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Monday, March 28, 2011

Rees Howells & Bible College of Wales' future?

Dear Saints and Praying Friends:

Today we had the opportunity to join a prayer meeting at the Bible College of Wales in Swansea. There were over sixty people gathered there who are really serious about prayer. We arrived when the meeting was well underway and the atmosphere was alight with the fervency of powerful intercession.

I first read the book, Rees Howells: Intercessor, about ten years ago, and was incredibly blessed by it during the time Gladys and I were praying about our illogical calling to come and pray for revival in Wales. This man's story of absolute faith in an absolutely amazing God was an enormous encouragement and helped fuel the fire already burning in our hearts.

I've wanted to visit this very place ever since we moved here in 2005, and today was a real joy. The purpose of the gathering was to pray that this very special property, which is currently for sale, remain a place of prayer for Wales and the nations. There is a powerful heritage of intercessory prayer here, as well as the Bible College of Wales that functioned here from 1924 until recently.

After lunch and a time of worship and sharing, we divided into groups to walk and pray around this large campus and buildings. As we neared the main gate I felt we needed to anoint the hinges with oil. Through God's wisdom someone had some with them, and so we poured the oil on the hinge pins. As we did so there was a tremendous release of joy and freedom for the gates to swing easily again, letting people in and out - in for getting filled with God, and out again for spreading His life and hope to the nations.

During the years of the Second World War, the future of Britain and other nations was determined not so much by military prowess but rather by what went on inside these gates. Countless thousands of people were protected and delivered from the onslaught of Hitler's armies, and many key events during the course of the war changed course supernaturally as a direct result of the prayers of Rees Howells and his staff, students and other intercessors at this place. (If you have never read this book and want to learn about the power of prevailing prayer, you really should make time for it. You can find it used on the web.)

Just the way the future of nations was so affected from prayers within this place, now its future depends on the prayers from outside. It is currently for sale, and as prime real estate it could easily be bought just to turn a profit in the financial world. But many people here and abroad feel the destiny of this property is clearly to remain within the Kingdom of God. Exactly how it all works out in His hands, but your prayers for His purposes for this place will definitely make a difference!

This monument was put up as a declaration of the source of this place and its spiritual heritage. The property itself, and other adjoining properties were purchased through absolutely amazing faith. On our walk we paused to pray around this reminder of Jehovah Jireh, Our Provider. I've posted a video clip that will hopefully convey a bit of the flavor of todays prayers here.

Please add your faith to ours that the destiny of this hallowed place does not lie in the hands of the hightest bidder, but in the hands of the One who set it apart according to His design in the first place. Please pray that this be one of the properties that will be redeemed from an uncertain future, and dedicated again to the Lord's work, as it says in Jeremiah 32:15, "Houses and fields and vineyards shall be possessed again in this land."

With profound thanks to the author and finisher of our faith,

Dick & Gladys


Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Information Steamroller!

Dear Praying Friends:

There has been so much going on in world in recent days that I have found myself at a loss for words. What began as a natural disaster in Japan and what is now a full-blown man-made disaster in the Middle-East are just the headlines. And between the mainstream media and the internet we can easily become overwhelmed by bad news.

God's Word is The Antidote

Philipians 4:6-9 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."

Keeping the right perspective can be a challenge in times like these. But according to James 4:14, the big picture is pretty simple. "...whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." We can easily get stirred up about what happens among the nations. But God's heart is so big that He is concerned with individuals - every one of us.

A few days ago I was reading in Exodus chapter 28 about God's instructions to Moses about the Aaron's garment. Verse 29 says, "So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the LORD continually." It took me quite a while to get through this verse as I realized this was a figure of Jesus, our High Priest, with our names written on His heart since before the founding of the world, and when He bore our sins and griefs on Calvary's cross and paid the price for our forgiveness and our eternal life as well.

One by one, He knows us by name, and calls us patiently. If a man will but turn to Him, "Then He is gracious to him, and says, 'Deliver him from going down to the Pit; I have found a ransom'" (Job 33:24)

As hard as human circumstances may be, for individuals or thousands at a time, there is one recourse Who will never fail us or turn us away if we turn to Him.

Let our prayers be for those whose lives are being shaken and devastated by all these tragic events. And specifically we can pray for an unprecedented boldness and anointing for Christians in the affected areas to share with compassion about the redeeming blood of Jesus. There is a ransom!

By grace, keeping our eyes on Jesus,

Dick & Gladys


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

"Be ye transformed..." - and impact the nations!

Dear Friends and Prayers:

The annual National Prayer Breakfast of Wales was held this morning in the Millenium Center by Cardiff Bay. Among the 200 plus in attendence were members of Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, ministers, clergy and Christians of diverse occupations from all over Wales.

The theme was Transformation, from Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind..." The main speaker took us from some wonderful testimonies of dramatic personal changes by the power of the Gospel to the challenge of transforming groups, communities and nations.

After the breakfast segment, we moved to an auditorium and watched a very creative presentation of individuals throughout history who have brought great transformations to society. They were ordinary men and women who through God-inspired ideas and convictions applied their faith and life's work to bring about extraordinary improvements.

Another very moving part was a when map of Wales was projected onto the floor and plates filled with coal were placed around it and highlighted as a prophetic act, and prayer was made that the Lord would ignites His fires throughout the land. It is interesting to note that two times now in about ten days the map of Wales has been prominent in corporate prayer!

The whole morning was interspersed with wonderful worship, and several times we prayed for specific things in small groups of 3 or 4. There were also some live interviews with people to whom God has given creative ideas and they are making a real impact in their communities. People's lives have been radically transformed by the Lord Jesus Christ as the church is going into the streets, highways and byways with the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

I have mentioned several times how the Lord is really beginning to stir things up in Wales and many people perceive this change. And this morning's exposition of more and more things going with and through believers was of great encouragement to everyone. Of special importance is the collaboration of people from different streams and backgrounds joining hands and hearts on the ground level, engaging with the communities where they live.

Another area of powerful prayer was for the young people in the churches and the youth of Wales. It was wonderful to see many of them serving throughout the morning, and I believe God is beginning to draw young people into a kind of Christianity that won't let them be constrained by old molds and wineskins. They are not going to just sigh and resign themselves to a lifetime of same-old same-old churchianity. Some walls are coming down, and not just for the young!

I couldn't help but wish there were a video that could capture the highlights of this morning's happenings and be shown to a much wider portion of the church here in Wales. Sadly there are many that believe that Christianity in the UK is near the top of the endangered species list, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

God has set things into motion here, the times have changed and it is getting exciting. There will surely be great challenges ahead, but we serve a far greater God whose heart yearns for His children to say like Isaiah, "Here I am Lord, send me!"

May He bless us all with faith, wisdom and grace for the times ahead,

Dick & Gladys


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Serious prayer needed for challenging times . . .

Dear Friends and Prayers:

On Saturday we had the privilege of praying with a small group of intercessor friends. I was particularly interested in this clay figure that Suzanne made. The Lord showed her a vision of an immense angel that is a guardian over Wales, and God's work and plans here. You may recognize that it is the exact shape of the country! One of the first times I first saw the map, I clearly saw the figure of the Lord himself dancing over the nation.

Zephaniah 3:17 Says, "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing." I could see Him dancing for joy at what He knows is coming!

It was a wonderful time of fellowship and a special blessing to be with people with such a heart for Wales. We were quite a mix of people from totally different occupations - a packaging designer, a dairy farmer, a painter, a builder, and a caregiver. And yet we were knit together in prayer in an amazing way!

Of course each of them are far more than what a single term can describe, unless that term is "child of God!" And during our time together the fruit of our different gifts and natures all blended together into some marvelous and powerful praying. There is so much going on around Wales among the Lord's people these days, and it definitely felt like our prayers were tapped into the greater scope of what the Lord is doing here.

The main focus of our prayer was for some evangelistic meetings that will be taking place in three different towns in our area next month. One of the towns has been known historically for being particularly resistant to the Gospel. The evangelist who is coming actually preached there 40 years ago, and so please help us pray for these three meetings!

Last week we were in Blaeanau Ffestiniog for our monthly meeting, and had a very good time of prayer there also. Although I still can't define it, I know the Lord has His eye on the place in a special way. And it is really interesting to see how things are being connected. In my update last September I mentioned some tent meetings that had taken place 30 years ago. Well, the evangelist was Peter Scothern, who will be preaching in the meetings we were praying for Saturday!

We also had the opportunity to visit and pray for one of the pastors of Blaeanu who was in the main hospital in Bangor, North Wales. He has been struggling for several years with colon cancer, and hopefully now is on his way to recovery. So would you please keep Wayne Hughes in your prayers? Pray the Lord would fill him with renewed vigor and strength, and also that his inner man be strengthened, prepared and encouraged by the joy of the Lord for the work ahead.

Today we were at the monthly prayer day at FFlad-y-Brenin, and there were over 60 people present. It is always a blessing to pray with visitors from all over, as well as us more local "regulars." Of particular emphasis today was prayer for the many Arab nations around the Mediterranean that are in such turmoil right now. Such widespread unrest is startling in our day, and is quite serious. It provides extraordinary challenges and hardships, as well as opportunities, for our Christian brothers and sisters who desperately need our prayers in these days ahead!

The hope of newness of life as presented by the coming of spring is a reminder of the sure hope we have in God, and His ever present love for the peoples of the earth.

Thank you for joining us in blessing this world through prayers for God's mercy and grace,

Dick & Gladys


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