Pentecost: Where 3,000 starts with 5
By Sammy Jordan
Pentecost was when God took fearful people out of a house and onto the streets, equipped them with his Holy Spirit and 3,000 became followers of Jesus. This Pentecost as we emerge from lockdown restrictions God is inviting us onto our streets to pray for our Thy Kingdom Come five and reach 3,000 streets in prayer using the new OIKOS prayer app to help us.
The story of the first Pentecost really resonates this year. The apostles are in a room and scared like many of us have been over the last year, when we’ve been at home wondering when and how the pandemic will end. At Pentecost what breaks out is a pandemic of the Holy Spirit, which forces the apostles out of the room and onto the street. God breaks in and breaks through their fear taking the apostles outside, equipping them to share the good news about Jesus with the people that he has gathered. When the people hear God’s story in a language they understand 3,000 of them decide to follow Jesus. Wow!
That’s my prayer this Pentecost; that as lockdown eases and the weather improves, that God will call us out of our homes, onto the streets, release us from fear and equip us to share God’s story, our story, as part of our everyday with the people we meet who, when they hear it in a language they understand, come to know Jesus.
I’d love to see another 3,000 reached for Jesus this Pentecost…3,000 streets as part of Prayer Walk 21 and Thy Kingdom Come. It might seem a huge number, but it starts with our own front doors and the streets where we live. For me that’s the new estate on the south coast where I live as part of a church plant team, loving my neighbours - my community - to Jesus. I’m using Thy Kingdom Come as an opportunity to pray intentionally for my neighbours. Five people on five different streets where I live, and the OIKOS Prayer+ app is helping me. Maybe you’ve not prayer walked before. For me on my street, it’s as simple as inviting God to come with me when I open the front door. It’s amazing how different my journey is when God comes with me. I notice things in a new way. When I see my friends’ houses on the map on my app it’s a prompt to pray for them…and even remembering someone in God’s presence counts as prayer!
Life is too busy for something extra, so I find it’s about building prayer into my everyday. What am I already doing that I can add a layer of prayer to? For me that’s the school run, a walk to the post box, the shops…or just a walk! I’m a creature of habit and know that if I make prayer a habit rather than an extra thing to do, it will stick. Habits need a prompt and our attachment to our phones (me to mine anyway) makes it a great prompt to use the OIKOS Prayer+ app, but I try to create others too, such as when I flick the switch on the kettle, go upstairs, get in the car, wash my hands. Little daily habits that we do without thinking that prayer – just telling God that so and so is on our minds – can be added to.
Thankfully the first Pentecost didn’t depend on the apostles; the initiative was all God’s. The apostles joined in with what God was doing. I believe that this Pentecost God is taking the initiative again and inviting us to join in with what he is doing. Having called us out of the church building in lockdown, connected us to our local and mobilised us through the daily walk, God is now Inviting us to take to the streets and pray, sharing the story of Jesus in a way our friends and neighbours will understand.
Will you join me in trying to reach 3,000 streets starting with our own front doors and then those of five friends on five streets where we live?
Download the OIKOS app here Hope for Every Home : The Prayer App