Week of Prayer – bookings are open!

Week of Prayer 22 - 28 March 2015 A4 PosterWeek of Prayer – bookings are open! – David Gilbey

After much preparation, we are pleased to announce that all the details for our Week of Prayer 22 – 28 March, are now LIVE! You and your church can now sign up on-line, to take part in this exciting initiative.

CLICK HERE, to go to the Week of Prayer introductory page, and go from there.

Apart from full details being on the website, there are a also number of downloadable and printable resources and publicity materials available, so you can pass all the information on to those who do not have access to a computer. (Although someone will still need to sign them up on-line).

There is still much to do by way of publicity and alerting the 100 plus churches in the Chelmsford District and all of this this will be gradually rolled out, hopefully over the next couple of weeks.

YOU CAN HELP! – Start spreading the word now – you can download leaflets and posters and speaking to your church leaders, prayer co-ordinators… or why don’t you become your church 24-7 prayer organiser and enlist people in your church to take part? 

It doesn’t matter if there is duplication in the publicity and a personal approach is by far the best anyway.

We are delighted to have had an endorsement and requests for prayer from the Mayor of Chelmsford:

“We are always delighted when people of faith pray for Chelmsford, and are glad to hear of the 24-7 prayer week for the city in March. We would be very grateful if you could pray:

  • For all those whose lives have been shattered by war in the past and present conflicts (the Mayor’s charity for the year is the Royal British Legion)
  • For all those who are homeless
  • For all those suffering with illness and disability in the city, especially young children

With our warmest greetings,
Cllr Mr Bob Villa, Mayor of Chelmsford
Mrs Val Villa, Mayoress”

Bishop John Wraw has also written:

“I love it when we are able locally to gather people for prayer during Lent and although I cannot offer my physical presence due to ongoing cancer treatment I would be very happy to support you more virtually in this.  The verse that had come to mind for me in thinking about this is 2 Corinthians 3: 18
 
And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit
 
With much love and prayers
+ John”
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All of this is a very great step into the unknown, I do not know of any other attempt to run a City and District wide week of 24-7 Prayer, but I am certain that God is right behind it, whatever actually happens and will use it for his glory.

The Chelmsford 24-7 steering group, or Team had it’s first get together this week. The sense of God’s presence was tangible as we prayed and talked. As we chatted, several “words” and pictures about what God was doing in our City emerged. Amongst them:

 A golden coat was being slowly woven of threads of all colours that were being pulled into the centre of Chelmsford, emanating from Christians and churches across all parts of the City and surrounding area.

A large boulder, which for a long time has been immovable, was now starting to roll, after a time of “gathering”. God was saying, the time is now.

Each church could be seen as a single tree, some had deep, others shallow roots, but God wants to “make us all a forest”

There was also a very great sense that what is happening is unstoppable, that the Church will rise up in the City. The Chelmsford motto is “Many Minds – One Heart”. God is bringing Unity, through Love.

The Media are Aware!

The Media are Aware! – David Gilbey

We are really pleased that our main local newspaper, the Essex Chronicle, has this week published an article about Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer. This has been extremely well written and accurately reflects Chelmsford 24-7’s aims to bless the people of our City and wider District.

(Click here to enlarge the below image in your browser. you can also read an online version by clicking here).

Essex Chronicle article  290115 jpg

Off the back of this article, I also received today, a phone call from the producer of the BBC Essex (radio) Sunday Morning program with Peter Holmes. I have been asked to go along on Sunday 15th February to be interviewed. This will be between 8am and 8.30am and will include me reviewing he newspapers too!

Otherwise, over this last week, strong progress to make church leaders aware of 24-7 Prayer has been continuing. I’ve contacted and also met with several people. Bishop Steven, the Bishop of Chelmsford has for one expressed his personal support and interest for what we are looking to do.

Next Wednesday (4th February), is the first meeting of our new Team, who will be looking even further into the way forward. One of the first matters we will be talking about is our proposed City and District Wide 24-7 “Week of Prayer”, 22 to 28 March 2015. I hope that full details of this will be released in the next couple of weeks and that churches and individuals will quickly be inspired to sign up.

Please keep praying and telling others. At the last count I have seventy-four people on this mailing list, nearly one-hundred on Twitter and eighty-seven on Facebook – although some will be on all three (I am!). However, Social Media and Internet will not alone make this work. But the power of prayer will – your prayers. I know many of you are praying hard for this and are really excited as to how God is already making it all happen. Check out the Please Pray page which I have just updated.

The ripple effect

The ripple effect – David Gilbey

2015-01-15 08.37.24One day last week, I felt that I needed to walk and pray. Shortly after setting off, I felt God say that this whole 24-7 Prayer thing, is like a stone being thrown into water, which will cause ripples of increasing diameter, that will spread out over the City.

As I continued to walk across some fields near where I live, although I hadn’t intended to go that way, I found myself at a large pond and as I stood at its bank, again remembered the ripple effect. As there were plenty of stones, I was able to observe the effect first hand. I pondered that if not just one, but many of us “throw our small stones in the water”, in other words, as each of us starts to pray, the effect would be a maelstrom that would have an effect on the whole City and beyond.

Afterwards, when the ripples had subsided, I then noticed, that although the pond was largely calm, because the wind was blowing, the water was gently stirring and moving here and there as a little gust here and there caught it’s surface.I felt God say that Holy Spirit is blowing across Chelmsford, he is stirring you and I to pray, to join with him to bring change, transformation and revival. It has started.

Last week, I continued to make connections and take practical steps to further the vision for 24-7 prayer in Chelmsford. I met with three enthusiastic ladies from Meadgate Church, all of whom were clearly passionate about prayer and two are involved with the Lydia International prayer movement in the City, a ladies prayer ministry, born out of the desire to see God move in the Church and Nations. As a result word continues to be spread and powerful prayers will undoubtedly be said! (On Friday, I also visited The Orchards, previously a school, which Meadgate Church acquired for their use last year. There I took a look at their prayer room and connected with the person in charge of their prayer ministry).

Thursday, I had a second meeting with Sue Gibson from CGCC, who heads up the Chelmsford Prayer Network, to discuss amongst other things how we might work together in the future.

Subject to a meeting this week, I should have four people who will form an initial Steering Group. I’m thinking that there will need to be perhaps two others, so am listening to hear from God who they might be. Also this week I am meeting the Dean of the Cathedral.

It looks pretty certain now, that from midnight to midnight Sunday 22nd to Saturday 28th March, there will be a Chelmsford wide week of 24-7 prayer. The strategy to enable this is taking shape and its advertising will also be the opportunity to bring our existence to the churches in the District. All of this is no mean feat though, and your particular prayers for wisdom as to how to best achieve this (particularly as there are around 100 churches), would really be appreciated.

Last, but not least, I sent emails to several leaders of the larger churches and am awaiting replies, asking for the opportunity to meet.

Pray that the ripples increase and increase so transformation and revival in our City and District comes. It has started.

Running to catch up!

Running to catch up – David Gilbey

This update is a little longer that previous ones, but I hope you will read on and see why!

In June 2014, I had a very vivid and I believe prophetic dream, whereby I was swimming in river with a number of others (whose identities were not apparent), and where a very smooth and gentle current was helping us along. Presently, we got to a fork in the river and the current was going to continue to take us on our comfortable journey to the right. However, I felt compelled to go to the left and had to swim quite deliberately and with a some tenacity, to get clear of the prevailing flow.

As I reached this left hand fork, a different and tremendously strong and fast flowing current literally picked me up and propelled me along this new route at breakneck speed. (I remember in the dream knowing it was at 70 mph). There was no need to swim anymore, simply to hang on for the ride, until after a short time, I stopped at what seemed to be a town?

Not directly connected to the river, I found myself by a canal with a flight of broken down and unservicable locks. I remember seeing buildings, in particular a shop of some description, seemingly set into he walls of one of these locks and at the bottom of the flight a lever. At this point, an unknown person suggested that if I pulled the lever, all the locks would be restored and work again.

In my last update on 1st January, I indicated that I was meeting several local Christians and leaders to discuss the way forward. This week I have met with my own pastor, a couple who are involved with running a monthly meeting in the City and two other local church ministers. This evening I am meeting someone who is an intercessor and next week am meeting twice, more people connected to local prayer groups.

I have received from all so far nothing but enthusiasm and an attitude of “let’s get on and do this!” Most excitingly, one of the ministers, who is fairly senior in the C of E, felt that the 24-7 Prayer concept to just what Chelmsford needed and suggested hooking up for a City wide  – even Chelmsford District wide prayer initiative in March. (I’ve counted up about 100 churches so far!) . The other minister proceeded to tell me that for him and his wife, this could well be the fulfillment of a prophesy for involvement in a new prayer movement in the City that they received in 2011.

Last night (Friday 9th), I felt that I needed to go to a meeting of called Revive in Southend. Revive consists of a number of churches in the Southend and Castle Point areas of South Essex, who have previously linked together with the aim of seeing revival in their district.

A man from Thurrock was also there, who was previously involved in 24-7 Prayer in his area and who was being prompted to see something similar again. We were both unexpectedly given two minutes each to speak to those assembled about the visions for our respective regions.

The vision of Revive increased last night, we did not just pray for revival in their area, but fervent prayers were expanded to include the whole of Southern Essex and beyond to the Nation. Something spiritually significant happened. The focus of Revive’s endevours is based on unity and love. God I believe, told me at the beginning of my journey into Chelmsford 24-7 that it must focus on bringing unity to the churches of this City. And two days ago He gave me the following passage from John 13:34-35:

A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’

The Christian Believers of this City need to find a love for each other like never before, to focus on the Cross as the point of Unity and to put aside all lesser differences. If we do not show love for each other, how can the people out there in Chelmsford see and find Jesus?

So, back to the dream. lots of possible interpretations but I believe I am now definitely somewhere in the “left hand fork”. Things are going mighty fast at the moment. I hope to get a steering-group together in the next week or two to steady the journey a bit (or not!), so please pray that the right team comes together. There is also the week of prayer in March to consider further…

But what about you, which tributary of the river are you in? Are you content to stay in the safety of the meandering left hand fork, or are you up for a fast and far less predictable ride! I’ve no idea what happened to those that were originally with me when my dream commenced? As 2015 gets underway, which part of the river are you going to opt for?

Put your hand in the hand of God

Put your hand in the hand of God – David Gilbey

Well, 2015 is here and great things are in prospect as we continue to pray in 24-7 Prayer for Chelmsford.

A new page has also just been added to the website entitled, Please Pray. This presently contains four basic, but important topics for prayer at this time:

  • Unity between the Churches and Christians in the City, that they will rally behind this vision.
  • Formation of a  steering group, consisting of enthusiastic and Godly people to to take 24-7 Prayer forward.
  • That we will have the support of those that are leaders and who govern our City.
  • A suitable premises in the centre of the City will be found where 24-7 Prayer can have a home.

It is intended to develop this page as time goes by.

You are also encouraged to visit our Facebook Page and we are now also on TwitterSubscribing to one or both will also keep you up to date and contain other encouraging snippets about prayer.

Please continue to pass on the word about Chelmsford 24-7 and encourage others to sign up. There is now a downloadable A6 size leaflet which you are encouraged to print and give to people you know, perhaps at your church, who might be interested.

This link will take you to where it can be downloaded as four on an A4 sheet.

Next week, commencing 5th January, the journey towards Chelmsford 24-7 Prayer continues. There is a certain unknown factor about all of this, but let me finish my quoting King George VI, from his 1939 Christmas address:

“I said to the man, who stood at the gate of the year, ‘Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown.’ And he replied, ‘Go out into the darkness, and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than a light, and safer than a known way.'”

Dot joining

Dot joining – David Gilbey

Even with Christmas just around the corner, “joining the dots” continues behind the scenes.

I feel that there are two main aims at present:

Firstly to further identify and hook up with local intercessors, including those who move prophetically, both individually and who are already involved in prayer groups, so that a weight of prayer builds up over the Vision for 24-7 Prayer in Chelmsford. This in turn will I believe, cause God to release further incites and direction. (Actually, I suspect God is already prompting and raising people up to do this, including those who presently may not even recognize themselves as being very good at praying. Ordinary Christians are the ones who God will use).

Secondly that specific key people, who will be from various City churches are identified, so that early in 2015, a small “steering group”, can be established to co-ordinate and take 24-7 Prayer forward. I see a flexible group of Spirit filled Believers, who are prepared run with this, wherever God takes us.

I can say that already, in the first full week of 2015, I have three meetings arranged with enthusiastic individuals or couples who might well fit any of the above criteria and I have dates to confirm with two others. These are people who I know have a heart to see renewal and revival in Chelmsford and to whom God seems to have immediately directed me.

However, if you are reading this and the Holy Spirit is making your heart beat a little faster and a small voice is whispering in your ear, please do not hesitate to get in touch. I would be so glad to meet up with you too and talk through how you might become involved.

Above all keep praying. if you have or receive any “Words” that you believe God has given you for Chelmsford 24-7, please feed them back.

Bless you all, have a wonderful Christmas and the next update will most likely be in January.

Praying in Revival

Praying in Revival – David Gilbey

It is only God that can bring true Revival on a city or across a nation. However, it seems clear that from all that I have read and heard about major outpourings of God’s Spirit over the course of history, that somewhere in the background, there were people who had been consistently praying for something to happen.

The last major such event upon the British Isles was in 1949, in the Hebrides, Scotland. It was two elderly sisters, that became burdened with the lack of interest all around them for the things of God, causing them to fall on their knees before Him twice a week for many hours. As a result, a few other Believers joined in unity and purpose with them and in due course, a man called Duncan Campbell came to the islands and what followed was the mighty power of God sweeping the whole island for almost three years. (You can read an account by Duncan Campbell here).

Duncan Campbell is recorded as saying, “This is revival dear people! This is a sovereign act of God! This is the moving of God’s Spirit, I believe in answer to the prevailing prayer of men and women who believed that God was a covenant-keeping God but must be true to His covenant engagement…”.

What prompts me to mention this? Well today, I had the privilege of spending some time with a man, who I have grown to love and respect and who might be described as an “elder statesman” among the Christian Believers in this City. A man of some influence, but who bears it with considerable humility; not least a man who has pursued Revival for Chelmsford through consistent and persistent prayer, for well over thirty-five years.

It is not appropriate for me to name him here or to reveal of exactly what we spoke about, but as we poured out our hearts to each other, it was clear that the vision for 24-7 Prayer, indeed a vision to herald in Revival, must be birthed out of a spirit of love and unity. Love and unity between all, whatever church or tradition and a deep love for God. Our prayers will then quickly rise as a sweet-smelling incense to God, who will surely act.

This verse came to me, “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments”. Deuteronomy 7:9

Please start praying for a greater sense of Christian unity in the City.

Visions collide!

Visions collide – David Gilbey

I met Sue Gibson today for coffee. Sue, who is part of CGCC (Christian Growth Centre, Chelmsford). Sue is already much involved with interdenominational prayer ministry in Chelmsford and beyond. She had seen one of my previous posts on Facebook and had contacted me expressing that she too had a desire to see something like 24-7 Prayer in our City.

It was exciting to each share our respective visions and find that they corresponded in so many areas. It was a real; “for such a time as this” moment, for just a week or so after my initial investigations into the concepts of 24-7 Prayer had ended, here I was, almost immediately talking to someone, from Chelmsford, who is already linking and encouraging church leaders and members of various churches to be united in prayer for the City.

After a most delicious cappuccino, (thank you Sue), and an hour and a half of excited and animated discussion, we both sat and prayed right there in Costa Coffee, that God would reveal more of his plan for Chelmsford 24-7 and bring together a small group of other like minded enthusiasts to progress it further.

We will likely meet again shortly after Christmas. Meanwhile the casting of the vision will continue. Please pray.

Casting the Vision

Casting the Vision – David Gilbey

It is time to cast the vision for Chelmsford 24-7 out into the City. It is also a time for me to sit down, reflect and pray over everything that has happened over the last few weeks and develop my own prayer life before God..

I’ve been busy checking out prayer rooms, conferences, speaking to people here there and everywhere. I have loads of scribbled notes, handouts and books to read but slowly and surely God is imparting me fresh knowledge and revelation about prayer itself and what 24-7 Prayer may look like in our City.

There is no doubt that there are many, many Christians already praying over Chelmsford. In fact we are building on a rich history, a weight of intercession that has gone up for many decades. I can clearly remember for instance, being one of dozens, who regularly met in the Cathedral Hall, over thirty years ago, to pray in renewal and revival here. And so those from many churches and prayer groups still do today.

Chelmsford 24-7 is not coming to replace any of this, nor to place a burden on already busy Christians with “another meeting!”. But it is I believe, coming to encourage, to enthuse, resource, to maybe become a way of “joining the dots” for all that is already taking place. I hope too that we can eventually have a “prayer house”, a building in our City specifically set aside for prayer, a place where the people of Chelmsford, with faith, or none, can come to have a conversation with and to encounter God.

So, amongst much prayer and reflection, I am gradually making contacts, starting to see people come to me expressing interest and support, saying that they too have had a vision for this. Can I encourage you to pray, pray this in. Pray that God will reveal its substance and shape.

Please too, sign up for the e-mail list, so future updates for information and prayer will come straight to you:

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24-7 over tea

24-7 over tea -David Gilbey

I was delighted to welcome Brian Heasley, the Director of 24-7 Prayer GB, into my home for tea and a chat this morning. As well as unpacking the vision that God had given me for a Prayer Movement in Chelmsford, it was wonderful to hear of some of the many things that God is doing through 24-7 Prayer up and down this Nation.

For me, our discussions yielded a real sense that I am on the right road and that God is the driver of this thing. As well as looking at the physical shape of a Prayer room or centre, (of which there are as many as there are places of prayer themselves), it was good to discern that broadly, Brian’s sense of the heavenly perspective and results that God desires to bring through 24-7, is the same as He (God), has already been revealing to me.

I now have some praying to do, some books to read, (the Bible being a particularly good one here!) and in a couple of weeks have a meeting with Chelmsford lady from another church, who also has a vision for 24-7 prayer in the City. The ball is rolling.

The Christians of Chelmsford praying for our City, Nation and World