Rev Nick Allan: ‘Our city will literally shine brighter with every blessing’

What am I supposed to do about it? No doubt many of us feel this way about the present crisis in Ukraine. It affects all Europeans, it challenges our safety, our economy, our future.

By Rev Nick Allan
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 4:32 pm
Rev Nick Allan, minister of The Well
Rev Nick Allan, minister of The Well

Yet, it is easy to feel powerless, merely observers not participants, as we watch a few very powerful players on the world stage.

Perhaps, like me, you are struggling to find an adequate local response to an international issue.

Never underestimate the power of prayer at a time of crisis.

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Christians have pledged to pray for every single street in Sheffield

During the whole month of March a small, humble and unseen bunch of people in Sheffield will make a significant difference. Christians from almost all the city’s churches have pledged to pray for every single street in Sheffield. The initiative, called Arise Sheffield, asks people to prayer-walk their local streets, looking for ways to connect with local folk by a smile, a word, or the offer of prayer. Participants then mark their route on an app. Over the month, the streets will glow brighter the more times they are prayed for. Our city will literally shine brighter with every blessing.

The initiative began last year during lockdown when over 1500 believers from 100+ churches rose up together to pray for Sheffield.

I walked a few streets with my son this week around our own church building on Ecclesall Road, and combined it with a litter-pick. We plucked up courage to speak to a few passers-by. They were surprisingly open to the offer of prayer, mostly about Ukraine and their family’s health. In times of struggle we begin to sense a bigger picture. That we are part of a globalised world spiritually, as well as practically. We turn to God.

Our own Parliament begins sitting every day with Christian prayers, like it has for over 450 years. The powerful declaration is deeply resonant today, for our local, national and international scene: "Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to.. all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind..”

One Bible Psalm declares: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Why not join thousands in our city praying for peace at this time? For the streets of our city, and the streets of our sister city Donetsk and all of Ukraine.