|On Thursday 5 January, Grays Leaders Payer and the Thurrock Leaders Network combined for a day of prayer and fasting at the Corringham Safety Centre.
Nine local ministers and church leaders attended:
A number of others sent their apologies.
The wind of the early January gales howled and blew and creaked around the building as the prayer went on throughout the day.
The following is the gist of what happened and what was said.
Getting back to the Source and Strength through Unity
Jeremiah 2:13 – My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
He also read out the following scripture:
Jeremiah 6:16 – This is what the LORD says: Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Tim said that the following day, 5 January 2007, while praying through these two scriptures around Orsett Fen, he’d found a key that had written on it ‘Essex Shoe Repairs’. He said that the scriptures, though negative, served as a starting point for refocusing on God at the start of the year, making the Main Thing the main thing. And the repairing of shoes referred to ‘feet (re-)fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace’ (Ephesians 6:15).
These themes were prayed through while bread and wine was passed round.
Russell prayed and declared that “We are one”.
Rob prayed along the lines of Scottish reformer, John Huss, “Give us Thurrock or we die!”
Andy Blakey emphasised in a prayer that “We are more than conquerors”; that it is not about our ability or strength, but entirely God’s through Christ and in the power of the Spirit.
Bob declared that Thurrock is not a Cinderella in rags, but a Bride who will get to her wedding on time.
Colin then read Ezekiel 37:15-28 –
A New Covenant
Russell declared his “agreement for the journey”, though he wasn’t sure what that would look like. He said he would defend the place of the local church whatever.
Tim talked about the place of Transformation Thurrock (TT) in this process, as these things are what TT stands for and has already facilitated on various occasions. He talked about TT both in the lead up to this point (and previous covenants and groupings who have mulled these things over before), and its place hereafter. Regarding parochialism, he suggested that any covenant’s purpose would be to bring the local church to the table, rather than denominational representation (for Jeremiah 2:13’s cistern, read system). However, this does not mean that churches do away with their individual expressions, styles and identity. But the vision must be for Thurrock and the local church(es) of Thurrock, because the relationships are across the borough. Tim quoted Zechariah 2:4-5 –
‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of men and livestock in it.
Rosemary reminded us of Andy Acreman’s (TCF) word given at the gathering of Thurrock intercessors on 29 January 2006 (at the culmination of two week’s of 24-7 prayer for church unity). It so happened that Tim had brought along a recording of that word and was able to play it (as part of a compilation of words given at that event under the title A Lion At The Gate).
The word’s gist is that God wants to make Thurrock a place where people want to live such is the extent of transformation in the community, because of the church’s obedience to Jesus and power in the Holy Spirit – so much so, that hotels will have to be built to hold the world’s press.
Upon hearing this, Bob shrugged his shoulders, lifted his hands in conformation and said, “It’s what we’ve been talking about!”
Other words were briefly discussed, like the one of a flood that knocks over fences between churches; and the one where fences between churches had come down; and another where a flood of blessing sweeps up the Thames.
Dry Bones Live!
After this, some of those gathered left, leaving a group of five who then prayed for each other.
During this time, Tim quoted from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost For His Highest Daily Reading for the 5 January –
Joshua 6:20 – When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once.
Then, after getting watch strap fixed at the clock repairers in Southend Road, Grays, he walked up the alleyway between St Georges Avenue and College Avenue, where he found a garden wall had fallen down in the high winds.
Watchmen – time – walls (and fences) falling down – cities taken…
The next TLN Day is due to be on Thursday 16 February at the Corringham Safety Centre.