Beacons of Prayer - see I am doing a new thing!

In creating our 'Beacons of Prayer' paintings, Chris Duffett has tried to capture the energy and power of people and groups who pray, which in turn spark off other beacons of praying people across the land to seek God. 

Chris explains, 'The paintings seek to capture a mystery: The Kingdom of heaven is furthered by those who partner with the King of heaven by being in communion with him.  Out of this closeness flows action for new things as we begin to do what we see our Heavenly Father doing.

'Our prayers have the potential to change the way all 'things' are.  Prayers, like light, ripple out and push back the darkness of a kingdom that has yet to bow to the Lordship of King Jesus.

'The beacons of prayer paintings seek to show how prayers overlap and intermingle with other prayers, igniting something new and inspiring new activity.'

Lynn GreenI have this deep sense that God wants to do a new thing and he is calling us to prayer to 'make space' for him to speak and move.

Let me share with you how I have become convinced of this ...

God has been speaking to me from Isaiah 43,
'forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland'.

This sense that God wants to do a new thing, the sense that HE will do it, has been growing.  Others have also given me this verse along the way; it just keeps popping up in all sorts of different settings.

But on Sunday 31 May 2015 God gave me a breathtaking vision of his glory; it was awesome, powerful yet beautiful. Then I saw fires being lit and spreading out all over this country and I felt that God was saying he wanted to light beacons of prayer right across the UK.  Beacons of prayer that were people who were inspired to pray and seek the Lord, not with our own agenda but simply that we might draw close to Him and open ourselves and our churches to him so that he would have the freedom to move amongst us and through us by his Spirit.  The next morning I prayed that if this was the Lord he would confirm this to me.  Since then, in so many different ways, there has been this common sense of discernment that, yes, this is God speaking to us.

I believe this is a word for the church in the UK but my first role is to devote myself to prayer for God's new thing and to call Baptists to join me in lighting and stoking beacons of prayer.
In these last two days I have shared this vision with the Baptist Steering Group and together we share this sense of God's call to prayer.  Last night we knelt together in humility and prayed that the Lord would be at work in and through us as individuals and as a movement of churches...

So what next?? Quite simply, pray!

Click on the links below to follow our Beacons of Prayer blog where we shall be posting short passages of Scripture regularly that I will be using to inspire my own prayer.

I have no idea where this will lead but I am being obedient in taking the first step and trusting the Lord for what comes next.
Lynn Green
General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

All are welcome here

Beacons of Hope

We prayed together at our June meeting of the Baptist Steering Group and reflected on the year since I shared the call to be Beacons of Prayer. We sensed God calling us to build on Beacons of Prayer for this coming year.  As we continue to seek God and make space for him, we believe God is saying to our churches that we need to rise up and get out into our communities as Beacons of Hope.  This is needed now more than ever before.  As I prayed, I was struck by the relevance of Luke 4:14 – 'Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit…'  Following a time of dedicated seeking of God’s presence Jesus embarked on his public ministry.  We also spent some time around the story of the feeding of the 5,000 again.  Against a backdrop of challenging times, Jesus said to his disciples, “…you give them something to eat.” (Matt 14:16).  This is not a time for us to shrink back; now is the time for us to get out there and share the bread of life with hungry people.

Image: Mike Lowe | Baptist Union of Great Britain



God moving in Reading

It is a year since I shared my vision of Beacons of Prayer and invited Baptists to pray with me, to wait on the Lord and make space for him to do his 'new thing'.  I ended that first post by saying that I had no idea what the Lord was going to do!  In these last few weeks God has been moving in Reading - over 1,000 people have been prayed with on the streets of Reading. 

On Sunday, I was able to go to The Gate to hear more and I was invited to share with them.  Here is what I said, it is a 15 min video but I believe that it communicates clearly what has been happening this past year and is better than trying to write it all down! 


You can find the whole service on YouTube if you are interested. 

Later in the service Yinka Oyekan shares about how God has smashed all their 'nets' - they thought they were quite good at discipleship at The Gate, but now they are completely overwhelmed with what God is doing because the catch of fish is huge and their nets now seem tiny!  Wonderfully, churches all across Reading are involved, but even then the nets are still too small!!  One thing is clear - many people are open to hearing about JESUS!

Keep praying, keep following and keep sharing...
Image: Gianluca D Muscelli |



40 Days of Good News

I have found that it is often in the midst of ministry encounters that Scripture takes on fresh and deeper significance for me.  My trip to the Jungle camp in Calais last month brought Luke 4:18&19 vividly into focus,

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”

This passage is known as Jesus’ manifesto and so if we are his followers, then it is our manifesto too.  The desire to participate in God’s mission is not just an issue of personal discipleship, it is also a central feature of all parts of Baptist Together; be that Churches, Associations, Specialist Teams or Colleges.  We are a missional movement.  This passion has inspired our Regional Team Leaders to commit themselves and encourage others to be part of a particular focus on mission through 40 Days of Good News from 6 April to Pentecost Sunday on 15 May.  There is a short video about 40 Days of Good News on our website along with information about how some of our associations are engaging with this mission focus.   Remember that about 94% of the UK population don’t yet know and follow Jesus – and we are called to make disciples!  So be encouraged to persevere in the mission you are already engaged in, or try some new approaches in these 40 Days and just get out there with your love and your spiritual gifts and do something!

As well as always looking for ways to witness to Christ ourselves, I would like to invite you to join me in focussing our prayers on mission during 40 Days of Good News.  Please also encourage your church community to be praying as well; in small groups, prayer gatherings, children’s and youth groups, leadership team meetings and in worship services.  We know that our efforts alone will not see lives and communities transformed; we need God’s Spirit to be at work amongst us and in our communities so that people can encounter Jesus and receive the new life he offers.


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