CRE South West 2022 provided us with the opportunity to hold our first CTN Southwest breakfast in two years. Attended by about 50 people, it took the form of a prayer breakfast with prayers led by Paul Snell and Chris Cole.
Steve Goddard of CRE had invited us to host a prayer gathering on the second day of the exhibition and Frank Bennett was pleased to agree to host this latest CTN Southwest breakfast in the Westpoint restaurant.
Each CTN Southwest breakfast usually has a guest speaker and this time we had two – Paul, from Churches Together in Devon prayed for unity among believers while Chris, who is well known in Christian media and business, prayed we would overcome the sacred-secular divide in order to transform the workplace.
CTN Southwest Breakfast prayer for unity
Paul Snell of Churches Together in Devon spoke about the desperate need for unity in today’s world, especially given the crisis in Ukraine. “What’s really in our heart is unity and unity in the Church,” he said. “The world needs to see the unity we experience as believers. CRE is a fantastic place to get a taste of what it’s like to work together, but it goes deeper than that…
“Jesus said in John 17, 21-22, ‘I pray that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.’ This is the reason for unity – so that the world will believe. It’s the kind of love that we share together as Christians that they really need to see.”
Paul invited everyone at the CTN Southwest breakfast to pray for all expressions of unity, particularly in our region, but also across the nation and around the world. This is his prayer:
Heavenly Father, we are dismayed to see so much disunity and hatred in the world. We are particularly concerned about the news concerning Ukraine. But Lord, we know You have called us to be Your people who are united to declare the Good News of Jesus to the world. To declare the love You have poured out upon this world and the grace You have shown in Jesus, through His death on the Cross.
Father, Thank You that You have given Jesus for us and we pray that as we work together we will learn to love one another, that we might express that unity together. We pray that we might learn to honour each other though we are different. Father, bring us together so your Kingdom will be established and world might see that we are Christians by the love we have for each other. Father, we hunger for that unity that Jesus has with You and the Holy Spirit. We long for that oneness. Father instill that hunger in us we pray and help us to be your people, In Jesus name.
Paul Snell (left) and Chris Cole (right).
In introducing Chris Cole, Frank shared about CTN’s partnership with Alive In The Spirit Trust and Cornerstone Vision in producing the Exeter and East Devon Lifelines. Chris heads up these initiatives with Chris Girdler as editor. Lifelines has been a significant part of CTN Southwest’s outreach over the past year, taking testimonies of God’s faithfulness into our local communities. This is part of our mission to bridge the sacred-secular divide and bring transformation.
Chris Cole prays against the sacred-secular divide
Chris picked up on the importance of authentic testimonies in breaking down barriers. “People relate more to the brokenness of our story than to our successes,” he said, quoting Revelation 12:11 – “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Chris also spoke about the concept of Missio Deo, the Mission of God, which challenges us to be more active in our outreach to all people. “The Kingdom, with respect to church leaders, is more important than the Church, because the Kingdom is in you, and you go to church,” he said.
There is therefore no sacred-secular divide. “We need to encourage people in their God-given vocation, whether its medicine or media, or whatever, that is a kingdom initiative. Part of revival is going to be releasing people into their heartfelt vocation of God. We do it with our natural kids as we want them to succeed and we should be doing that in our congregations.”
Chris also challenged everyone to follow the Early Church and the Persecuted Church in their willingness to fulfill the commandments of Christ, given in Matthew 22:37-39. To love God and to love our neighbour, the second being impossible without the first, in order to see God’s Kingdom come and revival and transformation on the Earth.
“So Father, we pray that whatever we’re doing in our businesses, no matter our area of influence or whether we are at home,” Chris prayed. “That we would be so passionate and motivated by the Good News of Jesus to touch people’s lives, to be Your hands and your feet, and cry with those that are crying. Blessing the world with the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that doesn’t change.”
If you would like to attend a CTN Southwest breakfast, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and Barrie Townsend will get back to you in person.