Praying for Britain and Europe

May 5, 2016

image:flagsOn the eve of the National Prayer Breakfast, Christians of all traditions and nationalities are gathering to pray.

We are at a critical time in the history of Britain and Europe.  It is a time for God’s people to pray as ONE for His will to be done in all the nations.  Our gathering will not focus on how to vote, but rather, we will come together to humble ourselves, pray and seek God’s face, repenting for the sin of our nations, asking for God’s mercy and praying He will heal these lands.

Monday, 13th June 2016 – 7pm-9pm

The Emmanuel Centre,
Marsham Street,
London  SW1P 3DF

click here for location map

ALL ARE WELCOME!

Please feel free to join for all or just a part of this gathering.

Download a poster advertising this gathering here

A Maranatha Community Statement regarding the Referendum is available here

Audio: Teaching on Mental Health

April 29, 2016

in the context of Christian Healing Ministry.

Listen here to Dr. Natasha Fraser, a GP in Manchester, give an overview of issues surrounding Mental Health at a Maranatha teaching evening on April 14.

What is God’s Will for Britain ?

April 21, 2016

In calling a Referendum, the Government has given us, the people of Britain, an opportunity to vote on the future relationship of Britain with the European Union. At this significant time of decision in the history of Britain we have a responsibility, as the people of God, to use our vote wisely after proper, prayerful consideration.

What is our starting point as we endeavour to discern the will of God? If we are purely focused on the specific question of how to vote, we risk missing what God has to say to His Church and to the nations right now. Last year, there was an unprecedented level of united prayer prior to the General Election. The prayer was not focused on who to vote for but rather that the will of God be done. In faith, we trust that God is working His purposes out, and will continue to do so in the measure that His people, who are called by His Name will humble themselves and pray and seek His face and turn from their wicked ways.

Britain and Europe

Britain is part of the continent of Europe. However, Britain has a distinct history and, confirmed by history, a unique and distinct call and inheritance from God. Since the 9th century AD, British government and legal systems have been built upon the foundations of Judaeo-Christian belief, thought and practice. Over the centuries, God’s law took priority over man’s law. For this reason all the key British institutions and indeed the fabric of our society originated in a moral as well as legal framework. This is different to Europe, where legal codes are largely based on Roman law concepts. An example of this is that the continental approach to law starts from the proposition that only what the law expressly allows is permitted; this is in contrast to English common law which allows anything that the law does not prohibit.

Britain has been used by God to take the Gospel across the world and with it the outworking of Christian values for society. As countries once part of the British Empire sought independence, the Commonwealth emerged in which there was a particular relationship between Britain and its former colonies which shared values of democracy, human rights and rule of law. This special but informal relationship with Commonwealth nations was superseded by Britain’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC), also known as the Common Market, in 1973. Although the initial body of nations was formed on the basis of trade agreement and, in post war Europe, an aspiration of peace, there was at the outset, a stated political aim for integration of the European nations. This has been progressed through a series of treaties through which the European Union emerged with new powers in the areas of foreign and domestic policy. The philosophy that underpins the European Union is secular and humanist in its origins and outlook. This article will not endeavour to cover the various arguments for and against Britain’s membership of the EU. There is further helpful factual information about the EU, its history and structure on the website www.civitas.org.uk/eu-facts.

It is important to be properly informed about the various factors involved in Britain’s relationship with the European Union. However, as the people of God, our searching should be primarily directed to discerning the will of God. The world can provide us with facts, but only the Spirit of God will lead us into Truth.

What is the real issue?

Britain is in crisis. In January 2015 the Maranatha Community presented a prophetic call at a consultation in Parliament. Entitled ‘A Matter of Life or Death – The Struggle for the Soul of Our Nation’, it gave factual information about the state of our nation, asserting that the crisis, which is evidenced socially, economically and morally, is fundamentally spiritual. The Judaeo-Christian foundations upon which Britain has been built have been systematically undermined and the fabric of our society, and the institutions which are part and parcel of it, are in danger of collapse.

Europe is in crisis. Those on both sides of the Referendum debate agree the simple fact that the enormous bureaucracy of the EU is not working. The all-powerful EU Commission is an undemocratic body which is largely unaccountable and operates at supranational level. The financial affairs of the EU are extremely complex and its accounts have not been approved by the auditors for 19 years. It is perhaps significant to note that, whilst the rest of the world is seeing a huge growth in Christian faith, this is not the case in Europe. Ravi Zacharias says, prophetically, “The culture in which we find ourselves is in turmoil…the West is engaged in a momentous battle, one in which it is risking its very soul”.

Whether Britain leaves or remains part of the EU will not alter the fact that all European nations will continue to be affected by the ongoing situation with migrants from the Middle East. Many see this as a threat, but it is also a time of great opportunity for the spread of the Gospel. At the same time Britain cannot be isolated from what is to become of Greece. The financial instability of Europe affects more than just EU nation states.

Whatever the outcome of the vote, there will be serious challenges to face both for us as a union of nations – England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – and as a part of Europe, which includes the Republic of Ireland. Are we, the Church in Britain, ready to respond to the aftermath of the Referendum?

So, what is the real issue from a Kingdom perspective? The Proverb rightly says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Prov. 29.18 KJV). Those involved in the theatre of media debate are all presenting negative arguments. Sadly, so are some within the Church. What is God’s vision for Britain and for Europe? What is our vision? It is in the midst of crisis that we discover God’s time of opportunity. Will we, the Church of Christ, proclaim the hope of the Gospel and the vision of God’s Kingdom into the midst of the confusion, uncertainty and indifference?

Discerning the will of God

Amidst questions about economy, political union, sovereignty, defence, immigration, the environment and the spiritual influences involved, it is important for us to ask questions that will lead us nearer to the heart of God.

What impact will a decision to leave or remain have upon the younger and future generations of Britain? What effect will a vote either way have upon our relationships with the nations that make up Britain? What impact will a vote to leave or remain have upon the relationship of Britain to the Republic of Ireland? Are we open to hear discernment from Christians in Europe? The purpose of these questions is not so much to decide on an answer but, rather, to ensure that our hearts are open to all those who will be affected by the Referendum result and especially to those who hold a different view to our own. An open heart is a heart open to revelation from God.

Similarly, we should beware of the temptation to apply human interpretation to any understanding we may have, even through God’s revelation. Scripture provides plenty of examples of the way in which God leads His people to do that which is counter-intuitive. His ways and His thoughts are completely different and very much higher than ours! His desire is that His people listen and obey.

What does the Bible say about the will of God? Paul describes the mystery of God’s will as “to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ” (Eph. 1.10). Jesus teaches us to pray to our Father “Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is heaven” (Matt. 6.10). For this to happen Jesus prayed that His followers be one, with the model for that oneness being His relationship with God the Father. The oneness of the Body of Christ is essential for the putting into effect of God’s will on earth. Paul received the revelation that God’s will would be effected by a Church which is fully functioning as one body, through which “..the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 3.10). The Church is God’s chosen instrument in the spiritual battle which is escalating across the nations and the unity of His Church, under the Lordship of Jesus, is the key.

God’s will regarding Britain’s relationship with the European Union will not be brought into effect through pursuit of the answer to the question of whether we leave or remain. It will be effected in the measure that we, His people, humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways AS ONE.

Put another way, God’s will is that the Church wakes up to its responsibility for the future of Britain and enters into the real battle for the life and soul of our nation.

How should we pray?

  • In unity with the whole Body of Christ – as in the world, the EU debate is a divisive issue for the Church. Our unity does not come from or depend upon all Christians holding the same view. Let us pray for strengthening of the bonds of unity with brothers and sisters in Christ across national boundaries, between England, Scotland, Wales and all of Ireland as well as with Christians of all traditions throughout Europe.
  • Using the prayer that Jesus taught us – this prayer has been prayed by believers for the last 2000 years. Many have prayed it at midday over recent years as an offering of united prayer for our nation. Let us pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom and for His will to be done as children united in His one Family.
  • For true humbling of ourselves, God’s people, called by his Name – this requires us to lay down our understanding and convictions, simply asking for God’s mercy on our nation as we seek His face and pray for His will to be done.
  • In confession and repentance – for our apathy and indifference as God’s people in Britain, for our sin and the sin of the church in Britain.
  • For the Church to lead the way of righteousness – that we, as God’s people, would demonstrate the Love and Grace of God in all relationships, especially in our attitude towards other people groups. Let us pray for the elimination of xenophobia and anti-Semitism throughout Britain and Europe.
  • For the proclamation of the Gospel and a new move of God’s Spirit – that the vision of God’s Kingdom will be effectively communicated by the Church. Let us pray that it will captivate the hearts and minds of the people, especially the young.
  • For the Church to be seen to be offering a positive vision for the future – that the Church will be inspired by, and receive the grace to communicate a vision for society, communities, and a healthy nation.

Gathering to Pray

The Lord has sent many missionaries from all over the world to Britain. They have been faithful to their calling and have prayed fervently for this land. At the same time, God is raising up and anointing the younger generation (who will be most affected by the outcome of the Referendum) to renew and lead the Church.

In the Maranatha Community we are responding to a specific prompting on how to pray in preparation for the Referendum. At a special gathering, on Saturday 4th June, at Brunswick Parish Church, Brunswick Street, Manchester, M13 9TQ, there will be a morning of prayer led by Christians from overseas, including Europe. Following a shared lunch we will be joined by families, children and young people for a further time of united worship and prayer. All are welcome. It is hoped that there will be other similar gatherings in other parts of the country. Further information can be obtained from the Maranatha office 0161 748 4858.

Linda Stalley
20th April 2016

Prayer Books by Dennis Wrigley

March 29, 2016

Now available to order though our online bookshop are…

New Books of Thoughts, Prayers & Meditations by Dennis Wrigley

Click here to go to our online bookshop where you’ll find them on the top shelf.

£7.00 each, or ring our bookshop on 0161 747 5672 to order 10 or more (for which discounts apply).

NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2016

February 11, 2016

Maranatha Newsletter - click here readNEW WINE – NEW WINESKINS

A NEW thing is happening.
“New” means that we can’t see it yet, but we can anticipate it.
God declares that He is the one who is “making all things new”.
(Rev 21:5, Isa 48:6)

Are we ready to respond to this new thing?
Jesus taught us that no one puts new wine into old wineskins, as they are unable to hold it. So in our response we must be willing to change, to be renewed, to behold the new thing.

Same clay, different form
As we submit ourselves to this process of change, our response remains the same as has always been our Community’s discipline. Our response is to listen, watch, pray, and then act.

The January edition of the Maranatha Community Newsletter which is available for you to read on-screen (or print for your convenience) expands this theme and gives news of community initiatives and activity.

Click here to view / download the latest Maranatha Newsletter
We would also like to draw your attention to the following: (click on each)

Please share your thoughts and comments here.

Maranatha Lecture 2015

December 10, 2015

On Tuesday 1st December we were blessed and privileged to hear a wonderful, deeply thought-provoking, moving and heartfelt lecture given by His Grace Bishop Angaelos OBE, Head of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, at the newly refurbished Whitworth Gallery in Manchester.

His Grace touches on many of the defining issues of our times – politics and democracy, the Middle East, the refugee crisis, Islam and Daesh terrorism.

A full video recording is being produced, meanwhile you can listen to His Grace’s lecture here:

https://soundcloud.com/maranatha-audio/maranatha-lecture-2015-faith-in-politics

Dennis Wrigley

November 9, 2015

The Lord’s servant, our beloved Leader of the Maranatha Community, Dennis Wrigley, completed his final journey, received the call “Well done, good and faithful servant” and went to be with Our Lord this morning (9th November 2015). In recent weeks he had undergone chemotherapy and radiotherapy to try to shrink the secondary cancer in his lungs, and up till his final hours he was praising God and ministering to hospital visitors, patients and staff.

Dennis co-founded the Maranatha Community with Fr Michael Buckley in 1981, and over the past 34 years he dedicated his life to leading our community with love, vision and a servant heart. He has been a guiding light to many people and in recent years recorded a series of videos so that the inspiration God has given him will be received by many in years to come. These videos can been seen at www.denniswrigley.org.

We are reminded of 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

His funeral was held on Monday 23rd November at The Avenue Methodist Church, Wincham Road, Sale, M33 4PL, followed by a reception at The Life Centre, Washway Road, Sale, M33 4BP.

You can read a full (2 page) tribute to Dennis here, which includes information about his early life and career and the founding of Maranatha.

On Sunday 15th November Linda Stalley was interviewed on BBC Radio Manchester about Dennis. Click below to hear this interview.

Magna Carta – A Voice for Justice

October 5, 2015

On the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta, Maranatha Members Kate and Roger joined Christians from different denominations of the church outside Parliament for a rally about the current state of freedom & democracy in our nation organised by Voice for Justice UK. This is their video report.

Speakers included:
Dr. Linda Stalley – co-leader of the Maranatha Community at 2′ 30″
Alan Craig – former a local councillor & leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance at 4′ 15″
Paul Tully – General Secretary of the Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child (SPUC) at 6′ 20″
Robert Harris – Voice for Justice UK at 8′ 00″
Rev. Wale Babatunde – Senior Minister, World Harvest Christian Centre at 9′ 40″
Rev.Dr. Clifford Hill – Prophecy Today UK & Issachar Ministries at 11′ 40″
Baroness Cox – Parliamentarian & CEO of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust at 13′ 35″
Rev.Lynda Rose – Voice for Justice UK at 15’00”

Spotlight Issue 39 – news from around the community

August 10, 2015

Spotlight - News and Views for Local Groups, by Local Groups
Spotlight Issue 39 - click hereThe latest issue of Spotlight – News and Views for Local Groups, by Local Groups can be downloaded here.

In this issue there is a report on a weekend version of “Out of the Courtroom…” run by the Nottingham Group and news from South India and Uganda.

Spotlight is the current vehicle for news from individual Maranatha Members and Local Groups (as distinct from the Maranatha Newsletter which brings news of inititatives from the office in Flixton).

If you have been to any Maranatha Teaching Weekends or Retreats, we would like to hear your experiences. We would also welcome news from your local Maranatha Groups.

Please share your thoughts with us all via the comments facility here.

NEWSLETTER JUNE 2015

July 4, 2015

Maranatha Newsletter

Maranatha Newsletter - click here readWATCH, LOOK, SEE.

Across the world dramatic, unexpected and humanly unpredictable events are taking place. As God’s people, we know that what is visible is actually a sign of an invisible reality which is only recognisable to those who have the revelation of the Holy Spirit. God is shaking the nations. A shift is taking place in the heavenly realms. Our Sovereign God is doing a new thing which, by definition, is not something we can predict or imagine.

So what is our response? The June edition of the Maranatha Community Newsletter which is available for you to read on-screen (or print for your convenience) gives us valuable teaching together with news of community initiatives and activity.

We would also like to draw your attention to the following: (click on each)

Please share your thoughts and comments here.