Back in April, Tim Harrold from East London Boiler Room in Thurrock and The Turn of the Tide, and four friends from the Southend Prayer Wall, made an expedition to find the Source of the River Thames.
The Source of possibly the world’s most influential river couldn’t be more improbable – a bunch of rocks lying in a slight dip in the corner of a field (Tewksbury Meadow, behind the Thameshead pub just outside Kemble in Gloucestershire) mark the spot, not a drop of water in sight. Next to it is a small monument stating this is the Source of the Thames.
Joined by three others from Berkshire and Suffolk, the intrepid explorers gathered around to pray, knowing that simultaneously other folk from the Southend Prayer Wall were praying at the “Crowstone”, and obelisk which marks the meeting of the Thames and the Estuary at Leigh-on-Sea.
We struck the rocks and the ground with a prayer stick, praying for freshwater to flow and victory. We threw life-giving salt on the seemingly unproductive Source. We scattered a whole Schwarz jar of mustard seeds over the Source, praying for faith to rise up in the heart of the nation. As we prayed, two enormous hares scampered across the meadow (?).
We poured out a small carafe of water from the River Jordan, watering those sown seeds, mindful that these were the waters of repentance, baptism and the outset of Christ’s ministry on Earth.
We broke bread and drank wine together in remembrance of Jesus. We poured some of the wine onto the Source. This was Jesus’ blood saturating the ground - salvation, redemption, sanctification and life to the world, to the peoples along the Thames from the Source to the sea. All our prayers were sealed with healing, anointing oil.
Then we went to the pub. And after more prayers at Seven Springs, the ‘alternative’ Source of the Thames – frequented by druids and other pagans (and where we were mistaken for being members of the Otter Protection Society!) - we wended our way Essex-wards feeling that we’d been involved in something significant, something deep, something prophetic, something kingshot. The tide will turn!
His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. Zechariah 9:10 (NIV)
The Turn of the Tide is a vision to see churches and prayer groups on the north and south banks of the River Thames pray in tandem for 24 hours each, relaying the baton of prayer from the Estuary, through London and on to the Source, creating a ‘tidal wave’ of prayer, over the period 2-30 October 2005.