Joshua 5:13-15 describes with only a few words one crazy encounter Joshua had on the eve of battle.
They were looking to overthrow the great city of Jericho. While Joshua apparently needed loads of encouragement at that point he may have thought they already had it in the bag. He had a promise of the land, he had a plan, he had a strategy.
But one day near the city he was stopped by a man with a drawn sword. Perhaps feeling threatened, perhaps looking for support for his plan, Joshua asked this man “Are you for us or against us?” “No!” he replied. This was the commander of the army of YHWH.
Whether this was an angel or an appearance of Jesus the eternal Son of Man Himself (more likely I think as he allowed Joshua to worship him), Joshua asked the man if he had a message. What should we do then, Commander? What’s the great strategy? He soon found out that God’s way of taking Jericho isn’t our way of taking Jericho. Joshua was told to take off his sandals, which is a weird battle strategy. He was told to get into the presence of God.
Of course this was later to become the whole battle-plan with worshippers leading a singing army around the city.
We’re going to be ‘taking off our shoes’ this Friday and Saturday, creating a prayer chain from 9pm to 9pm, and all joining together for the last hour. We want to press into God’s presence together. You can sign up now to pray with us then at thehousething.com/prayer. We’ll make the prayer room at 162 available.
You know, I’m mainly writing this for myself.
As our who are we page says, it’s important to take stock, to properly process lessons as they come and to celebrate all God does. You may even find some of this useful and/or thought provoking too.
Without further ado:
Lesson #1: Everything starts with prayer
I can’t emphasise the importance of prayer enough. If prayer is communion and communication, literally everything flows out of prayer. The universe, for instance, is the overflow of the constant communion of love flowing through the trinity, and through the communicated Word life came into being. The same is true now: life flows from the throne of God.
The 16th century scholar and Presbyterian minister Matthew Henry said “whenever God is about to do something truly great, He first sets His people a praying!”
It’s always been my vision to see a diverse network of simple, small, virile and flexible house churches/communities. That’s why we were keen to start hosting our own Sunday morning congregation a few months ago:
- To provide an accessible church for neighbours we meet locally
- As an opportunity to disciple one another into ministry focused in the vision God’s given us
- To keep things small, so as we grow we’re forced to split rather than become big and clumsy (see my previous post on artificial persecution)
So much has happened since my last post at the end of November, some big things too. We said a very fond and sad farewell to Joz, Abbey and Rosie who’ve moved in with the lovely people at Saving Faith, Norwich, and to Esme who’s moved to London with some folk from Antioch Community.
Jesus has been on my case about getting this prayer room sorted, and maaan, I’m getting inspired about it.
Thankfully we can come to Jesus unscrubbed but this room needs some work.
I got hold of a decent dehumidifier for £5 on Facebook marketplace (there’s some v decent stuff on there, check it out), and slowly the mushrooms growing on the floor are losing their habitat.
Can’t wait for all the murals, scribbled prayers, candles, carpets, peaceful moments, arms-in-the-air worship, writing, listening, reading, escaping, returning, artwork, asking, curtains, cushions, incense and whispers.
If you’d be up for lending us a ✋ getting it all set up please let us know.
Can’t wait to spend my first proper hour of prayer here with God.