STEUART PAYNE: We're praying that people will be blessed
AS A church leader in the city of Portsmouth, it is my privilege to work alongside many other church leaders who love this city and whose congregations are doing some great things in their local communities.
Our desire is for people to know that God loves them and for their lives to be enriched through a relationship with God.
We gather as local congregations in different places in order to worship God and teach the Bible.
Our style varies from place to place, but we share foundational beliefs that unite us together as one Church in this city.
We share our faith with people in different ways –often through our words, but more often through our deeds.
Our churches care for the homeless, the lonely, the bereaved – and our street pastors are even there for those who need help after a night in the pub or club.
The greatest gift we have is free will.
We respect this and endeavour to communicate the good news about Jesus in a way that provides people with the opportunity to make an informed choice about Christianity.
We have seen lives transformed as people have turned to God and experienced his love and grace.
That’s why we pray for our city – or rather, for the people who live in this city.
We believe that God’s love and grace changes lives.
Christians from local congregations gather together every Wednesday morning at 6.30am to pray for Portsmouth at Oasis Church in Arundel Street, Landport.
And next week, we’re actually meeting every single morning, Monday to Friday, at 6.30am to pray for the city.
We’re praying that people will be blessed; that those in crisis will find help; that those who are broken-hearted will find comfort; that those who are struggling with addiction will find freedom; that people will live peace-filled and prosperous lives.
We are convinced that our prayers make a difference in peoples’ lives, even though we don’t always see immediate answers.
Personally, I love being a part of these early morning prayer times and love gathering with a group of people who are passionate about praying for our city.
n Portsmouth Family Church’s Sunday services take place at 10.30am at Portsmouth Academy, St Mary’s Road, Fratton. It’s the main congregation with full kids’ programme. Then at 6.30pm at Empower Centre, Kingston Road, Buckland for student and young adult congregation. Call (023) 9266 2257 or go to family-church.org.uk.