expanding our view up as well as out

The Sanctuary exists to explore widening the focus of worship and prayer to reflect the breadth and depth of what is on God’s heart as he listens and responds to the heart-cries of those he has made… we care about justice because he does. But this breadth and depth of heart for our world is also a reflection in itself. He cares about justice because he is just. Everything on his heart is because of who he is – the mystery, beauty and extraordinary breadth and depth that is the person, character and love of God himself.

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One of the most wonderful elements of our journey towards the place where world and worship meet is our desire to study and gain deeper revelation of just how big our God is.

And the adventure of discovery this is leading us on.

We seek to learn more about the nations, issues and individuals we’re lifting to God. But this always starts from looking upwards more – to him.

People often ask how we can keep looking at, praying for, and speaking out/acting on such huge, complex and dark problems – poverty, human trafficking and modern day slavery, corruption, conflict… the list, the nations and the statistics go on and stack up.

But we can continue to look out with compassion – and crucially the hope for transformation – because we are looking up.

And because the desire to look out in the first place keeps coming from this upward gaze – at the hugeness, depth and unapproachable light that is Jesus.

Each day – alongside headlines, issues in focus and specific nations and regions in the world, we consider a different element or characteristic of God.

We started with a list of 90 (which you can read in our current version of our prayer rhythm cycle) and it’s profoundly changed how we see God.

And we’ve seen our confidence in him grow as we lift seemingly huge issues up to him… issues which are dwarfed next to his grace, power and love.

It’s been amazing to share this list with people and groups encountering the Sanctuary for the first time recently, and to invite them to pray using it.

Last Friday at morning worship, a number of our regular pray-ers took on the challenge not just of doing this but of significantly expanding it – we’re looking forward to updating and using our new list soon… and more importantly to having our minds and hearts stretched still further.

We must keep expanding our view of him – though we know we will never fully grasp the height, width, depth and breadth of his love – exploring, searching and seeking always shows us more…

That group last Friday prayed for the Philippines with a new perspective and compassion following this exercise of praise…

Just as earlier in the week another group had done when brought to the same type of revelation of God’s hugeness following the challenge of this song – God of the moon and stars –which a friend had sent to one of our core team.

Let’s keep wrestling, seeking and searching him out.For he promises if we seek we will find…

And there is more and more mystery to disover; more and more heart to share; and more and more transformation to witness as we pray and act in accordance with a correct perspective on the size of our God and his kingdom of light.

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