Tonight I went to a prayer event with hundreds of other people from churches across Manchester. Greater Manchester Prayer Night.
As we were in worship I saw a picture of a garden, a huge beautiful garden like Eden. But then throughout it were scattered wastelands, they looks dangerous and dark. From one patch of garden to another we’re bridges. The bridges were the Church. A picture of what was happening in this room.
Often the church as a whole wouldn’t be described as a bridge, yet we are championing unity and helping people across any bridge to be in the garden of unity with God just as He designed in the beginning.
Yet there were these wastelands, these difficult places. We can’t be content with the patches of green when there are such places of sadness and dark. Then once the bridges were formed- a mighty stream started to flow through the wastelands. People from all across these patches of dark started to run to the streams. They first were falling to their knees at the stream and calling out for God’s mercy and then as they started to drink from the stream the most beautiful worship began to burst out! Each person with their own song of worship, praise, thanksgiving as they received the Grace and Salvation being brought through by this stream.
I saw all of this during worship. Then Sali, an church leader and intercessor, came on stage. He asked the leaders of churches to come forward. To stand in line and to first repent, speak and pray out what we needed to bring before God. Personally and widely, the leaders did so. Then he said to now speak out blessing and praise. I saw the picture so clearly again of the men and women who had run to the stream first repenting and then as they drank from the stream they worshipped!
So I shared, in some kind of way, what I felt I had heard.
I believe God was asking us, through Sali, to ask for mercy and then to worship as that is a picture of what is to come. We must humble ourselves and be an example of a repentant people, repentance is a beautiful thing. A turning back and a refreshing in all the goodness and grace He has for us. Then an outpouring can be released.
I know this picture is a like to Isaiah 43 and yet I couldn’t remember the next bit on. I didn’t have my bible on me at the front. These verses are either side of the stage in our church, because we are in The Message building so they’ve been ingrained in me for ten years!
Yet when I came home and read what I had felt so strongly I am even more encouraged.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland…because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
Isaiah 43:18-21 NIV
The result of people drinking from the stream is praise. We were designed by Him, formed by Him to be with Him in the garden. Without reading I didn’t know and yet as I read it I am so amazed by the confirmation of God’s promise to Manchester and beyond.
He is doing a new thing, the stream is coming, I am praying for all people to come and drink – then we will praise Him together in a BIG way!
I felt all kind of crazy after jumping off the stage having shared this. I really felt embarrassed to have said anything and like I wished I’d not even gone to the event! I wanted to run home quick as possible. Yet now I’m home, I have read His word and feel even more sure that He is speaking. More than caring how I sounded, who heard me or how ineloquent I may have been. I want the streams, I want the bridges, I want the repentance and I want to hear the praise. I believe for a move and I am excited to join together to seek Him for this.
How do we see it? We pray- please join us for the next one!