Myriad: Prayer and planting

David Vincent

October 2021

Myriad's new prayer coordinator, David Vincent, speaks about his background and his passion for prayer. As he takes up this role as part of the CCX team, David explains how he sees prayer being a central part of Myriad with its vision to see a multiplication of new forms of church across this nation and beyond.

David Vincent has joined CCX as the prayer coordinator for Myriad. He has a passion for prayer and developing prayer strategies which support others to pray in their own ministries and mission. 

We interviewed David to find out about his background, how he became involved with praying specifically for London, and how he is approaching this new role with Myriad.

David, please say a little about yourself?

I’ve lived in North London since 2000 teaching part-time in the local secondary school while also raising prayer in and for London. I’m married with two children, my daughter has just gone to university this term and my son is starting his A-levels. 

I first came to London to study geography at UCL and even then I had a sense of calling to pray for the city, which is what I have done for over 20 years, leading and networking prayer across London. After university, in the mid-1990s I worked for a church in West London, which was actively church-planting and my role was to support this by researching their planting areas. In those days that meant going to the local libraries, looking at maps and census data tables, finding out where the community halls and spaces were, potentially for plants to use – I needed all my geography skills….nowadays, you’d just Google it! With this information we then helped planters to discern strategy and supported them in on-going prayer.

As well as praying and supporting planters I also led a church-plant in Lewisham. The practicalities of using a school hall and multitasking – we were a small team and it was all hands on deck – was tough, hard work; I remember lumping the PA around an awful lot! The practical outworking of mission alongside prayer is really important to me. I see them both working in tandem. In 2014 after meeting many pioneers in London’s estates I started to actively support them in prayer and strengthen the partnership between mission and intercession. Following this I took on a part-time role that I still have with the Eden Network as their London Coach. I meet with the Eden team leaders who work on London’s most deprived estates, supporting them by praying with them, and helping them develop sustainable, effective mission.

I’m also a director at St Peter’s Bourne, in the Edmonton area of London Diocese. This month we’re welcoming a new residential community who will establish a ‘House of Prayer’ for North London to pray for the region and become a centre for prayer retreat and pioneering. It will also be the pioneer hub for CCX in North London and we want to send our community out to support the churches in the area.

Why this role with Myriad and CCX? What led to you feeling called to head up prayer here?

I was born in India and grew up in a missionary family and was schooled in prayer from a young age. As a child, I saw many miracles, with people being healed so I have had the huge privilege of being in an environment where I was taught to expect God to answer prayer in supernatural ways. I look back on my childhood experiences of seeing God answer prayer in dramatic ways as well as in the routine mundane aspects of life and am very thankful – it’s given me a perspective on what God will do in response to our petitions.

Prayer is such a huge subject with many different facets and depths – but at its essence prayer I think is a natural expression of our internal rhythms of connection and conversation with God. There is so much of prayer, though, that holds the tensions of the ‘now and not yet Kingdom’. Through the connection of prayer we understand the possibilities for change in our lives and in our world so we pray ‘let your kingdom come on earth as in heaven’. 

His Spirit stirs our awareness to be open and see the possibilities of what God could do and our response of worship is through prayer and action. God has taught me that ‘A hungry heart is a constant prayer’, because when we are ‘hungry for the ‘not yet’’ then there’s always a bit of us responding  ‘yes, Lord, please do that’ when we walk through our communities and see the possibilities for mission and transformation.

So with that in mind, prayer has to go hand in hand with mission. In the prayer for London I’ve been involved with over the years, it has often been prayer with a theme upon renewal. I’m a big picture person, as well as thinking about how we can effectively support prayer for individuals in a particular community, I also like to think about how I can help make prayer more effective and intentional through planning. So I’ve worked with leaders to help them consider how their strategy for an area, be that an estate, a diocese or city, is intentionally thinking about the priorities and the partnership with prayer.

So to answer the question of why and how this role at this time, I’m very excited that it brings together my heart for church planting and pioneering along with some of my experience in leading prayer and lay ministry. I am excited about the opportunities to see how a network of prayer can support the Church’s future mission and growth and its ability to impact our nation as a whole.

What do you think God is saying about Myriad and church planting?

I think there are two strands to prayer which are helpful for us in today’s context.

Firstly, I think many of us are finding a new sense of where we are as we come out of Covid. We’re in a completely different landscape now, and many of us, including church leaders, are having to navigate things differently. I believe that by helping people to pray we can help them to discern what God is saying and how to respond more effectively to the new landscape they are in. 

The second aspect of prayer is about stewardship. I believe that God calls us to take responsibility for what we have been given, so we have a duty to pray for our communities, work places, churches, parishes and our friends and families.

When we put these two elements together, through prayer we create a space to see more clearly what God is doing and to know how we should respond. We can discern the specific actions we should take to ensure that we continue to thrive in a challenging environment.

With Myriad, we’re trying to respond to the changes occurring across the Church and to support that. I want to make sure we are diligent in our prayer, supporting the wider church and being intentional about prayer and as we develop a national prayer network. As we become aware through conversations with dioceses of the many different expressions of growth and multiplication happening, the question is ‘how can the prayer support that goes alongside this mission be more effective?’ We’re responsible for the things that God has given us and those who we are supporting, so we will need to build a network of prayer for the Church that will enable us to faithfully steward these things. I’m excited to be able to help develop prayer in this role at a national level with Myriad, but I want to stir a greater hunger in myself and in those linked to us for the possibilities of what God could do through his Church and then pray until we see that potential become a reality. 

To find out more about Myriad go to:  https://ccx.org.uk/myriad/

If you would like to become part of the Myriad network of prayer go to: https://ccx.org.uk/myriad-pray/