This year’s Pentecost Sunday saw three major events across Thurrock marking the Global Day Of Prayer – and at each a wooden stake was driven into the ground.
Wooden stakes were hammered into parks, church gardens and other bits of land in every one of London’s 33 boroughs and another 20 locations or so in the Home Counties. This was the idea of Jonathan Oloyede at the The Global Day Of Prayer London – as a sign of Christ’s rulership and healing over each borough and as an act of unity by the church.
Thurrock’s events began with a joint open air service in a very sunny Hardie Park in Stanford-le-Hope where a good sized crowd gathered from Thurrock Christian Fellowship Corringham, St Margaret’s Parish Church, Fresh Hope Community, the Boiler Room Community and the Transit students.
Worship was led by Rev John Guest sporting the jazziest of clerical shirts and playing his accordian. The service was led by Rob Groves and testimonies were given by Tina from the Transit students, Robb from the Boiler Room and Peggy from TCF. Tim Harrold spoke on the transforming connection between Pentecost (Acts 2) and unity (Ephesians 4) – ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace’. He concluded by leading those present in a joint declaration from a powerful and anointed prophetic word given in 1930 to Arthur Burt, who is now 97 – a word that God has promised he will see fulfilled in his lifetime!
“THERE SHALL COME A BREATH AND THE BREATH SHALL BRING THE WIND AND THE WIND SHALL BRING THE RAIN AND THE RAIN SHALL BRING THE FLOODS AND FLOODS AND FLOODS AND THE FLOODS SHALL BRING THE TORRENTS AND TORRENTS AND TORRENTS.
SO SHALL THEY BE SAVED LIKE FALLING LEAVES FROM THE MIGHTY OAKS SWEPT BY A HURRICANE IN A GREAT FOREST. ARMS AND LEGS SHALL COME DOWN FROM HEAVEN AND THERE SHALL BE NO EBB.”
Everyone then formed a big circle, holding hands, to pray over the stake, and then helped in the act of hammering it into the ground. Then Rob led everyone through the Prayer For The World, a series of responses said in hundreds of churches across the UK and the globe.
After a final song accompanied by the accordian, the picnic rugs came out and it was food and fellowship time.
Meanwhile, Grays Baptist Church were also going through the Prayer For The World, but in a number of languages, reflecting not only their own diversity but also of that across the earth. Parts of the prayer were said in English, Welsh, Afrikans, Zulu, Swahili, Nepalese and Portuguese.
Afterwards they held a GDOP Community Barbecue outside on the forecourt on Orsett Road. Steak, chicken, chops and burgers were cooked and food given free to passers by, among them a group of young lads who stayed to eat with everyone else.
Then the church’s pastor, Colin Baker, led a small ceremony to drive their stake into the ground. He’d located a small patch of soil in a crack in the forecourt’s concrete just by the front gate, just big enough to drive in a wooden stake. Again, everyone had a bash at bashing it in using a sledgehammer – and in it went, all the way, so nothing was left above ground!
In the evening, Aveley Christian Centre concluded the day – and their hosting of Thurrock’s M25 Nutcracker 24-10 prayer room – with a meeting in the Pentecostal tradition led by Pastor Alan Field. Tim Harrold gave a summing up of the 10 days of prayer and then led the congregation in the Prayer For The World.
After an enthusiastic preach by Bill Budd on Prayer, Pentecost & Power, everyone went outside to hammer the third and last wooden stake into the ground, Tim leading the prayers.
Thurrock ended up holding more GDOP events than anyone else! Pictures from the events and others right across London and the Home Counties will be appearing on www.gdoplondon.com.
Thank you to all who helped make all these significant, transformative events happen.