Writing this on day 5 of the Games, more updates will follow:
We are giving thanks for all who are taking part, from across the city and the nation, in the 336 hours of worship and prayer at Elim Life Church Pheasey, Birmingham, B43. We are delighted to be working with Burn 24-7 who have organised this as it is providing a canopy of protection over the region as Jesus is exalted as Lord and specific prayer requests are handled.
We are registering many answers to prayer! We, and many others, have been praying for peace on the streets and security to be tight around every venue in the West Midlands and London and to date we are rejoicing in God’s mercy. We have prayed that these ‘friendly games’ would indeed be friendly both among the athletes and their teams as well as among the thousands of visitors to the Games and the City and that is the atmosphere in the centre of Birmingham. We are praying for much fruit from the work of Sports Chaplains with the athletes and the Wellbeing volunteers working with Games staff, volunteers and visitors.
Those involved in Christian witness through proclamation, giving out tracts, creative arts, healing and prayer etc ( Birmingham City Mission, Youth with a Mission, Firestarters, Good News for Everyone Healing on the Streets) are telling wonderful stories of healings, salvations, long conversations and openness to talk about Jesus on the streets . As well as contesting over permission being withdrawn as to where they are allowed to minister and some hard conversations.
The Opening Ceremony: we had prayed for good weather and that the event would showcase the brilliant creativity that has been part of Birmingham and the West Midlands character for hundreds of years and the different nations and cultures that make up the region. It certainly profiled some of that – and probably more will come out in the Closing Ceremony. The whole trust of the new age feel, with the shards of ‘light’, the false peace and unity message around the idolising of the Birmingham Bull has prompted much conversation, debate and prayer as we continue to lift up Jesus as Lord over the whole of these 2022 Games.
We invite you to continue to pray with us: for salvation for many – athletes, volunteers, visitors; for wisdom for the sports chaplains; for His will and His kingdom to come on and through all that will be communicated through the Closing Ceremony; for lasting legacy for unity in mission across the churches in the region and for God’s hand to be on all those who will pick up the baton in Victoria (Australia) for the next Commonwealth Games in 2026.