The following article was published in Reformation Today and is reproduced here by
permission. Some readers will be very aware of this welcome development and may well
have participated in some of the prayer meetings that have taken place already. We
are reproducing it to encourage further participation in these prayer meetings and
also to stimulate us all to renewed prayer for God to work in our nation.
When the Yorkshire Reformed Ministers' Fraternal issued the call to prayer just about
a year ago, we had no idea where it would lead. At that time the fraternal called
the churches of Yorkshire together for a Saturday morning of united prayer in Leeds
for the outpouring of God's Spirit. Burdened by the deplorable state of the nation,
the weakness of the churches, and our own lethargy as believers, we recognised that,
unless God comes in power, our situation is utterly hopeless.
Following that initial meeting in March last year, there was a widespread sense that
we must maintain the momentum of prayer. Three further events took place during 2011,
and the number of people involved increased. Clearly, the call to prayer was timely.
It had touched a nerve in the spiritual sensitivity of many Christians across Yorkshire.
We are convinced that this movement of prayer must be sustained. We do not want to
organise things so minutely that enthusiasm and spontaneity are killed. However,
without organisation and encouragement the momentum is likely to be lost. In organising
the Concert of Prayer, we are endeavouring to provide a suitable channel for people's
desire to pray that God will visit his people and bless us with better days for the
gospel and kingdom of Christ.
The first united prayer gatherings of 2012 were planned for Saturday 11 February.
Eight meetings took place simultaneously across Yorkshire. But what has thrilled
us so much is that friends in other parts of the country have heard or read about
what is happening in Yorkshire, and have been motivated to join the Concert of Prayer.
Meetings will be taking place at the same time, to our knowledge, in the neighbouring
counties of Durham and Lancashire, and also further afield in Newcastle upon Tyne,
Suffolk, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire.
We had planned to hold another county-wide event in Yorkshire on April 21st, but
the venue which we usually use turned out to be unavailable that day. We are therefore
planning a network of several meetings at a few key venues around Yorkshire. What
is so encouraging is that more areas of the country are planning to join the concert
on that occasion. Meetings are already being planned in Devon and Derbyshire.
Let this report be a plea. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this Concert of Prayer soon
covered the entire nation? Could you spearhead something in your area? There is,
of course, nothing magical about all praying simultaneously, and indeed, we are aware
of other groups — in London, Ireland and Scotland — who are already holding meetings
of prayer for revival at other times. If the dates arranged by the brothers in Yorkshire
are not suitable where you live, then go ahead and do something at a time convenient
for you. Nevertheless, there is something powerfully symbolic about people all over
the country crying out to the Lord for the same thing at the same time. It is a wonderful
testimony to our unity in Christ, and to our common recognition of our total dependence
upon God to revive His work. Let us press on in the work of the gospel, even in these
difficult days, and may the Lord be pleased to heed our cries, and pour out His Spirit
in revival blessing.