We started at 5.00am on Thursday 1st May in the “Powerhouse of Prayer” in Gillingham, which became the scene of tears of repentance, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit with signs and wonders following, cries of joy and laughter, fervent praise, sensitive worship, creative prayer, individual and corporate, all of which turned into a 24-10 experience.
Day and night God’s people met with Him and each other, new relationships were forged and new faith found. God was surely in the house! Finally, at 8.00am on Saturday 10th May a tired but touched group of believers broke bread in gratitude to God.Then came the great day for which we had been praying and preparing. As last year, the Great Hall of the Priestfield Stadium (home of Gillingham Football Club) began to fill up to full capacity.
An average of 550 people were present throughout the three hours at our area’s Global Day of Prayer event, from all ages, church backgrounds and ethnic origins.
The Prayer for the World was declared by different church leaders, male and female, trans-denominational, a blind teenager, and a young Nigerian boy who has come to live in the area, whilst in the background the band sang Taizé’s “O Lord hear my prayer”.
We sang, we worshipped, and we praised, led by a team drawn from musicians from many different churches, under six worship leaders, ranging from ages 15 to 59, and including four different nationalities. Further worship was brought by two Asian Christians and then by a Cantonese Chinese group.
The Member of Parliament for Gillingham, Mr. Paul Clark, was once again in attendance, and publicly prayed for, as were the Council’s Director of Children and Adults, the Station Commander of Kent Fire and Rescue Service, and the Chaplain of Medway Maritime Hospital, together with other local Councillors.
Our prayer focus revolved around three major areas – “Repenting and Thanking God for the Past”, “Celebrating the Present”, and “Dedicating the Future”.
This area is the beneficiary of the Government’s largest funding allocation through the Thames Gateway regeneration scheme, aimed at redeveloping the long stretch of waterfront along the River Medway estuary.
We are receiving 9,000 new students at the four new Universities at Medway, many of whom are from overseas, all on one campus, which once was the home of the Chatham Royal Naval Dockyard.
With it come the concomitant businesses, leisure and sports facilities, housing, and so on. We are also sufficiently close to London to be greatly affected by the 2012 Olympics, and already we are experiencing signs of new life.
Peter Marchand Co-ordinator, Global Day of Prayer (Medway)
“Regeneration” is the word on our lips. God has heard our cries over the years, streamlined in the past four years since we held Global Day of Prayer events, and is transforming our community. To Him be the glory!