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National Day of Prayer and Worship

Over 50 Riversiders joined over 32,000 other worshippers from churches across the UK last month. A varied line-up of worship leaders (including Matt Redman, Tim Hughes, Dave Bilborough and Graham Kendrick to name a few) led the awesome spectacle of tens of thousands of Christians in worship to God. The diversity of cultures and denominations was replaced by a sense of unity and God’s purposes being bigger and better than the small vision that any individual church has. There was a clear call for repentance on behalf of the nation by the church, and for God to show mercy in his dealings with us. Hope for the future was clear by the thousands present who had become followers of Jesus in their teens, and in the number of those under 20 who were present. New research has just revealed that the church in the UK is no longer shrinking but is once more growing – and was certainly demonstrated by those in the stadium.

Coming away from such a huge gathering leaves you reeling slightly, especially after 4.5 hours of worship! It was clear through the conversations between people on the coach, both with Riversiders and those who had joined us from other churches, that God was very much on the move both individually and corporately. As one young boy from Korea waved at me on the way out to say “see you next time!”, I couldn’t help wonder whether that time would be Revelation 7:9 “… behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb… saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Julian Mander