Interview with Trans World Radio News Desk:
Feature in Assist News Service - click here
An initiative which aims to encourage Christians to seek and pray for the peace and prosperity of places has had a relaunch to help the church newly engage in local communities.
the4Ps.org was an idea of Paul Blakey MBE, founder of Street Angels. He explains,
"On 1st August 2017 the Piece Hall in Halifax was reopened after a £19million renovation.
"The place attracted 22,000 visitors on that day, cash machines ran out of money, every cafe and restaurant had long queues and the atmosphere in the town lifted.
"As I stood on the balcony in Piece Hall God reminded me to 'pray for the peace and prosperity'.
"Later I looked this up and found the verse in Jeremiah 29:7, 'Seek the peace and prosperity of the city... pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers you too will prosper'"
"A few days later the4Ps.org was launched as I had a renewed sense and passion that the church should be leading the way in seeing communities transformed, for believing for better, for praying and working towards the peace and prosperity of places."
As the UK came out of lockdown a new Facebook group, the4PsCollaborative was set up as a way of connecting all those who share the visions and aims, which are:
To believe and work towards better within your places (community, village, town, city, borough, region, nation and world!)
To talk up places not talk down. Quit moaning! Celebrate the good and work and pray towards solving issues and problems!
To join the history of God at work through his people - the place you are has decades, hundreds and maybe thousands of years of history of God doing amazing stuff - this is your moment, this is your generation, this is the time to make your mark on the world!
To pray and work towards God’s Kingdom becoming a reality for all - what would our communities look like if crime was reduced, addictions were gone, homelessness was a memory, businesses were prospering, different communities got along...... Jesus taught us to pray ‘God’s Kingdom come, God’s will be done, on earth as in heaven’ - prayer and action go hand in hand!
To leave a legacy for future generations. We are building for the better of the future! How cool is that!!!!
the4Ps has also partnered with The Encouragers Network which has a vision to share faith filled encouraging messages with others.
The founder of The Encouragers Network, Tommy Stewart, comments,
"People in every walk of life need encouragement like never before.
"If we are to see our town and cities prosper we need to release a fresh wave of faith filled hope.
"We are delighted to partner with the 4P’s in establishing ‘encouragers networks’ in towns and cities across the UK with each encourager sending out an inspiring message of encouragement to someone in their community each day of the year.
For more information and to join the movement of seeking and praying for the peace and prosperity of your place visit the4ps.org or facebook.com/the4ps
In just a few days the4PsCollaborative has become a movement of people who are intentional about seeking and praying for the peace and prosperity of the places they live, work or minister. From small communities to large cities the4PsCollaborative will see people partner with God to seek towards transformation. Here are the places already signed up:
Anglesey - see the YouTube video
Aylesbury - please pray for our town centre manager & her team. For the local small businesses trying to reopen at this time. For the local community groups & charities supporting people & each other (from food banks to litter picking groups to homelessness support to young people to addiction and many many more).
Elland - Elland, West Yorkshire, is our place! God planted us here and we love it. We've lived in the area about forty five years, brought up our children and taught in three local schools. We've had Home Groups, done Children's and Youth Work. We've now been retired for twenty years and have been walking the Area and praying. The photo shows one of the roads leading down into Elland. Just at the bottom of the hill, where we live is Brooksbank School with over a thousand young people and staff. Further on the road is Elland Hospice. There is a Main Street with shops, struggling at the moment. The Parish church dates back to the eleventh century. Please join us at the Throne as we pray for this place we love, for Protection, Peace and Prosperity for Brooksbank, the Hospice, businesses and the people of Elland. Many seeds have been sown over the years in the schools and churches, may we now see a harvest and we long to see Calderdale Chaplains on the streets. Amen
Halifax / Calderdale - a borough made up of the main towns Halifax, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Brighouse and Elland with smaller towns, villages and communities. Population of around 200,000. The main centre Halifax has popular attractions such as Piece Hall, Eureka Children's Museum, Halifax Minster and Shibden Hall, Wainhouse Tower with many other attractions close by. Mix of urban and rural. Pray for every community - that every person will know they are amazing. For business to succeed. For tourism and TV filming to continue. For those leading and a real commitment from the church to the borough and its people.
Hellifield - Please pray for our village of Hellifield that we will continue to be bold in sharing the Love of Jesus in our community.
Illingworth (Halifax) - We have wonderful beauty spots, moorland nearby, woodland, community projects and clubs all doing good things for the people here.
Knaphill - an ‘urban village’, just outside Woking with various projects: The Community fridge, run by Holy Trinity church, has had to become a community table but continues to reduce food waste and help those in need. A local resident, Sonal, set up a Covid support helpline and volunteer base which has provided over 1,000 support interactions so far. These and other projects have been active in lockdown. We also have Syrian refugees housed locally and there was a local conversation cafe to help with language skills - they have been unable to meet recently.
Larne - a wee town which serves as one of the main ferry ports to Scotland. The Larne Renovation Generation is seeking the prosperity of the place and the church communities work well together. Larne is at the start of the Causeway Coastal Road and The Gobbins is within the borough, both of which attract visitors.
Liskeard - it has the first rural 'resource church' I believe, and the churches there are prayerful and active in the town - there seems to ve a healthy unity between them and I'd love to see God's love more widely recognised in my home town.
Newquay - Please pray for Newquay town, country and beaches as holiday makers return and the pubs open!
Northowram - a close community just outside Halifax. The church is active in the village with some big plans for greater community impact.
Ripponden - a small community just beyond Sowerby Bridge. A great community feel and a place with lots of innovative businesses. The Parish Council are active in creating a thriving community.
Sumbawanga (Tanzania) - see blog post
Woking - Woking is undergoing major development which will impact both the day and nighttime economies. There are lots of support networks and ministries in town centre including Street Angels, the York Road Project (supporting the homeless) and various ministries from the Lighthouse (google them for all they do) - not a definitive list - there are many more from different faiths and also secular organisations.