10 am, starting at 10.30 am
Finish about 3 pm
Life Church, Hall Street,
Chelmsford, CM2 0HG

No need to book, just turn up on the day.

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided during the day. Please bring a packed lunch, or there are a number of food outlets nearby.

A free will offering to cover expenses will be taken.

Getting there / parking

The Church is a 15 minute walk from Chelmsford railway station.

Buses, including from the City’s Park and Ride, stop on Parkway, about 100 yards from the Church. For Park and Ride details, click here.

There will be no parking at the Church and the closest public car parks are, Parkway, (directly behind the Church and accessible by steps), or Moulsham Street, (entrance in George Street, which is also slightly cheaper). You may find these and all car park details on the Chelmsford City Council website – click here.

Event Background

Transforming Essex logoEssex is often portrayed with a negative reputation; Essex girls and white van man!

From a vision in 2018 by a group of eight church leaders in the south of Essex, Transforming Essex is a growing family of believers pursuing God’s heart to transform Essex in all sections of society.

During 2019, Transforming Essex launched the concept of Roundtables. These are groups of like minded individuals who will join together to seek God, discuss, strategise, celebrate, communicate and act on the things God calls them to collectively, all with the aim of seeing the County thrive and see it walk in its heavenly identity.

One of these emerging groups is the Transforming Essex Intercessors Roundtable who, in partnership with Chelmsford’s City Prayer, have felt to issue this County-wide call to gather  – possibly the first time such a call has been given?

You are iinvited to become part the journey to see Essex transformed by the Kingdom of God.

If you have any questions, please click here and complete the Contact Form.