Prayer for Dartford inspires Thurrock
On Monday 31 October 2016, 'Craftsmen' Tim Harrold and Roy Edworthy went to the Orchard Theatre in Dartford to join with local intercessors praying for their town and the county of Kent.
They had been notified of the event by Thames Gateway Prayernet (TGP) member Liz Pooley, herself a former Essex girl. She is also involved with the cross-denominational Kent Prayer Partnership and now co-leads the Cinque Ports Prayer Canopy along the Channel coast.
Kent is the frontline county of the UK, being the closest to the continent, these days linked by the Channel Tunnel. On a good day, Calais can be seen from the cliffs at Dover, and a few weeks ago the Battle of Hastings was remembered on its 950th anniversary. The TGP has brought those living on the north and south side of the Thames together through strategic prophetic intercession at various points along the river - from the Estuary all the way into the City of London on Tower Bridge.
The Prayer for Dartford meeting was led by a lady named Veronica, who felt called to hire the theatre (where funnily enough, Grays-boy Joe Pasquali is starring in the Christmas panto) at a considerable cost - which was met in full by generous contributions in advance.
Veronica called the event by the Greek word Tetelestai, which means, "It is finished". It was stamped on documents to mean, "Paid in full".
Tim and Roy couldn't be present for the whole event, which began at 6pm and ended at 11pm. While there, Liz led some prayer into the 'new sound' coming from Dartford (the innovative Vox speaker was invented and made there, and famously Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met on the Dartford Station platform). Veronica and various other ladies led on the themes of revival, overcoming unbelief, and breaking down of denominational walls; and a French man prayed (in French) about Halloween.
There was an invitation for those who actually live in the town to come up onto the stage and be prayed for by others for the releasing of gifts and being set free from any hindrances (see picture below).
After this, Liz's husband Simon brought a word from Ezekiel's vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones - and the stages of that process: the initial hesitance; the growing of sinew and flesh; and then the infilling of breath to bring to life.
The valley of dry bones
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me to and fro among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, ‘Son of man, can these bones live?’
I said, ‘Sovereign Lord, you alone know.’
Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to these bones and say to them, “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”’
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.
Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live.”’ So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.
Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, “Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.” Therefore prophesy and say to them: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.”’
Inspiration for Thurrock: prayer and worship
In the report of annual New Years' leaders' gathering for 10 January 2013 - GLP Fast Day for Thurrock: Dry Bones Live! - the Valley of the Dry Bones scripture is quoted as above.
The report then says:
Tim pointed out that the next section is entitled One Nation Under One King in his Bible.
He then declared over Thurrock, using the map: “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
Then he repeatedly read out, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: come, breath, from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live,” over each town and village on the Thurrock map, naming each one by one.
Everyone present then joined in blowing over the map (because God’s breath is in his people), declaring together, “Breathe o breath of God - dry bones live!”
Since then, we've expanded the GLP into the TLP, and we've held Thurrock Pentecost 2015 and Thurrock Pentecost 2016, at which twenty local fellowships made a joint Declaration of Unity.
In the downtimes between these things, though, have we been waiting on God - or has God been waiting on us? Maybe it's a bit of both!
But at the Prayer for Dartford there was a distinct sense of the Father's heart for the region, a re-calling forth to prayer for Thurrock in gatherings, in the streets and on the land.
Now is the time to build on the foundations of the unity laid down at Thurrock Pentecost 2016 and to rediscover and restore those prayer initiatives that brought the church together across the fellowships and the denominations.
Not only prayer, but worship - Thurrock needs a worship centre, not governed by one group but owned by the whole church without competition or compromise.
If you're reading this and you think this is just for 'charismatics', then be reminded that we are commanded to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace - it follows that from our oneness naturally flows the supernatural. The Gospel of Jesus Christ transcends from being an intellectual understanding to an experienced belief, and kingdom culture begins to shift the atmosphere. Salvation, deliverance and healing become everyday, not once-in-a-blue-moon. When Jesus sent out his disciples, this is precisely what happened, and it is precisely what's happening now in many places around the world and across the UK - Coleraine, Reading, Liverpool, Bedford, Ebbsfleet, to name but a few.
God has in his hand a bunch of sticks - separate, but held together, like a bundle of fire wood. But what he wants is one single stick - a staff, a shepherd's crook...
One nation under one king
The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, “Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.” Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, “Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.” Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand.
‘When your people ask you, “Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?” say to them, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph – which is in Ephraim’s hand – and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.” Hold before their eyes the sticks you have written on and say to them, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and vile images or with any of their offences, for I will save them from all their sinful backsliding, and I will cleanse them. They will be my people, and I will be their God.
‘“My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your ancestors lived. They and their children and their children’s children will live there for ever, and David my servant will be their prince for ever. I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my sanctuary among them for ever. My dwelling-place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the Lord make Israel holy, when my sanctuary is among them for ever.”’
“Breathe o breath of God - dry bones live!”
See the important links to the left of this page - pictures, visions, scriptures and words for Thurrock.
Or to read in full GLP Fast Day for Thurrock: Dry Bones Live! go to...