The Thames Gateway Prayernet conducted another prayer action last Saturday (7 November) on both sides of the river, at Erith Pier and Coldharbour Point on the Havering ‘Coast’.
On the Essex side, 8 people came along to a fresh riverfront in the shadow of Havering’s Ferry Lane industrial sites and the Rainham Marshes (left). The 8 came from Havering itself, as well as Thurrock and Southend.
On the Kent side, a large crowd of people turned out to pray. Liz Pooley of Dartford, one of the TGP facilitators, says, “We had 24 people this side – they just kept coming! Dorothy, the contact in Erith had put the word out and we had 8 or 10 locals, and one of the local church leaders formally welcomed us, which was great as the last thing we wanted in a place that is often seen as the ‘scrag end’ of that particular area is to be coming in and doing our own thing”.
Liz continues: “People seemed genuinely touched that we should want to come to Erith to pray, and we had a good mix of local needs and more strategic praying. Three young people came and we were able to pray for them, the youth of that area that they represented and connect it to the prophecies about Europe. We could also sense the reproach on this side, and I think the gathering itself perhaps did something to help roll that off”.
Meanwhile, at Coldharbour, we flew our flags (right), used our mobiles to phone the guys on the opposite, blew the shofar, made declarations and went through a rough prayer guide prepared by Liz, and Gary Seithel (of Across Havering and Watchmen Prayer Ministries).
We began with some shofar blowing: Gary blew the shofar on at Coldharbour (left) and we listened on the phone to Sally Rickard of the City Prayernet blowing her shofar upstream at Chelsea. We declared Psalm 103 over the river. This includes the powerful realities that,
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all…
everywhere is his dominion.
We sang Blessed be Your Name over the phone with the Kentish. After that each side continued independently but still using the guide. After a brief background history of the Thames Gateway Prayernet to set the scene, we made another declaration and prayed using Isaiah 62:4-12, which talks about the land no longer being desolate or deserted, but sought after and married, and being continually guarded by watchmen. Verse 10 is a prophetic command from God to his people, which sums up what the Thames Gateway Prayernet is all about:
Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare a way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.
We prayed that this would become a reality along the Gateway towns, boroughs and cities, believing that through the intercessions the Lord has clearly called us to make, we are stepping through doors, dislodging spiritual obstacles, creating a clearway, and stating that this is for all.
Next we turned our attention to themes arising from the World War 2 and the 15 or so concrete barges left languishing in the mud on the Havering side (see left). These are the remains of Mulberry artificial harbours built at Arromanches and Omaha Beach in Normandy immediately after D-Day which provided the port facilities to offload the thousands of men and vehicles and tons of supplies necessary to sustain Operation Overlord in the latter part of the war. The barges were later used as flood defences during the emergency of 1953 when Canvey and Tilbury were inundated.
On the Erith side, there was the British Insulated Callender’s Cables (BICC) company – this was one site where the pipeline was made that went under the English Channel from the Isle of Wight and Dungeness to Cherbourg and Calais. This pumped all the fuel for the tanks and vehicles for the invasion. It was called PLUTO – ‘pipeline under the ocean’. When fully operational, this supplied the Allied armies with over 8 million litres of petrol a day. By the end of August 1944, the Allies were advancing across France faster than the pipelines could be laid, which led to a supply crisis as everything had to come from England.
These two ‘out of box’ examples of ingenuity, so critical in the UK and USA’s liberation of a Europe overshadowed for so long by pagan Nazism, pre-echo the sentiments of Jean Darnell’s famous prophecy from 1967 in which she said of the UK’s believers: “I will send them into Europe, where they will meet other people in the media, and through them I will release the word of God very fast in Europe”. This indicates that Britain still has a great part to play in God’s plans at this time in the world’s history – and that creative thinking will play a key part in the kingdom’s invasion of the continent (so no doom and gloom – let’s see things from his positive perspective!). Of course, the Thames Gateway has been described as potentially the ‘hub of Europe’.
Because, like Thurrock, Erith’s name has an association with mud, Ruth Verrinder (left, of Love Southend’s Prayer Wall) took some mud, spat on it, and slung it into the river, symbolic of breaking low self-esteem in the community caused by being looked down on by others, as well as the obvious links with the creativity in prayer by Jesus as he brought healing to a blind man. A large ship went by leaving a wake and a wash that provoked us to pray into the whole vision of a swathe of revival coming up the Thames on either side, as seen in a vision about 12 years ago by a guy from Romford. The symbol of the lighthouse (above right) was also prayed into, representing an aid for navigation through life, a beacon of hope, a place of safety, a sanctuary of peace, a haven of rest, the light of Christ and the Rock of salvation.
We also prayed concerning Rainham Parish Church and Lesnes Abbey: a ferry across the Thames was set up in the 12th century by the Augustinian monks of Lesnes (pronounced Less-ness) Abbey to enable them to reach the church of St Helen and St Giles at Rainham. Richard de Lucy, who was implicated in the murder of Thomas Becket in 1170, built the church in 1160-70. Lesnes Abbey was built in 1178, possibly as an act of penance after the murder. The church at Rainham was given to Lesnes by Henry II at Richard de Lucy’s request; hence the need for the ferry. The now lost hamlet of Rainham Ferry was linked to Rainham village via Ferry Lane, which still exists. Lesnes was one of the first monasteries to be suppressed in England under Cardinal Wolsey and was closed in 1524, when most of the buildings were pulled down, and the ruins picked over for building materials. Tim Harrold poured oil into the waters (well, he kind of threw it in, actually – see above right and left), from a bottle that happened to have the Greek symbol for the letter omega on it. Meanwhile, Gary poured salt into the grimy, rubbish-filled river. This echoes the story of Elisha the OT Prophet who “went out to the spring of water and threw salt in it and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, “I have purified these waters; there shall not be from there death or unfruitfulness any longer”'”.
Coldharbour Point itself is known as a place where bodies have washed up from London. 35 years ago it was reported: “On the early morning of 5 October 1974 birdwatcher Mr Richard Leighton went for a walk along the north bank of the River Thames at Rainham in Essex, England. At Cold Harbour Point, at the water’s edge, he saw a white, pinkish object which at first he thought was a dead sheep. On closer inspection he found that it was the upper part of a human male torso, minus head and arms. He quickly reported his macabre find to local police and so began a sensational murder investigation. William Mosley a well known criminal had been murdered.” So Gary moved to the other side of the lighthouse and poured salt into the river there too.
Later Gary (right) explained, “My Saxa table salt container says ‘Simply unlocks flavour’ in its red cover… I felt the Lord say, ‘I want to simply unlock my favour over the region – I poured out some of it opposite the pier… then moved over to the area on the other side of the lighthouse where most of the flotsam and jetsam was accumulated – the place where much unwholesome stuff has collected over the years… and there crushed the container and poured it all out to cleanse the lot”. As he did so, he quoted from Isaiah 53:5 – “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”
We concluded with a final declaration, this time of Psalm 24:7-10:
Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
We also sang that oldy-but-a-goldy Shine Jesus Shine and did a bit more shofar blowing across the river and down the mobiles. Then we headed home, quite literally into the sunset.
Afterwards, Gary said, “There was a completeness of anointing of the Holy Spirit in what we were doing! Exciting how the Lord spoke.”
The Thames Gateway Prayernet facilitating team – made up of a number of people from Essex, Kent and London – are meeting in the next few weeks to pray through and decide upon a whole host of ideas for ‘prayer actions’ during 2010. This will include another voyage of intercession up the river on the Princess Pocahontas.
For more information, please contact Tim Harrold on firstname.lastname@example.org.
A prophecy attributed to Smith Wigglesworth in 1947
“During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it, and will be characterised by a restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
“The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches.
“In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is a great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.’
“When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years.
The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”
Excerpt from Jean Darnall’s Vision (1967)
“…And what I saw was the British Isles, as in a bird’s eye view. A kind of haze was over the whole, like a green fog. And then little pinpricks of light began to appear from the top of Scotland to Land’s End. Then the Lord seemed to draw me closer to these lights, and I saw that they were fires that were burning. They were multiplying from the top of Scotland to Land’s End. Then I saw lightening come and strike those fires, the brightest spots particularly, and there was a kind of explosion, and rivers of fire flowed down. Again, the sense of direction was from the top of Scotland to Land’s End. But some of those rivers of fire didn’t stop there. They went right across the Channel and didn’t stop there. They went right across the Channel and spread out into the Continent…
Then I said, ‘Lord, what about these streams that go on across the Channel into Europe?’ And He said, ‘That represents people who will rise up in the midst of this people movement, this army of witnesses in Britain, whom I will make My communicators.’ Now I hadn’t used that word very much before in ministry I said, ‘Lord, what do you mean by communicators?’ And he said, ‘They will not only be people endowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, with strong faith, but they will also be people talented in the arts. They will be writers, musicians, singers and actors, and also technicians in television, radio and the mass media. I will call and send them and put them in strategic places. I will bless their natural talents with my Spirit, and they will be good: they will excel. They will be leaders in their fields. I will send them into Europe, where they will meet other people in the media, and through them I will release the word of God very fast in Europe. The result will be another wave of a spiritual awakening, with thousands coming to Christ throughout Europe.”
(Complete transcripts of these can be read at www.kentprayerpartnership.com)