Prayer and Thanksgiving
A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.
14th September 2005
Return to the articles index.
Thank you for your support in prayer. Please keep praying for the Cathedral and its staff.
Prayer has many beneficial effects. It brings honour to our Father in heaven when we entrust to him our worries and concerns, be they small or great. Prayer benefits the person who prays—for it forces us to trust and depend upon God our Father. Prayer encourages those who are prayed for—as we experience the loving support of our Christian brothers and sisters. And of course prayer is of great assistance to everybody as God blesses us by giving us the things that we ask for.
Over the last little while I have asked you to pray about some matters specifically and God has blessed our prayers wonderfully. For such blessings we should give thanks and praise. There are some other matters that we need to bring to him in prayer.
Last week the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students marked their 75th anniversary with an evangelistic meeting in the State Theatre. Over a thousand people came to the meeting. Until the Lord returns on the last day, nobody will know what spiritual work happened that night, but it certainly seemed to create a considerable impact. About 200 students are being followed up as a result of asking for more information about Christ, or indicating that they had prayed a prayer of commitment or rededication.
Last Sunday afternoon at 4 o'clock we started the Asian Bible Church in the Cathedral. It was a great start to a new church. About 75 people attended—most of whom we expect will continue as members. Our student minister Daniel Jang led the meeting and our pastor Andrew Lim preached the important message of Acts 2. There were people from a wide range of nations: Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, as well as Australia and America. Please keep praying for this new church in the Cathedral. The mission field on our doorstep is vast and our workers are few.
The Tuesday Cathedral Bible Study continues to grow in numbers attending—over a hundred each week. This week we finish a series on Colossians. Thank God for this new ministry and please pray that we will see the Cathedral full of people eager to hear God's word each week.
Over the last couple of years we have also been praying for the diocesan mission. Two key strategies of that mission are the starting of new ministries and the recruitment of new workers. Again we can give thanks to God for responding so favourably to our prayers. Over the last two years the number of candidates for ministry has jumped from 99 to 146. This is a massive increase and hopefully will see further growth in ministry in the coming years. Next February will see the largest ordination in our Diocese's history.
But what is more exciting is that the parishes of the diocese have created something in the order of 30 new positions for these future Christian leaders. This has come about by starting new ministries across the dioceses. It is hard to document all these new, and sometimes small beginnings—but we know of over 60 new congregations started in the last two years. This is laying the foundation for real growth of gospel ministry in our city in the coming years. However there is still so much to do. New programmes for the training and mobilising of the lay ministries across the diocese are now being considered.
One persistent prayer point I would commend to you is the recruiting of more students to enter into ministry especially into Moore College. Over the next month I will be speaking at three weekend conferences (called Challenge Conferences) where men and women will be challenged to change their career paths into full-time ministry. Please pray that many would come to think about this challenge, that many would heed the call to enter into training, that our college and our diocese would continue to be oversupplied with gospel ministers.
I know it sounds greedy to pray for an oversupply, but we do not want to just maintain what we have but to grow what God is yet to give us.-----