A message from City Prayer founder and leader, David Gilbey
City Prayer will cease on 30th June
August 2014, I sat in the big top of a Christian Summer Camp and clearly heard The Lord tell me to start a ‘prayer movement’ in Chelmsford, the city I have lived in all my life.
There began a journey, for nearly seven years now, which saw first, Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer, then re-named as City Prayer, be a prominent part of the prayer life within the City of Chelmsford. We have organised Prayer Spaces, days and other periods of continual prayer, prayer walks, prayer gatherings, large and small, and more recently during lockdown, weekly opportunities to engage in on-line prayer. At the same time, many wonderful relationships, indeed friendships, have been forged with and between those here who follow Jesus, across the spectrum of denomination and traditions, both grassroots and leaders alike.
During this time, I have also found myself connecting and joining with those involved in prayer, both regionally and nationally, who are committed to seeing The Kingdom of God advance in the UK and beyond. This has increasingly been my own passion.
One of those connections has been with The Rooftop, a global ministry, but one based here in the UK and indeed in Chelmsford itself. Autumn 2020, I accepted the position as UK Pioneer to The Rooftop. The Lord has made it increasingly clear that for the next season, this is to be my focus and direction.
The Covid pandemic, particularly for The Church, has been described as a time of ‘reset’. It is a time to STOP, listen and reflect. Many are saying God is doing a ‘new thing’, that he is bringing a ‘new wineskin’ for His followers to step into. As the prophet Isaiah said, (Is. 43:19), ‘do you not perceive it?’!
I recently met with my friend Anne who, after the other City Prayer Steering Group members were led to stand down last summer, has been the remaining member alongside me. For a number of months, we had both been feeling that we should largely wait to see what The Lord would say about City Prayer in this new season. When Anne and met, I believe I clearly received these words from John 12:24:
Let me make this clear: A single grain of wheat will never be more than a single grain of wheat unless it drops into the ground and dies. Because then it sprouts and produces a great harvest of wheat—all because one grain died.
City Prayer now needs to stop, to stand aside and let something new emerge. I believe it has served the purpose for which God intended when he told me to start it. It is in a sense now an ‘old wineskin’ and must be laid down, to make room for something very different that I believe God is bringing to our City, the nation and nations. It is time for a new and even more united expression of what it is to be, The Church, to emerge.
Committed people, passionate and radical followers who, outside the walls of how we have been ‘doing church’, join Jesus in His Mission, the Great Commission, to go into all the world to make disciples that make disciples. Prayer will still be very much part of that, but prayer that leads to active mission and demonstration of the coming of God’s Kingdom.
City Prayer will cease on 30th June and its assets will pass to The Rooftop ministry, to be used as it develops here in Chelmsford and out to the UK.
May I, and on behalf of all who have directed and led Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer/City Prayer over the last few years, express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all of YOU who have journeyed, contributed or participated alongside us in any way. It has been an amazing time.
I have long felt, as expressed in Revelation 5:8, that as our prayers rise and fill the ‘golden bowls’ in Heaven, God, in His wisdom, foresight and love, pours the answers down. All in His timing and in His perfect way. We have been praying long and hard for our City and I really do believe that we are about to witness a deluge!
May God bless you all.