Singing Over Cities
‘Is God calling us to sing out Songs of Blessing over our area?’
This was the question we asked three years ago about our own area in the UK — the London Borough of Havering. As a result we got inspired to single out eight significant places, from which groups from different churches could sing out God’s blessings over the land.
In the Old Testament altars were often built on the high places, and it was there that a sacrifice was made, and the people worshipped God. We felt God leading us to declare His praises from the high places in the borough, and to call the people to return home to Father God. We were reminded of the Aslan, the lion in the Narnia books by C.S.Lewis, who sings over Narnia in the beginning and brings all creation into being. We believed that our words, sung out and declared, would have a powerful, creative effect on our community.
Worship Leaders United
Earlier in the year we had helped local worship teams from different churches to meet up, get to know one another and enjoy a day of worship together. We asked a well-known national worship leader to be a catalyst for the day, not so much to teach, but to help ground the day in the DNA of worship and relationships. There was a sense of unity and wider significance being birthed. People from these worship teams formed the core of those who went out to the different places to sing out God’s blessing songs.
Remembering Our History
The wider church in Havering have had a history of waiting on God in prayer, and it was out of this good foundation and personal prayer that we chose the eight places from which to sing. We chose a date for a Sunday afternoon a few months ahead in the summer season, and began to communicate what we were up to. People were excited about the idea of flash mobbing the borough with God’s praises and blessings from different places, all on the same day and at the same time.
Our borough has several distinct areas. What had been villages and market towns a few hundred years ago is now the outer edge of the urban sprawl of London. Each area, however, still carries its history. There is the site of a royal palace up on a hill, first built a thousand years ago. There is a housing area built to house the bombed-out homeless, after the Second World War. There is an old church from the eleventh century still being used for worship. In the centre of the borough, on the line of an old Roman road, is Romford marketplace. In the past, hundreds of cattle would have been herded through here in order to feed the capital.
Before the Prayer Day
In an email we sent out, we talked about being forerunners, preparing the land for revival. We referred to 2 Chronicles chapter 29 which talks about the re-dedication of the Temple. The singers and musicians were carefully positioned, according to directions given from God via the prophets. Just like them, we as modern day worshippers, were being God-positioned around our borough to sing out worship, praise and declarations. Our cry to God was that, through this, the spiritual atmosphere of our borough would be changed.
On the Prayer Day…
Eight different groups went to their different locations, sang out in the fresh air for about twenty minutes, and then afterwards we all met together to share how it had gone.
So how did we feel that God had responded? There was a general feeling of encouragement and excitement from everyone and several words and scriptures highlighted. In some places a few passers-by had raised their eyebrows, and in one place some children playing on bicycles had joined in the songs!
Overall, perhaps surprisingly, we felt that God wasn’t directing our attention so much to the Harvest fields of Havering but to the Harvest labourers. We had sung out His blessing over the whole community, but the words we heard back from the Lord were words to His church for our comfort and encouragement. God was using the different locations to speak significant words collectively over us. The eight locations had given a context for the words to be heard with greater impact.
At the site of the royal palace on the hill, God reminded us of our own position of authority in Heavenly places and that wars are won in the throne room.
At the road boundary between lower-income housing, built for families after the war and the richer housing area nearby, we were challenged to honour one another, whatever our backgrounds
At the eleventh century church God reassured us that He had been there through all the generations of believers before, and His presence was still with us now.
From one location to another, God was encouraging us to grow in our understanding of who we are, and of who we can become in Him.
We felt that what we had done had been important; that an ongoing atmosphere of revival was being nurtured in our area, and that the coming together of the prophets, the worshippers and the praying people was a key part in it happening. Following on from this, there have been several worship celebrations together, which have continued to unite Christians from all ages and backgrounds.
Is God calling you to take a fresh look at your area? Perhaps He is asking you to sing out His blessing songs over the land in which you live.