A Vigil for Counterslip
At our September church meeting we agreed to hold a vigil over the next 4 months. This primarily arose because we need God’s guidance on our way forward on many issues, including what He wants us to do about our buildings at Wells Road.
A vigil is sometimes described as a period of sleeplessness! A more helpful definition is : a time of quiet devotion before God. We cannot and should not, predict what might emerge from this vigil. God is God and we listen for Him during this time.
The first part of our vigil is the six weeks from Sunday 18 October to Sunday 29 November. During this time we will each be encouraged to give space to the word of God, to prayer and to listening. Use this material to help you, spend a little time dwelling on the Scripture for the day.
We will link this material both with some of our Sunday worship & our Time2Pray.
Each week has a theme :
Week 1. Walk closely with God.
Week 2. Enjoying God’s presence.
Week 3. Confessing our need of God & seeking forgiveness.
Week 4. Listening to God.
Week 5. Discerning God’s will.
Week 6. Jesus is Lord.
Week 1 – Sun 18 October to Sat 24 October
This week is for you – walk closely with God
Sunday 18 October
Acts 13:2 “While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said….” When they gave themselves to worship, God spoke. Come to church today to worship God, to wait upon Him & to hear God speak. Choose to encourage someone today.
Monday 19 October
Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. Thank God for His word & ask that He might speak to you through it in a specific & in a personal way in the coming days.
Tuesday 20 October
Read Ephesians chapter 1. You are chosen, loved & special to God. Young lovers are attentive to one another. They hang on each other’s words & their eyes sparkle when they talk!! Talk with God, hang on one another’s words; get that sparkle back!
Wednesday 21 October
“Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25) What does this mean for you? Ask God to help you keep your eyes upon His Spirit so that you keep in step.
Thursday 22 October
Read 1Corinthians 12. We recently had teaching on the gifts of the Spirit. Thank God for how He has gifted you; seek God for gifting. Agree with Him that you will use your gifting this week to bless others.
Friday 23 October
God’s grace is sufficient for you, because there’s an abundance. Read Romans 5:17. Enjoy grace.
Saturday 24 October
Spend some moments thinking about how the wind fills a sail as the yachtsman sets it. Set you sail and let the wind of the Spirit fill you today. John 3:8. Pray that tomorrow will be a day of great blessing for you & all your brothers & sisters at church.
Week 2 – Sun 25 October to Sat 31 October
This week we will draw near to God & enjoy His presence
Sunday 25 October
Read John 20:19-23. Wow!! What an experience of the presence of the resurrected Jesus. Pray that we will all have a deep sense of the presence of Jesus amongst as we meet to worship today.
Monday 26 October
Do you long to know God’s will for you? To hear His heartbeat, you need to draw close.
“Draw close to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8)
Tuesday 27 October
It has been said that God’s greatest gift to us is His presence. John 14:15-17. Christ comes to us again by His Spirit. Read these verses and experience His presence with you,
Wednesday 28 October
Revelation 1:12-13. Christ walks amongst His people, He doesn’t hover above us or is remote from us. Rejoice that He is amongst us.
Thursday 29 October
The disciple John was close to Jesus (see John 13:25 & John 21:20). Lean on Jesus today and enjoy just being in His presence throughout the day.
Friday 30 October
The House Sparrow is a familiar bird chirping around our streets. Not even one falls to the ground that God doesn’t know about it, because it has value to Him. How much more are you valued by your heavenly Father. Read Matthew 10:29-31. Thank God for His love & care for you.
Saturday 31 October
“I am am with you always, even until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). What an amazing promise. Give thanks!
Week 3 – Sun 1 November to Sat 7 November
This week we will confess our need of God & seek forgiveness
Sunday 1 November
This morning we break bread & drink wine. Jesus sacrificed His life for you. “My Lord, what love is this, that pays so dearly; that I, the guilty one may go free”. How we need Him. Take a candle home from the service this week.
Monday 2 November
Light a candle. Jesus is the light of the world. Read John 8:12. Ask Him to shed light on your life. What do you need to put right?
Tuesday 3 November
Light a candle. Read 1 John 1:8-10. Make confession, ask for cleansing, receive forgiveness. Tonight it is Time2Pray – if you’ve never been before, tonight is a good time to come along. 7.45pm for an 8pm start – 1 hour only. No one is forced to pray aloud, so don’t be anxious!
Wednesday 4 November
Light a candle. Read 2 Chronicles 7:14-15. Thinking about the church – pray for corporate forgiveness & healing; that we will be attentive during this vigil & always come humbly before God seeking His will for us in this community.
Thursday 5 November
Light a candle (not a Roman candle!)
Pray for our immediate community, pray for our city, pray for our nation & for the world. Pray for forgiveness for that which is wrong. Ask that we might be a blessing in each of those areas.
Friday 6 November
Light a candle. Pray for our nearby Baptist churches – Totterdown, Victoria Park, Knowle West & Chew Valley that they might know the grace & blessing of God. Pray also for our church neighbours of all Christian denominations.
Saturday 7 November
Light a candle. Tomorrow is Remembrance Sunday. Today spend some moments asking God to forgive us for the atrocities of war. Also recall the possibilities of forgiveness extended to yourself & even the whole world.
Week 4 – Sun 8 November to Sat 14 November
This week we will practice listening to God
Sunday 8 November – Remembrance Sunday
Pray that God would speak to us of His unfailing love & that those who are sad & mourn would experience His presence today. “We will remember them”.
Monday 9 November
Choose a Psalm, read it quietly, dwell in it & ask God to show you something out of it; what catches your attention? Share that back with God in prayer
Tuesday 10 November – Church meeting
Jesus promised that when we gather in His name, he is always present. Pray that our conversations tonight will be more than our words; that Christ will come, that Christ will speak, that Christ will fill us.
Wednesday 11 November
“It seemed good the Holy Spirit and to us…” Acts 15:28. This is a wonderful expression of agreement & unity between God and His followers. How did the presence of Christ affect us last night? Give thanks for His presence, His words, His filling of your life. Try spending some time in silence before the Lord.
Thursday 12 November
Read Acts 15. This chapter records a important time in the life of the early church. Look at how the Spirit led them. Listen to God…what might He be saying about Counterslip at this time?
Friday 13 November
Read Acts 2:42-47. The early church was a busy place! As a church we are very active! Why not choose one of the week’s activities (use the bulletin!) and pray for that session will be open to God & that He will find space in it. Listen to Him about that activity. Why not encourage those involved.
Saturday 14 November
Read Acts 16:6-10. This is a remarkable story of the Spirit opening & closing doors to the apostle Paul. Where is God leading us? What doors is He opening or closing to us? Ask that God will give us prophetic leading.
Week 5 – Sun 15 November to Sat 21 November
This week we will ask that God gifts us with discernment (individually & together).
Please collect a copy of the architects sketch plans on Sunday.
Sunday 15 November
Acts 15. We return to the chapter we looked at last week. See the importance of the gift of discernment. There were disagreements. Ask God for this supernatural gift to bless and lead us.
Monday 16 November
Romans 12:1-2. In order to “test & approve what God’s will is”, we need to give ourselves to each other as “living sacrifices”. Think how you might do that today/this week and then do it quickly!
Tuesday 17 November
I Samuel 8 stands as a salutary lesson of the importance of listening to God when His prophet speaks. Desire the gift of prophecy and desire a willingness to hear, to discern & to understand and to be obedient to God.
Wednesday 18 November
Read Matthew 9:35-38. Jesus sees the crowds & has compassion, but his action may surprise us. Instead of taking direct action Himself, He asks His disciples to pray for others to take action. He discerns the need and what is needed. Ask God (discern what he is saying) about our presence in the community. Is He leading us to do something differently? What might He reveal?
Thursday 19 November
Buildings are important but only in that they provide the space for us to worship & serve. Thinking about the architects work….ask God where He is in the process that we are engaged with. Part of discernment is a willingness to shed any pre-conceived ideas that we may have.
Friday 20 November
Today, continue to think about the building proposals. But today ask yourself, “where am I in this process that we are engaged with?” Be honest with yourself before God. Again, be willing to set aside any pre-conceived ideas.
Saturday 21 November
There were times when God spoke into the life of the early church to enable it to catch His wider intention of reconciling all things (& all peoples) to Himself. Read Acts 8:26-40. See how God extended the Good News to those who might have been excluded. What do we do and what might we do to draw others to the King? How do our buildings help or hinder?
Week 6 – Sun 22 November to Sat 28 November
As we approach Advent we will welcome Jesus amongst us & acknowledge that He is Lord of the church & all that we do.
Sunday 22 November
“Jesus is Lord” – this is one of oldest creeds. Declare this truth over your life & then come to church & acknowledge that He is Lord amongst us.
Monday 23 November
Pray that Jesus would be Lord of Preschool
Tuesday 24 November
Pray that Jesus would be Lord of the Tuesday Fellowship & New Horizons
Wednesday 25 November
Pray that Jesus would be Lord of Toddlers sessions
Thursday 26 November
Pray that Jesus would be Lord of Thursday Bible Study
Friday 27 November
Pray that Jesus would be Lord of the Foodbank, Ark & Youth Club
Saturday 28 November
Look back over the week. Is God saying anything about our buildings in terms of how we can better serve Him?
Jesus is coming – Advent starts tomorrow – rejoice!