Shining the Torch of Prayer through Grays
On 3 March, the first of the More Than Gold Thurrock Prayer Walks took place, following the route of the Olympic Torch Relay through Grays.
Here are some of the prayers, thoughts and words from along the way.
At Grays Baptist Church (halfway point).
- The Oak pub (Lodge Lane) - reminder of the acorns that Rachel Hickson and Helen Azar gave out at the Transform! Day last October without realising that Thurrock Council’s symbol is an acorn leaf. From little acorns... “Don’t despise the day of small beginnings...” “They shall be called oaks of righteousness...”
- Piggs Corner (Lodge Lane/Southend Road) - site of former bakery: Grays as Bethlehem (house of bread) and prophesied birthplace of the extraordinary, the supernatural and the divine.
- Garden where until recently a Monkey Puzzle Tree stood for at least 45 years (Southend Road) - taking an axe to the tree, cutting down to the roots, symbol of God’s dealing with pride/religious/empire spirits (Daniel 4)
- Hells Angels house (Southend Road) - let the “the light (shine) in the darkness”
- Clock Repair Shop (Southend Road) - redeeming time, being the Men of Issachar who “understood the times”
- Site of former Palmer’s Boys’ School (Southend Road/Chadwell Road) - “they shall rebuild the ruins”
- ‘Shine’ sign on dentists (Orsett Road/Park View Avenue) - “Rise, shine, your light has come...”
- Grays Baptist Church (Orsett Road) - on 6 July the church will have a BBQ, give out free burgers and other refreshments, and be “salt and light” to the community
- Thurrock Healing Rooms (open that day in GBC) - “healing for the nations”, “a house of prayer for the nations”
- Cakes (for the prayer walkers) - "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies."
- Lyn Bloss’s dream - “I was walking down a road and on both sides people were sleeping in their gardens. As I walked past, they woke up. I woke up with the word ‘revelation’ in my head. So I got a Bible and looked at the Book of Revelation - but then I realised, no, it’s about revelation! The people waking up were realising the revelation!”
- The hands of the ‘Torchbearer’ were anointed by the team
- Barbara Brown had a picture of a newspaper with HEADLINES! written on it - “My word does not return void.”
- Colin Baker brought a word from Nahum 2:1 - “An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!”
- Word for Colin Baker - soon he’ll be able to reach out further than he used to (he was about to have an operation on his shoulder)
- Barbara Brown had a picture of a newspaper with READ ALL ABOUT IT! written on it
- GBC and RCCG House of Praise planning joint street party - “How good it is when brothers dwell together... God commands the blessing for life evermore.”
- Roy Edworthy read Psalm 24 from The Message
Since this prayer walk, the official Olympic Torch Relay route has been made public. The route does not include the section from the Elizabeth Road/Devonshire Way roundabout onwards.
- Open Door (Orsett Road) - “I have placed before you an open door...”
- Picture of ‘Ark’ in Salvation Army shop window (Orsett Road) - ‘acts of random kindness’; 'This is the time'; 'Save yourselves' (Evan Almighty) and picture of the End Times, “as in the days of Noah, so shall it be...”
- Poster in Estate Agent window (Orsett Road) - ‘Time to Nest’, or rather, time to let the eagle push her young out of the nest, as a picture of moving to next phase: “I’m doing a new thing - don’t you perceive it?”
- Zebra Crossing by library (Orsett Road) - LOOK BOTH WAYS: “Stand at the crossroads and ask for the ancient paths...” (Jeremiah 6:16)
- RCCG House of Praise (Orsett Road/Cart Lane) - be “salt and light” to the community. In former Co-op building (Congress House) - working and assembling together
- War Memorial (Orsett Road/London Road) - inscription of ‘Jerusalem’: remembering that Grays was once referred to as ‘The Holy City’, full of churches and Christian-run businesses - Jeremiah 29:7 “... seek the peace and prosperity of the city...”
- Gorge (Hogg Lane) - reminder of dream of going from orchard (neat rows, organised, manmade) through ‘veil’ into ancient wood (random, organic, God-planted): the fruit of the former was plentiful but small, whereas the fruit of the latter was rare but much larger, with added angelic singing and heavenly ambience. A picture of ‘church as we’ve known it’ versus ‘church as God wants it’ (Wolfgang Simson).
- Nature Reserve (Hogg Lane) - notice with bird of pray on it, maybe hovering sparrow hawk: “The Spirit hovers over the waters...”
- Lock and chain on gate (Hogg Lane) - “set the captives free...”
- Katkins (Hogg Lane) - Lambs’ tails, a sign of spring, new life, resurrection, and “the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world”
- Speed limit sign, 40 (Hogg Lane) - “How long must we sing this song?”
- Crossing the road (Elizabeth Road/Devonshire Way roundabout) - “crossing from death to life”
- Solar power on house (Elizabeth Road) - switch power source from manmade to the Son!
- Jonathan Edwards drove past and waved (Elizabeth Road) - reminder of the 18th century revivalist of the same name (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theologian) - famous for sermon ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’: ‘great awakening’l for 21st century Grays
- Treacle Mine pub (Elizabeth Road/Lodge Lane) - venue for Psychic Fayres but symbolic of treasure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treacle_mining): Jesus said, “I am the truth...”; the enemy “masquerades as an angel of light”.
More Than Gold Thurrock Prayer
Friday 30 March
Aveley Christian Centre
off Stifford Road
Tim Harrold, 22/03/2012