The Lord has been stirring my heart, and also others I fellowship with, to begin to intercede and pray for our area more intensely at this time. As we have met corporately to pray, we have been reminded of scriptures the Lord has given us for our area and prophetic words released for this region. One of the bible verses we have been reminded of and prayed through is Psalm 24. This is a post I wrote a few years ago about these verses.
Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah
Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, that is Jesus, come in. The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle.
Historically, Gates of a city were important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions.
Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them.
We all have gateways into our lives and minds. Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad.
There are gateways for influence in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil influences.
Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open.
I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be. Trust Jesus to help you overcome and strengthen you by the same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead and brings freedom.
I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways of influence in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town. We saw incredible answers to prayer and signs.
At one prayer gathering, we stood on a bridge over the river Stour which flows into and through our town. As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24.
As we sang the two people in the middle of the chain would break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord.
As we did this and moved apart we looked down and an actual wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge. We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time.
The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God. God had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened.
We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus, his body of believers, so that we can proclaim the good news of the gospel of Jesus the King, bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation. I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.
I heard these words in my spirit so clearly this morning and the Lord reminded me of the word I received last year about watching the nations to see who they would align themselves with. I have copied that word below again for prayer consideration. At the time the Lord reminded me that the decisions made by nations would have eternal consequences and I believe the warning to the nations is that God will not be mocked. God knows the truth and He will not be mocked by charades and pretence. God requires justice and righteousness in the nations. He will call the nations to account for their deeds.
“I sense that God is encouraging us to watch & pray and see which nations are aligning themselves with each other in the times ahead.
Nations which at one time were bitter enemies may start to align themselves – taking sides against other nations.
Nations which at one time would have relied on support from another nation will instead be betrayed when that nation unexpectedly sides against them.
I felt God say that this is a time when nations need to be careful who they align themselves with in the days ahead and what they do. Those decisions will have eternal consequences.
Nations are in danger of allowing pride to deceive them into making the wrong alliances.
Obadiah is one of the shortest books in the Old Testament but it warns about the consequences of such actions for the nation of Edom. In verse 3 we read about the nation of Edom “the pride of your heart has deceived you”.
Edom picked the wrong side to support. They chose to align themselves with an enemy against Israel & the people of God who were their brothers.
Edom was part of the winning side or so it seemed at the time. Israel was defeated. Edom celebrated the victory and rejoiced over Israel’s destruction & captivity.
However, God was against their behavior – v 10 – “For violence against your brother Jacob, shame shall cover you” v11 – in the day that you stood on the other side”
Edom aligned themselves wrongly.
The consequences of that decision & their subsequent actions were that they were going to be shamed & brought low. God would take vengeance on their actions and against those who harmed His people. God was going to restore His people.
In verse 15 it says “For the day of the Lord upon all nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you – your reprisal shall return upon your own head“.
How the nations act & what they do – God will measure it back to them.
There is a day of divine justice coming to all the nations of the earth.
Jesus said that in the last days “Nations will rise against Nations” – Matthew 24:7
Let us watch & pray over the nations as the Lord leads us in these days.”
Do you remember being at school and having to read aloud? I used to break out in a cold sweat at the very thought of it. I’m a natural blusher so the minute I became the focus of attention, I used to burn bright red in the face. I could hear my class mates sniggering and I was so self conscious then that I could hardly get the words out. It was torture to me and I used to dread it. 🥵
When I was in church though it was common for the Bible to be read aloud in a Sunday service, in the prayer meetings and in the bible studies. I became used to the practice of reading God’s Word out loud and started to be able to read out loud more easily and even sometimes from the front of the church. I still blushed like mad but I didn’t seem to let it bother me so much. There was usually a sea of encouraging faces agreeing with the spoken Word of God as the bible was read.
The Lord has been impressing upon me again recently that reading aloud God’s Holy Scriptures is very powerful. We read in Genesis how God spoke creation into being. His Word is in the very fabric of creation. As we speak out the Word of God I believe that creation itself responds. A word spoke in season and in Gods timing does not return void. Isaiah 55 v 11.
You may never have read the Bible out loud before and I encourage you to try it at home, outside or wherever you find yourself at the present time. Reading the Bible with my friends over FaceTime, Zoom or WhatsApp is a real blessing at the moment especially with the Covid situation. God has been encouraging us through His Word. For some I know it can be really hard to read out loud especially in front of others but I have found it to be such a help that I hope you will too.
I believe there is an impact in the spiritual realm when the Word of God is declared out loud. As truth is declared into the airwaves. There is so much false and lies being circulated over all communication channels that speaking out truth is so important. Faith also rises in your heart as you read and hear God’s Word. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Romans 10:17.
I really enjoy being outside and I know from reading other blogs that many of you do too. If you have read some of my other posts you will know that my friends and I will go and pray and read God’s Word at different locations around where we live especially up on the hills and from our local ruined castle walls. You get such great perspective over your town or city from a high viewpoint.
During COVID restrictions it has not been possible to gather as we used to, but where it has been permitted to walk with one or two others then we have continued to do this as the Holy Spirit leads. Last week, we went out for our daily exercise and prayed and read Psalm 18 on our walk. We walked in pairs in different locations in our local area which were all high points from which you could see all over. We read Psalm 18 out loud at the agreed time of 12 noon turning to the North, South, East and West as we did so.
I find during these walks, the Lord shows us different things and brings things to our attention. I always try and look closely at what is happening around me. Last week we noticed the birds. There was a bird in the distance sat right at the top of a tree. It couldn’t have got any higher unless it was flying. It was there for ages but as we read the Psalm the bird flew off at a certain point. God reminded me of some verses in Ecclesiastes which say that a bird in the sky may carry your words and a bird on the wing may report what you say. Ecclesiastes 10:20. It made me think what if the birds themselves carry the word of God as we speak it and repeat it into creation. The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
Below are the words from Psalm 18 if you feel encouraged to do some reading aloud today. Blessings to you in Jesus precious name. Amen 🙏
“I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind.
He made darkness His secret place; His canopy around Him was dark waters And thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him, His thick clouds passed with hailstones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils.
He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. He also brought me out into a broad place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.
The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, And have not wickedly departed from my God. For all His judgments were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. I was also blameless before Him, And I kept myself from my iniquity.
Therefore the Lord has recompensed me according to my righteousness, According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. With the merciful You will show Yourself merciful; With a blameless man You will show Yourself blameless; With the pure You will show Yourself pure; And with the devious You will show Yourself shrewd. For You will save the humble people, But will bring down haughty looks.
For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. For who is God, except the Lord? And who is a rock, except our God? It is God who arms me with strength, And makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of deer, And sets me on my high places. He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, So my feet did not slip.
I have pursued my enemies and overtaken them; Neither did I turn back again till they were destroyed. I have wounded them, So that they could not rise; They have fallen under my feet. For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the Lord, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets.
You have delivered me from the strivings of the people; You have made me the head of the nations; A people I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me they obey me; The foreigners submit to me. The foreigners fade away, And come frightened from their hideouts. The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.
It is God who avenges me, And subdues the peoples under me; He delivers me from my enemies. You also lift me up above those who rise against me; You have delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name. Great deliverance He gives to His king, And shows mercy to His anointed, To David and his descendants forevermore. Psalm 18:1-50
Psalm 24 encourages us to open the gate and let the King of Glory, Jesus, come in. The one who is strong and mighty and mighty in battle. Gates are important places of influence and decision making. The elders gathered at the gates of the city to discuss and make decisions. Gates are opened to allow access or shut to refuse entry. This can be for protection and safety. Whoever enters through the gate brings their influence and authority with them. We all have gateways in our lives and minds. Every day we make decisions to permit or refuse things to operate in our lives and indwell our thoughts whether for good or bad . There are gateways in my home, my family, my work place, my town, my region and I want them to be opened for Christ and closed to evil. Not just a little bit open for Jesus but flung wide open. I encourage you to make a decision to swing wide the gate and let the King of Glory come into your situation whatever it is and wherever He needs to be. Trust him to help you overcome and strengthen you and bring freedom.
I believe there is power in prayer when believers come together in unity from different churches to pray about the gateways in their town. The local churches in our area did this for a season as God led us to pray at various gateways within the town. At one prayer meeting we stood on a bridge over the river which flows into and through our town. As we prayed, one of our group felt that we should all join hands and sing the words of the song “Swing wide the gate and let the King Come in” which is based on the verses in Psalm 24 and then the two people in the middle break hands and walk apart as a prophetic sign that we were opening the gate over our town to the Lord. As we did this and moved apart we looked down and a wooden gate was floating in the river and floated right underneath the bridge. We couldn’t believe our eyes at the time. The fact that a whole gate was floating down the river and that it passed just at that exact time we broke apart we believe was a heavenly sign from God. He had heard our prayers for our town and was showing us that the gate was opened. We are trusting God to bring that river of His presence into and to overflow through us in Christ Jesus so that we can bring His healing and restoring power to not only our town, but our region and nation. I encourage you to pray and believe for the same.
If you feel the call of God and prompting of the Holy Spirit to go up to a high place in your area, city, region or town, wherever it may be, then I encourage you to do it. Seek the Lord before going and ask Him to reveal the strategy for your prayers and why He is calling you to this specific place. We were led by God to pray to Him and declare the Word of God and prophetic words from a high point overlooking our area, the Clent Hills. We believe that this was a very strategic place. A place that had been and was being used by others for purposes which were not of God and were corrupting and influencing our area. It was a place that we needed to speak out with authority God’s Word and promises over our area for change to happen.
We spent a number of evenings in prayer seeking God before going out on this prayer walk as we believed that God had a specific strategy for how we should pray. The Holy Spirit led us to a number of scriptures – Isaiah 59 – “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Lord raises up a Standard against Him” and “Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord is shining upon you”. Isaiah 60. Isaiah 59 says “So shall they fear; The Name of the Lord from the west; And His glory from the rising of the sun, When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a Standard against him; The Redeemed will come to Zion and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob says the Lord. As for Me says the Lord – this is My covenant with them; My Spirit who is upon you, and My Word which I have put in your mouth shall not depart from your descendants.” God gave us instruction to carry a standard with us when we climbed the hill – a red flag with a picture of the Lion of Judah on it. By carrying the flag we were making a declaration of the truth of this scripture to the enemy. We had a picture of God’s Holy Angels being released into the area for God’s purposes – a vast army – to battle with the enemy. Amos 4 v 13 says “For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind, Who declares to man what his thought is , And makes the morning darkness, Who treads the high places of the earth – The Lord of hosts is His Name. God was releasing His angels to help us – We declared He is the Lord of hosts. We also believed that we were “lifting up a banner for the peoples” – Isaiah 60 v 10.
Psalm 24 was a key in preparing us for this time of prayer walk. “Who may ascend the Hill of the Lord? He who has clean hands and a pure heart and who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully”. The Lord searches our hearts and any unconfessed sin has to be dealt with. It was really important for us to take time to ensure that our hearts were right before God before going into prayer warfare such as this for the area. The heart is deceitful above all things so we allow the Holy Spirit to bring revelation to us and confess it before each other.
The Lord also gave us a word to declare from Amos 4 “Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria, who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, who say to your husbands, “Bring us wine, let us drink!” The Lord God has sworn by His holiness: “Behold, the days shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks. You will go out through broken walls, Each one straight ahead of her, And you will be cast into Harmon” says the Lord.
A word also about wicked Rulers Micah v 1-4 – “Hear now, O head of Jacob, and you rulers of the house of Israel: Is it not for you to know justice? You who hate good and love evil. Who strip the skin from My people, And the flesh from their bones, And chop them in pieces like meat for the pot, like flesh in the cauldron”. Then they will cry to the Lord but He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, because they have been evil in their deeds.” Leaders cannot do ill, oppress those underneath them who they should be protecting and expect God to hear them.
In our prayer time there was a tongue and the interpretation. This was to be an invitation to abundant life and call to repentance. – Isaiah 55 1-13. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money Come buy and eat. v6 “Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.” v12 “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands”.
Also, Hosea 6: 1 “Come let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us but He will heal us. He has stricken but He will bind us up. After two days He will revive us. On the third day He will raise us up that we may live in His Sight. Let us know. Let us pursue the knowledge of the Lord. His going forth is established like the morning. He will come to us like the rain. Like the latter and former rain to the earth.”.
We fasted on the day that we were to do the prayer walk. We felt called to do the prayer walk on a particular date. On the evening of the prayer walk, we took communion together at the bottom of the hill. We prayed and spoke from Psalm 121. – God the help of those who seek him. “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth”. We then walked up the hill, praying and singing as we went. We played the song by Robin Marks – “Shout to the North” – “Men of faith rise up and sing, of the great and glorious King. You are strong when you feel weak, in your brokenness complete. Shout to the North and the South, Sing to the East and the West, Jesus is Saviour to all, Lord of heaven and earth”. We felt led to walk in a certain order – I walked first as in a spearhead and then we came two by two with a rear guard as well. We also brought a Shofar with us to blow from the top of the hill and a compass so that we would know which direction we were facing when declaring the Word.
We waved the flag at the top of the hill as we prayed to the north, south, east & the west and declared all the scriptures which God had previously given us. We poured water and oil onto the ground as led by the Holy Spirit. We then asked for the angelic host to be released to do God’s will in our area, to carry out His orders, to help people and to battle the enemy. We blew the Shofar and called to the wind to blow, for the wind of God to blow across our area and in that moment the wind completely changed direction. If we had not been flying the flag, we would probably not have noticed the change in direction and we believe this was a sign from God. We believe that God had heard our prayer and something had shifted in the spiritual realm. Praise God.
Before we went to pray, one of our group had wanted to start a fire on the hill but we did not have peace about this particularly as open fires were forbidden. It did not sit right in our spirits to break the law and so we gave that to God and refused permission for that to be done. When you go to pray as a group you need unity and to be in agreement. Sometimes, the leader will have to exercise Godly wisdom and discernment to avoid anything being done which is not right and take authority in those circumstances. On the evening, as we stood on the top of the hill and looked in the distance we saw a bonfire burning brightly. There were no other fires in the area and we believe this was the sign of fire which the person had seen in the spirit. We didn’t need to start a fire the Lord God would do that. The Lord is an all-consuming fire – He can burn up the dross and purify. As Elijah called down fire from heaven we called down the spiritual fire of God on our area. Let us be on fire for God, burning brightly for Him. Arise, Shine for your light has come, and the glory of God is shining upon you.
We were led to go and pray at the bridge over the river Stour just off the Ring Road leading up to Amblecote and also at the canal which is nearby. We felt led by the Holy Spirit to take a red banner down with us to wave as we sang and worshipped and also to take communion when praying for the town. We pleaded the blood of Christ over our town and declared the power in the blood of Christ to bring cleansing and redemption and break the power of sin. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sins. We dropped one drop of the communion wine into the river and canal. There is more power in one drop of Christ’s blood that was spilt for us than in all the power of evil influencing our town. The declaration which the Lord gave us to proclaim over Stourbridge was from Ezekiel 47 – the waters rushing in and flooding our area- particularly verses 1-12 -rivers of living waters which get deeper and deeper flowing from the throne of God and which bring healing. v 8 “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it ; there will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceeding many. But its swamps and marshes will not be healed and will be given over to salt. Along the bank of the river on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for medicine”. A picture of salvation, healing & fruitfulness for our area. Let us be rooted in Christ who is the living water. Amen. Stourbridge – Wells of Living Water Part 1
We drove around our area praying and blessing our town of Stourbridge and the wider area. We prayed for God’s will to be accomplished and we interceded against the works of darkness and evil influences on our town. The prayer route took us from the Ring Road out on the Hagley Road and then up the Hagley Mile to the roundabout by Wychbury Hill and Wassell Grove. We parked the car and walked up the hill to pray from that spot. We then drove on to Wynall Lane/Oldnall Road and prayed at the top overlooking Stourbridge. We then drove down the main Birmingham Road to Park Lane/Netherend Lane to Quarry Bank High Street and then onto the dual carriageway by Merry Hill. We stopped opposite Merry Hill and prayed for Merry Hill and the businesses there. We then drove down to Highgate to Russells Hall Hospital. We parked outside the Hospital and prayed for the patients, staff and everyone involved with the hospital. We then followed the road to the Cross at Kingswinford and straight across to join the main road leading to Kidderminster. We stopped and prayed for Wordsley. Left at The Stewponey site (now demolished) and into Norton via Racecourse Lane. We stopped at Racecourse lane and prayed and then down to Redlake Road/Ham Lane to finish. We sang, prayed, read scripture as we drove around and stopped and prayed at specific places which we felt God was calling us to spend time in prayer. Russells Hall Hospital in particular.Prayers for Stourbridge
In July 2003 we were led as a group to pray for Stourbridge and the churches in Stourbridge. We prayed for wells of living water to spring up and we had a picture of people coming from far and wide to Stourbridge. Stourbridge was like a beacon of light drawing people to Christ. We prayed for schools, churches, businesses, people in leadership. We saw a picture of people falling to their knees as they walked down Stourbridge High Street convicted of sin and coming to Christ. They were encountering the power of the living God in the street.Prayers for Stourbridge
I am going to share in a series of posts some of the prayers and words for Stourbridge which we have prayed over the years. We believe that Stourbridge is a key place in the Black Country and that there is to be a move of God’s Spirit in Stourbridge which will bring many people to salvation in Christ accompanied by signs of healing and other miracles.
Prayers at Dudley Castle -part 2. We made the prayerful declaration from the castle walls that Rivers of new life will flow from Dudley into the Black Country, other regions and the nation to bring salvation, healing and restoration. We declared from Isaiah. Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. The beast of the field will honor Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise. Isaiah 43:18-21
We believe that God’s word will not return void. “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.