|Last Thursday (7 January), eight leaders from churches in the Grays area met at the Grays Community Prayer House to pray with fasting during ‘office hours’.
There was a richness in diversity as representatives from across the denominational spectrum trudged or drove through arctic conditions to together for this annual gathering. (Left: Rosemary Pritchard of Grays Methodist Church arrives at a snowy Old Tennis Court).
With no one really leading the day – except for the Holy Spirit to guide us – the prayer themes were loosely planned as follows:
9-10.30am Prayer and worship
In reality, the two final sections became one, and we finished about 5.30pm.
We opened the proceedings by listening to St Patrick’s Breastplate, that wonderful spiritual Celtic prayer of declaration and dedication. This opened the door on a time of getting into God’s presence and discovering his purposes for the day.
The major aspect that came out of the Thurrock section was a word given by Steve Morley of West Thurrock Chapel (pictured here in the centre with Colin Baker of Grays Baptist Church and Rosemary), echoing and reminding us of a previous word over the borough from about a decade ago, and then again at a 24-7 in Corringham in 2005, which Steve was unaware of.
He read from Judges 6:11 and the story of Gideon and brought out from it the following points:
Steve sees in this image a picture of where Thurrock is at – a place of low self-esteem, requiring an outside influence to raise it out of it’s own sense of all-encompassing poverty.
(In 1988, Tim Harrold was involved in the rescue of a woman from the mud at Grays Beach; similarly, this has become an enduring prophetic and motivational image of Christ’s ‘coming from the outside in’ to a dire situation with a redemptive rescue plan.)
We sang together Godfrey Birtill’s Just One Touch From The King (Changes Everything), in which is the phrase, “O hear O hear O land the word of the Lord”, which we changed to, “O hear O hear O Grays the word of the Lord”. We asked the Lord to:
Steve noted that the trumpets and jars of our day are the methods of service we are at liberty to utilise in our churches, schools and community. We all have gifts and talents given by the Lord to use, so let’s use them.
At noon we said the Lord’s Prayer together, each reading out a different version. At one o’clock we had communion and this was followed by a section of intercession for the UK, with the obvious focus of the up and coming election.
Later we prayed with one another, for personal challenges and church issues. This was a time of deep intercession and the prophetic gifts were released for each other’s encouragement and edification.
The day was deemed such a success by those there at the end that it was proposed such a day should be repeated three times a year – at New Year; after Easter; and in early Autumn. Watch this space!
Others who came throughout the day were:
We’d like to thank you for your support and willingness to take time out for the sake of joining in prayerful union.
Tim Harrold (Transformation Thurrock and the Church-in-the-House)