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Keep Praising!

Author: Maria Heath

Picture: Rónán and Joanne Johnston leading live praise on the CCR Facebook page

Keep Praising!

NSC Chair Maria Heath exhorts us to keep praising during these uncertain times of lockdown-and to be confident in the victory Jesus has won for us.

Thank you to all of you who joined us for the day of prayer on April 1st and especially for the hour of praise.

Whether you joined us on Facebook, where Joe Wells of One Hope Project led us so well, or whether you joined in the spirit by doing your own praise, we were grateful that so many of you responded so generously.

Many of the words that have come in are confirmation of this call to praise. In response to these words, the NSC are inviting all of CCR in England to make 7-8pm every Wednesday evening a regular time where we unite in praise.

For those who want to join us on Facebook, each Wednesday we will be asking different people to lead a time of praise.

We have been led beautifully over the last few months by the following great worship leaders: Joe Phoenix, Rónán and Joanne Johnston, Ruth White from the Metanoia Project, Alice Hall, the Aston family, Tony Wadley, Frances Baines, Fr. David Donaghue, Rick Netherwood, Eliz Hopkins, Matt Dean, Amanda Silva,  Javier, Susan and Lydia Elderfield, Ged Farrell, Gavin Evenhuis and Daisy Vanderputt. Jo Boyce will lead us on Wednesday 29 July. Please do join us-and invite someone along.

Remember, you can join in the praise however best suits you: in your homes, with others if you are able, on Zoom or WhatsApp with your own prayer group, on your own, or on the Facebook page.

We may be singing different songs, or proclaiming different Scriptures, but we will be united spiritually through the act of praise.

Sit, Walk, Stand

I was reminded of a great book by Watchman Nee called ‘Sit, Walk, Stand’ that I read when I was first baptised in the Spirit. It is a study of the letter of St Paul to the Ephesians.

In brief, Nee says that the Christian life starts as we ‘sit’ with Jesus in the ‘heavenlies’, meaning that our Christian journey starts from a place of rest in Jesus, trusting in the salvation he has won for us. We are then challenged to live out or ‘walk’ the Christian life in the world and finally we have to hold our place of victory and ‘stand’ against the enemy.

Nee explains that “...we do not fight for victory; we fight from victory...” (p.55).  He goes on to explain the central role of praise in our stand against the enemy:

“If we believe the Lord, we shall not pray so much but rather we shall praise him more. The simpler and clearer our faith in him, the less we shall pray in such situations and the more we shall praise. Let me say again: In Christ we are already conquerors. Is it not obvious then that, since this is so, for us merely to pray for victory – unless that prayer is shot through with praise – must be to court defeat by throwing away our fundamental position?” (p.57)

In Darkness, God's Resurrection Power Shines Bright

It is arguably harder to enter into a season of intense praise in the current lockdown, with so much suffering and death around us, and without the usual support of our faith communities.

Yet it is exactly in darker times that the light of the resurrection shines so much brighter, offering hope and life to a broken world. As we enter into praise, and declare the victory of Christ, it is an act of faith.

As we stand on the truth of God’s Word, we take up our rightful position - that place of victory: “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4)

My favourite praise song at the moment is "King of Kings", by Hillsong worship. It is a great declaration of Jesus’ victory, and our trust in Him to restore all things.

Listen here to "King Of Kings":

So let’s continue to praise Him as often as we can. Let’s continue to be united in praise from 7-8pm every Wednesday evening.

Let’s invite the Spirit to make us anew into a people of praise, and to help us stand in that place of victory that Jesus has already won for us. 

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