A Brief History of our Tuesday Prayer Meetings
It’s no accident that our first church value is Prayerful Dependence and that Pray-Go-Invite starts with prayer. Indeed, you could say it all started nearly 70 years ago…
From our beginnings in the 1950s, CEC was blessed with prayer warriors who taught the church the vital importance of prayer: Billy Knapton, Ron Pitman, Norman and Joyce Howard, Tom Toten, Harry Kilbride and Andrew Davies, among many others, were all steeped in a conviction that the church prayer meeting was the best place for the church to express our dependency upon, and expectation of, the Lord’s favour.
This history and conviction was foundational in the thinking and practice of those who followed in their footsteps during the pastorate of John Tindall and myself. Thirty years ago, in the summer of 1988, the Lord visited the summer prayer meetings in a special way that gave rise to what we called a ‘season of prayer’ that lasted for several months.
In the providence of God, the ensuing five years saw the birth of the Schools Work (Insight), the move to Chessington Community College, the sending out of gospel workers for national and international mission and the creation of The King’s Centre. The Church learned by experience that prayer works!
Subsequently, the church leadership under Bobby Warrenburg and Daf Meirion-Jones has sought to continue and build-upon this rich heritage by (for example) embedding prayer in our church culture – through the values – and our church practice – through Pray-Go-Invite.
August is an incredibly busy time for gospel ministry among children and young people; not only our own holiday clubs and camps but also Contagious and the many camps and beach missions throughout the UK.
The August prayer meetings provide additional opportunity for those who can`t always make the midweek meeting, to get along. But, crucially, they reflect our utter dependency on the Lord to bring success for the gospel and glory to Himself. It is truly the barometer of the health of the church – and of our own personal spiritual life.
So, let me encourage you to make the church prayer meeting a priority - this month and indeed every time we have opportunity to gather together to pray.
Yours in Christ,
FIEC London Director and former Senior Pastor of CEC