Dear faithful prayer supporters,

‘If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.’ 2 Corinthians 5:17-18

In early 2023, our preaching has focused on the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the believer (following a previous series on his work from creation to Christ). It’s been refreshing to consider his majestic work, in such unpromising raw material as ourselves! The series began with the Spirit uniting us by faith to Jesus, working in us the ‘new creation’. We at Forte Torre want to hold passionately to this gospel when announced by the Spirit through weak agents like ourselves – the power of God to work new life in all those who come to trust wholeheartedly in his Son. Our prayer is we’d be profoundly convinced to see in us and others, not only salvation, but also sanctification: a life transformed, by the Spirit’s power, to the glory of God!

  • Praise God that the Holy Spirit brings LIFE from places of death: at first creation (Genesis 1:2), at Christ’s incarnation (Luke 1:35), and resurrection (Romans 8:11)!
  • Praise God that he chooses to work LIFE even in us, calling us out of spiritual death to become new people in Christ, the firstfruits of a new creation!
  • Praise God that the Spirit doesn’t simply lead us to Jesus to escape judgement, but zealously works for our transformation, shaping us into him who is the image of the invisible God!

This month we share requests from our series, devoted to the Spirit’s life-giving work.

Believing in the new birth

Having welcomed newcomers, we’ve reached our capacity of 90-100 people. A few of these, in God’s goodness, seem to have been born again into Christ. Others, whilst coming regularly, have not yet seen new birth, whilst others of us are Christians of many years. Join us in thanks that the Spirit IS working and pray he would do so more amongst us. Pray that we who are Christians would be earnest in prayer that the Spirit would call others to enter the Kingdom of God (John 3:5).

  • Thanks to God for evidence of real conversion in some young people: G, K (with us since 9 years old) and A.
  • Thanks for those who come regularly under the Spirit’s word, whilst not yet professing faith in Christ – pray they too would know the miracle of regeneration.
  • Pray we at Forte Torre (FT) would believe in the Holy Spirit’s power, and pray earnestly for his sovereign work (John 3:7-8), particularly in Italian residents of the city.
  • Pray for baptisms in April (of K and E), as both bear witness to their new life in Christ.

United with Christ, the Image

It’s striking in Paul’s letters how often he speaks of being ‘in’ or ‘united to Christ’ and how often the faith is presented as sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection. This becomes essential to sanctification: living by the Spirit’s power what Christ has already made us to be.

  • Pray that we at FT would hunger after godliness, convinced that, by faith, we ARE one with Christ’s death and resurrection.
  • Pray we would continually return to our ‘status’ in Christ as the primary motivation for not pandering to sin (Romans 6:10–11).
  • Pray that a personal hunger for sanctification would drive bold decision-making in areas of life (e.g. personal relationships [for C and I], choosing a home [for Y and H], prioritising prayer, living the fellowship, spending wisely).

Knowing the conflict

The Spirit’s indwelling accentuates the conflict with our old human nature (Romans 8:12-13). Sometimes our desires to live collectively wane, making it harder to become a strong, united body, knit together into Christ.

  • Pray for us to realise the communal call to sanctification, that is the Lord’s gift of his Church. For FT members to perceive our God-given responsibilities (e.g. leading ministries, modelling group life).
  • Pray that our love for Christ will continually help us fight against sin, and not simply concede to bad habits, but rather work for the common good.
  • Pray in this ongoing battle that we would model a right grace to each other, that seeks always to spur each other on in love (Galatians 6:1-2).

Fulfilling the law’s heart towards the city

The Spirit’s sanctifying work will fulfil in us the law’s heart: wholehearted love for God and real concern for neighbour. We want to be a community modelling deep love for God, that translates into sacrificial service of Bologna. There’s room for growth!

  • Pray that God will continually use the weekly Torricine Doposcuola to help reach children and families living centrally.
  • Pray that new initiatives (pre-evangelistic/evangelistic) would begin in coming months, promoted and organised by Italians as tangible expressions of love for Bologna.

Sending our love and thanking God for the Holy Spirit’s work in your own lives.

JP and Sue xx

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Give thanks for...

  • Praise God for the Holy Spirit’s majestic work, of bringing life from death.
  • Thanks for evidence of real new births (and for April baptisms).

Please pray for...

  • Pray for the conversion of regular ‘guests’ amongst us.
  • Pray personal hunger for sanctification would drive bold decision-making.
  • Pray we would value the church-shaped call to godly living.
  • Pray that Italian-run new initiatives would take shape to reach our city.

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