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Two very pertinent questions.

First, if we exist as a people called by the Creator God to be new creation, a people of worship, justice and mercy, in the power of the Spirit rather than according to Law, as a dynamic corporate witness to the nations and cultures around us, we should be dependent on prayer at every turn to fulfil that calling. Prayer arises constantly at the point of concrete, lived out reliance on the God who dwells in the midst of us; and it arises at the circumference of our life in the world, at the point of mission. It is a crucial means by which we demonstrate our otherness, our belonging to a good and powerful and present Creator.

Secondly, possibly, but I think that the “third horizon” of new heavens and new earth is not dependent simply on a couple of passages—I think it arises out of an understanding of the resurrection of Jesus as being not only a sign of the restoration of Israel, not only a guarantee that the martyrs will be vindicated, but also an event that anticipates an ultimate renewal of all things. Jesus does not simply return to God, return to his true place in heaven, through the resurrection—the inclusion of the martyrs in his destiny makes that clear. As a resurrected body he presupposes an eventual new creation.

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