Thames Gateway Prayer Day 4 – Saturday 5 September 2009
Last Saturday (5 September) intercessors gathered on both sides of the Thames to pray under either end of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge.
This was the latest in a series of prayer actions facilitated by the Thames Gateway Prayernet, an informal but prophetic group made up of folk from south Essex and north Kent. Essexites began gathering at the old St Clement’s Church of Four Weddings And A Funeral fame at 9.30am to give plenty of time for the hike round to the bridge. Meanwhile, the Kentish gathered at Brent Methodist Church in Dartford before making their way down to the bridge.
The Dartford crossing opened with a single road tunnel in 1963, augmented by an adjacent second tunnel opened in 1980. The 137 metre high QE2 Bridge was built alongside the tunnels, to the east, and opened in 1991. The crossing forms part of London’s orbital M25 motorway and carries over 1,000,000 vehicles a week. The crossing is the fourth busiest section of road in the country and is a major bottleneck in the regional road network of England. The high speed rail line between London, Kent and Europe intersects the crossing approach roads on the north side of the river, travelling over the tunnel approach roads, but under the bridge approach. The railway line then crosses the river in a tunnel to the east of the road crossings. The QE2 Bridge and the whole area are incredibly geographically and historically important, spiritually and strategically significant.
Gary Seithel of Across Havering. The Kent intercessors are on the opposite bank!
Once under the QE2 Bridge – well, slightly to one side, so each group could see each other – flags were waved and mobile phone contact established. Rev Edward Wright of St Helen’s, Cliffe, opened the proceedings at 10.30am by blowing his shofar from the Kent side – those on the West Thurrock shoreline had to make do with hearing the shofar through the mobile. This was followed by the joint declaration of Psalm 24, and the singing of heaven’s national anthem, ‘Majesty’, and the National Anthem of our earthly nation of Great Britain (well, we were at the Queen’s bridge!). Each group then went through a pre-written prayer guide which provided a bit of structure but with plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to speak to and through us.
Meanwhile, Ruth Verrinder from Westcliff-on-Sea undertook a prophetic prayer drive across the bridge, ending up in Bluewater, where she continued to pray and text the groups. Also, on the banks of the Thames at Chelsea, Sally Rickard of the City Prayernet was blowing her shofar too.
Each side interceded for each other, declaring Isaiah 62:4,11-12 across the river, that Dartford and Thurrock would We anointed the ground with (coffee) oil.no longer be ‘forgotten’, but ‘remembered’. We prayed for the bridge as connector and gateway, declaring Isaiah 62:10 over the waters. We realised we were actually standing between the bridge and also the tunnels, and could see the Chunnel high speed rail link behind us before it dives under the river. Our prayers centred on protection over all these major highways and that people travelling across the river one way or another would feel the presence of God. We felt moved to shout, ‘Angels awake!’, and as we did we became aware of the presence of angels. Gary Seithel (of Across Havering) received a powerful touch from God. It was quite a moment!
Gary Seithel & Vera Harrold praying under the QE2 Bridge
We then moved to the theme of businesses and busyness, and the materialism, commercialism and consumerism represented by the bridge, using Matthew 6:24 and Hebrews 4:9-11. Ruth texted us with the idea of praying for ‘bounty’ for business on both sides of the river, and especially for Christian businesses.
Our thoughts then turned to a vision Val Coates of Dartford had some years ago. when she had knew she and her family were moving into the area, she had had a picture/dream of a release of darkness over London coming down the Thames. It was really dark over London but as it came down the Thames the cloud had lightened, all the time losing muck and dirt and such like, and at Dartford Bridge it was almost as though the strength of the darkness had gone because of the light. We prayed into this as Watchmen of the Waters and Gatekeepers of the Gateway, declaring Psalm 149:5-9 into the heavenlies, turning ‘back the battle at the gate’ (Isaiah 28:5-6) and rebuilding ‘the ancient ruins’ (Isaiah 58:11-12).
Our time ended with a final declaration of Isaiah 41:17-20, the word that has been over Thurrock since around 1996. The Essexites blessed Kent with it, and the Kentish reciprocated. We closed with Edward blowing his shofar down the phone again, and then began our long walk back to St Clement’s, talking with graffiti artists and fishermen on the way.