In Revelation 5 we read about worship and prayer in the throne room of the King. The imagery describes how the leaders held a harp and a golden bowl full of incense. The harp symbolises worship and the bowls symbolise prayer. Their focus was the Lamb of God - another name for Jesus - worshipping Him and taking the prayers of the saints (that's us) to Him.
So we are going to take our "harps", Open Space (which is primarily about worship), and our "bowls", the Engine Room (which is primarily about prayer), and combine them into one evening.
Following Jesus can sometimes feel really busy. We sometimes make the mistake that following Him means just doing lots! But Jesus calls us into a relationship with Him. He calls us to sit before Him, loving Him, listening to him, receiving from Him, giving to Him. Then, whatever we do flows from that place. Open Space is an opportunity for us to spend time with Jesus. We will be taking time to worship Him, with music, with song, with art, with prayer. It is an open space, to connect with the Father as you choose.
On a ship the forward propulsion comes from the engine room. It’s not necessarily a very comfortable place but it releases power. In the same way, times of prayer may not be the most comfortable place but our prayer together gives propulsion to the church, it is a source of power and direction. Engine Room may well include times of worship and reflection but will mainly be an opportunity for us to pray - sometimes alone, sometimes as a group. We believe in the power of prayer and that the Lord loves it when we gather together to seek him and to bring our hopes and dreams before him. As we do this we believe God speaks to us and we often receive important prophecies and words for the church.
So this evening we are going to do both: we'll worship but we will also have structured prayer times. The focus of our prayer will be the imminent purchase of a new building - we dare not embark on such an enterprise without kneeling before the Lord in prayer. Obedience and prayer changes history and we believe that the purchase of this building will change history in Headingley - so let us ensure we pray.
Open Space and Engine Room is:
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)
At the Home of Martha and Mary
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”