Who is Rebekah Brettle?
Former GP Rebekah Brettle is best known as the author of 'Neighbours, Transform Your Street' which was published in 2012 by Sovereign World Ltd. However, it is what led to her writing the book that is important, and what she has gone on to become...
Rebekah was born in Crumpsall, North Manchester. With her mother attending a local church of England and her father a Methodist, she grew up alternating between the two church Sunday schools on a Sunday morning.
During her school years she attended a Church of England secondary school where as a teenager trying to fathom life she struggled with what she was being taught and eventually lost her faith and turned away from God, even proclaiming herself an atheist! She says "all the miracles and stories were explained away and I was left feeling there was no foundation to the Bible if none of the miracles happened and Genesis was replaced by evolution."
After graduating from school Rebekah went to university to study medicine. Aged 19 she discovered the intricate and complicated nature of single cells and the chemistry of life. This began an internal conversation where she started to question everything she had thought up till then including the theory of evolution and life itself. At the same time she hit a crisis which led to an incredible encounter with God. She writes:
"I remember thinking how nice it would be to have a believe in God as it would be comforting... I heard a voice say maybe there is a God and you haven't given Him a chance. I remember saying, ' if you exist God, I need you to show up now... and He did in a very profound way."
So aged 19 Rebekah went from being an atheist to believing in a 'God' but not sure of 'which one' or which 'religion'. She explored Judaism, Islam, Baha'i ism and attended many different types of church over the next few years. However, it was a dying cancer patient who had the most profound effect on her life. They recommended that she consider going on an Alpha Course as it might answer the questions she had. She decided that this would be a good course of action and whilst on Alpha began to understand for the first time in her lifer the divinity of Jesus, and that he had died for her - personally, that she might be saved. By 26 years of age she re-dedicated her life to the Lord and "became a Christian!"
From Uni to GP
After university Rebekah worked as Locum GP for 8 years across the North West and Midlands. It was during these years that the pain of people's lives was evident and at times difficult for her to bear. As a Christian she could see the lonely and depressed and house bound people who had no one to turn to and this fuelled her growing passion to get the church involved in their local communities.
Her thoughts turned to getting the local church involved in praying for the local neighbourhood and this led to prayer walks around the area and a noticeable change thereafter. The beginnings of Neighbourhood Prayer Network were starting to take shape.
A Growing Vision for Community Prayer
As the vision grew for this new network of praying people she realised that what she was experiencing as a GP - what she was seeing in real peoples lives was replicated throughout the country. She remembered that when she was an 8 or 9 year old child she was looking out of her bedroom window at her street below and began to realise that there was little interaction between people, between neighbours. This is as true today as it was then.
Neighbourhood Prayer Network
In 2012, Neighbourhood Prayer Network was born with the vision of seeing every street in the UK covered in Christian prayer, with Christians pray for their immediate neighbours, caring for them and sharing Jesus with neighbours. The launch was of Neighbourhood Prayer Network was shared in front of 30,000 people at the National Day of Prayer and Worship celebration at Wembly Stadium where Dr Jonathan Oloyede introduced her to the world.
Now in its 5th year it has grown in statue and has partnered with a number of other charities including HOPE 2018 to initiate greater prayer across our towns and cities in the lead up to 2018. When Roy Crowne pictured left spoke at Wessex Filling Station in April 2017, he called this year - 2017 - the year of 'preparation through prayer' towards the harvest there will be in 2018 through the HOPE initiative. Rebekah agrees wholeheartedly and is endorsing the both the 'Mile With Jesus' initiative and 'Friday Focus' hand-in-hand with Roy Crowne's HOPE 2018 and the Hope Together team in Rugby.
Visionary | Author | Mother
Rebekah is the author of 'Neighbours, Transform Your Street' - which has been used by many as a handbook for prayer-walking their neighbourhoods - and also writes other resources for churches. She is also is Assistant Editor of Prayer Magazine.
Jonathan Oloyede, the founder of National Day of Prayer writes of Neighbours, Transform Your Street:
"I believe with all my heart that this grassroots prayer network in neighbourhoods, is part of the key catalysts to ignite the ﬁres of revival and transformation that is about to erupt within the British Isles in our life times."
Dr Rebekah Brettle is now the Executive Director of Neighbourhood Prayer Network having left the medical profession to devote her time to work. She is also Assistant Editor of Prayer Magazine.
She is married to Carl Brettle who leads an evangelism ministry and has one child called Reuben, who is their miracle prayer baby!