by Tim Harrold

These thoughts came out of a meeting I was in at Transform Newham on Tuesday 26 March where some of the Thames Gateway Prayernet and other intercessors active in East London met with the World Prayer Centre leadership to work out where the nation is at post-Olympics and what God’s saying to us. And I just had these thoughts about this verse from Revelation… It’s written in a kind of Oswald Chambers style…

The Bride prepares herself for the Bridegroom. She doesn’t do this for love, nor approval, nor to reach the Sabbath rest that is found in Christ; no, she does this from love, from approval, and from the position of rest, for she is already found in Christ.

PICT3060The Bridegroom woos; and since we love Him more than ourselves, we get ready for the wedding, and eternal marriage. We’d do anything for Him, because we’re in Him, and because there is nothing we can do apart from Him. One of the great paradoxes and tensions of the walk of our faith is learning how to decrease that He may increase, that is, allowing His ownership to own us more and more to the point of complete envelopment, but that comes about because we already are made complete in and enveloped by Him. Works without faith is useless.

And so the Bride makes herself ready. The Bridegroom calls to us from the altar to be intentional in this, not to take it for granted that He will do it all for us; He does it through us. The intention of The Lord is not to build His church – Jesus said, “I will build My church” – but that we, His chosen disciples, “Go and make disciples…” (who go and make disciples…). Not doing this results in manmade edifices, artifices, facades.

This is not about making sacrifices; it is about being a sacrifice, and a joyous, playful, careless obedience. “… Teaching them to obey.” Can we teach others to be obedient if we, who claim to be in and represent the Kingdom, have not learnt to obey our King? What is it the world seeks and the earth groans for?

Are we prepared to unlearn certain behaviours, customs and traditions if they actually hinder more than they release? Can we overturn the tables we’ve set up in the porches of our lives, our expressions of faith? If that is what it takes to make ourself ready for Him, are we willing to lay these things aside, whatever the cost?

This group of people made up from the Thames Gateway Prayernet, intercessors linked with Transform Newham, and others active in the East London, who originally met in late 2010 to pray for the Olympics and around the Olympic Park, but whose mandate has extended to cover the current and former marshlands of the London ‘basin’ out to the Thames estuary. They have prayed on the land in Thurrock on a number of occasions.

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