Thurrock Watchmen gather for first time
The new wave of united prayer for the borough - Thurrock Watchmen - kicked off on Friday 30 June, hosted by Gateway People's Centre (GPC) in Stanford-le-Hope.
Around 25 prayer warriors from across the denominations represented in the borough attended.
The evening began with Tim Harrold setting out a few guidelines and aspirations for how Thurrock Watchmen will proceed. The simple guidelines for when the Watchmen gather are...
No sermons! Prayers to be prayers, not long exhortations or teaching...
Keep it positive and encouraging! Pray for, not against...
Bless, don't curse!
Release God's goodness, love, joy, grace and presence into people, perplexities and places…
Come in an attitude of praise to God and worship in God!
Remember, it's always about what God's doing and is going to do! It's never about what the enemy's doing or might be doing...
... and the simple aspirations for the Watchmen gatherings are to...
be free-flowing with simultaneous worship, prayer and the prophetic taking place continuously
have an open mic to share dreams, visions and pictures through relationship and mutual trust
be safe places to share and make mistakes
be 'open heaven' times and places that shift the atmosphere over the borough
Tim then read out a word submitted by Lin Tucker of Community Church on 18 June. (Lin was unable to be at the meeting herself.) She titled the word, Laborious Footwork.
Just recently I was asking the Holy Spirit to guide me; I knew that He had a word of encouragement for me in my walk with the Lord. As a phrase entered my mind I started to look at verses around the subject.
The first reference I read was from Deuteronomy 11:10-12. As I read it the Holy Spirit gave witness to my spirit that this was a word of exhortation for the commencement of Thurrock Watchmen (I had registered a day or two earlier), and this is what I would like to share with you.
Deuteronomy 11:10-12 (Amp. Bible)
For the land which you go in to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you came out, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot laboriously as in a garden of vegetables.
But the land which you enter to possess is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water of the rain of heavens.
A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
The first phrase that the Holy Spirit highlighted was 'you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot laboriously'. It spoke of hard, continuous labour in various ways to irrigate the gardens using water from the Nile. Then I began to see the whole picture.
For the land which you go in to possess
The new place for Thurrock Watchmen is a land where we go in and possess. We are no longer in the former places, no longer in Egypt, no longer using water from the Nile. No longer using our foot laboriously!! It is not what is done by our human effort, lest we puff up with pride or fall down with weariness.
But the land which you enter to possess
This land is a place where we drink water of the rain of the heavens!! Where we are open to the Holy Spirit in all His fullness. We will possess yet we already possess because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
A land for which your God cares
How He cares!!!! How he loves, knows, understands – His eyes always upon Thurrock, such an assurance! The Lord is beginning to give me a direct word:
For the Lord sees the hearts of His people. He sees the burdens, the desires; he hears the cries, the faintest whispers; all are as prayers ascending to Him.
And he would gather you together, His arms of love encompassing His people as one, saying:
Stand strong. Stand firm. I have overcome.
We possess the land as praise pours forth and we become 'instruments of worship'. In faith we see victory yet we stand as victors through the blood of Jesus! We stand clothed with the whole armour of God. The word 'release' was also in my spirit. Pray for release.
Hark, your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they sing for joy;
for they shall see eye to eye
the return of the Lord to Zion.
Our God reigns!!!! Hallelujah!
Roy Edworthy then reiterated the vision of Thurrock Watchmen, repeating what he said at the Thurrock Pentecost 2017 event on 3 June. He empahsised, "The line in the sand refers to the enemy and that as we press in the line moves with us, leaving the claimed territory on our side of the line! We take the line with us and therefore it follows us. We cross over but the enemy is driven back and will not cross over it." Roy quoted from the Godfrey Birtill song The Die Has Been Cast, which includes the rousing words, "I've stepped over the line, The decision's been made, I'm moving forward... Over the wall I will jump... I've got to get in the purpose of God..."
Roy also referred to the Armour of God from Ephesians 6:13-18 using The Message translation, which had already been confirmed by Lin's word:
Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.
You can read what more of what said here: http://www.transformationthurrock.com/Articles/499801/Transformation_Thurrock/Prayer/Thurrock_Watchmen/The_Thurrock_Watchmen.aspx
There then followed a time of worship using videos selected by Vera Harrold. This started off with The Die Has Been Cast. Other songs sang were: Good Good Father, What A Powerful Name It Is, Spirit Break Out. It was a very powerful time.
Sandy Nye of GPC gave a prophetic word. She said: "Sharpen your swords - these weapons are mighty - use them, open your mouth and speak forth life... everywhere you walk you'll see life springing up - see what the Spirit wants you to see - and act wisely. This is your time! Seize it, seize it, seize it!"
Rob, visiting from Havering, had "a picture of an escarpment with the Watchmen running on the mountains giving a good report" (like the spies spying out the Promised Land). They'd seen "good things" (like Joshua and Caleb had), so the Watchmen "can give words of comfort to the people." Rob urged us to "go to the right people."
Tim introduced Mark Sutcliffe (right), also from Havering (but originally from Liverpool), who in the past has been part of prayer teams with Suzette Hattingh (who came to Thurrock in 1999) under the German evangelist Reinhard Bonkke (who spoke at The State cinema in 1987), and latterly as prayer pastor with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (we first encountered mark at Rock Thurrock in 2011). He has travelled the world and the UK with his work.
Mark said a lot, but here are a few snippets:
The Great Awakening has already started
Watchmen are always found in a high place
The difference between saying intercessions in church and intercessory prayer is letting the Holy Spirit pray through you
Isaiah 60:1 (Amplified Bible)
Arise [from spiritual depression to a new life], shine [be radiant with the glory and brilliance of the Lord]; for your light has come, And the glory and brilliance of the Lord has risen upon you.
To arise means to go from glory to glory - this is the same as having your head polished!
Things are shifting - not just in here but out there
We can speak governmentally
Healing ministries bring faith, hope and love to our communities
It's time to move into the realm of the miraculous
We prayed in groups for each other's churches and for the release of supernatural healing. Vera (right) had multiple words of knowledge for people requiring God's healing touch.
We then put this into practice by praying for Mark and Rob, both of whom have ongoing illnesses (see photos 3 and 4).
The evening concluded with a brief overview of how Thurrock Watchmen will progress, using every form of social media to disseminate information and connect prayer warriors across the borough, and an encouragement to get together in twos and threes to pray. The next Watchmen gathering will probably take place in early September in another part of Thurrock. There will also be prayer walks in the streets and on the land.
A generous offering was taken to bless Mark and Rob.
With thanks to GPC for their kind hospitality, and especially to Dapo and Morris for their sterling work on the sound desk.
To link in with Thurrock Watchmen, please contact Tim Harrold on firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Roy Edworthy on email@example.com