Our centre closed for its Easter break on Thursday 2 April, following a night of prayer – Awaken the Dawn – for the nation. We’re not in full swing again till Tuesday 21st, but we wanted to share this beautiful picture (painted live during the night by Barbara Macnish) with you, and to communicate a few themes that came through during the night so we can all continue to pray into them during this key time for the UK.
Barbara explained the symbolism as working on three levels:
1. The Lion can be seen as the UK church
Barbara had been at Mosaic Church Leeds’ Love:Nations conference last month and heard the main speaker there (Angela Kemm from South Africa) speak a word about the UK church being called to transition from lamb mode into lion mode – to wake up, rise up and courageously ‘roar’ at injustice and unbelief.
2. The Lion is also reminiscent of Aslan, himself a symbol of Jesus
C.S. Lewis pictures both Aslan’s breath and his song as bringing things to life or back to life
3. The Lion also can of course symbolise Jesus himself as the Lion of Judah
Again, God’s ‘roar’ or song brings resurrection life. Barbara was also inspired on this front by Lou Fellingham’s new song of intercession ‘Roar‘ which picks up on this theme too.
In all cases, the painting speaks of incredible hope – of light and life springing up all across the UK in response to a fresh move of God’s life-giving Spirit.
It also reflects the atmosphere at the Sanctuary throughout the night of prayer itself, where a growing sense of joy and expectancy throughout the night.
The central two themes that kept coming up through prayer and listening again and again, which we feel are essential to share and ask everyone to keep prayerfully seeking God about, were:
– God has in no way finished with the UK or his church here. Quite the reverse. Good things are coming.
– The church needs to be waking up and going out more, worship needs to be taken outside of church buildings onto the streets and into public spaces and that generally creativity is going to be absolutely key in mission in this next season.
One of our pray-ers was again led to Isaiah 61, but in particular to the final verse (11) which was less familiar to many of us and also to Psalm 29:11 and these again seemed to confirm both the picture and the other prayers.
By the end of the night, the whole of our UK floor map was covered in prayers, symbols, words and pictures. Here’s just a taster to further inspire your prayers: