Posts Tagged prayerwalk

Prayer Points — Tower of London

20 April 2012

These prayer points and points to ponder will be inserted at corresponding points of the Tower of London section of the Crime & Punishment chapter.

Point to Ponder – Tower of London

Dungeons, torture devices, beheadings and executions all seem like a thing of the past. The natural tendency when walking around the Tower grounds is to think, “Whew, glad I wasn’t around when all of that was going on!” But did you know that torture of a different type takes place still today? Consider how often we place others in the prison of unforgiveness or use the torture of silent treatment or commit murder in our hearts.

In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus says that if we are angry with our brother or speak harsh words to someone, we are just as deserving of judgment as someone who kills.

Pray that God will give us the strength to forgive as we have been forgiven and to love others with the same unselfish love that God has lavished on us (John 15:12).

Point to Ponder – Our Fortress and Strong Tower

King David often compared God to a fortress, a strong tower and a refuge in times of trouble. The Tower of London may have provided shelter for kings and been a stronghold against their enemies but it had flaws and weaknesses. On the other hand, we have a Fortress that never fails.

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2)

Point to Ponder – Crown Jewels

Crown him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne! As you gaze at these emblems and symbols of the Kings and Queens of England, consider the glorious upcoming ceremony of the Coronation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Consider the words of Revelation 19:12, “… and on His head were many crowns.”

Prayer Points – Tower of London

Matthew 6:13, “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Many of the power struggles in history, and the Tower of London’s history in particular, were caused by the same vices that mar the human heart today.

  • Pray against the Tower’s pervasive legacy of hatred, greed, envy, pride, selfishness, caprice, murder, adultery and lies.
  • Pray against the weapons of torture and imprisonment we use on one another through the silent treatment, bitterness, harsh words, gossip and resentment.
  • Pray that power struggles between Christians would dissolve and that we would learn to love others as Christ has loved us.
  • Pray against the murder we commit in our hearts through the thoughts we think and the words we speak.

Point to Ponder – Wall Walks

There are about 75 instances each of the words “fortress” and “strong tower” in the Bible, most of which are metaphors for God. Praise the Lord for his faithful protection in our times of crisis and need! Quote these verses as you walk along the walls of the Tower.

“And he said, the Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my savior; thou savest me from violence.” 2 Samuel 22:2-3,

“For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.” Psalm 31:3

“Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” Psalm 91:2

“My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.” Psalm 144:2

“For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.” Psalm 61:3

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10

PrayerWalk London: “Crime & Punishment” Highlights

20 March 2012

Walk 3

Crime & Punishment: Tower of London to St. Paul’s

Summary of Area

The Tower of London has stood as a powerful symbol of crime and punishment for nearly 900 years. In this walk, you will follow in the footsteps of condemned prisoners up to Tower Hill, gaze at the royal jewels and hear the Tower’s guards weave centuries’ worth of fascinating tales. You will then make your way through London’s busy financial district and criminal courts to contemplate the many crimes committed through the centuries for wealth and greed. Your tour terminates at St. Paul’s cathedral, where you will have leisure to ponder God’s grace and mercy that takes even the vilest repentant sinner and washes him white as snow.

 

The White Tower, Tower of London

Key Facts

  • Starting Point: Tower Hill (underground station: Tower Hill)
  • Finishing Point: St. Paul’s Cathedral (underground station: St. Paul’s, Mansion House, Blackfriars Station)
  • Days to Avoid: None, but note the City is deserted on weekends
  • Length of Walk: 2.5miles
  • Time Needed: 4 hours at Tower of London + 2 hours for other sites

Walk Highlights*

1. Tower Hill. With no TV or radio, executions were the popular entertainment in the Tower’s heyday. A bell rang one hour before the execution and crowds would rush to watch the gruesome proceedings on Tower Hill, where all but the highest profile prisoners would meet their fate.

2. Tower of London. William the Conqueror built the Tower in the 11th century as a way of showing his strength and cowing his enemies. It has been a place of torture, confinement and execution for the most innocent and infamous prisoners of British history – from Nine Days’ Queen Jane Grey, whose only crime was being on the wrong side of the royal family tree, to the notorious criminal Jack the Ripper.

3. The Monument. This 202-ft-tall monument designed by Sir Christopher Wren commemorates the place where the Great Fire of London began in 1666. If the monument were laid flat in a westward direction, it would end at the spot where the fire broke out in a bake shop on Pudding Lane.

4. Financial District. At the heart of the original Roman settlement of Londinium, where later during the Middle Ages wealthy and powerful merchants gathered into guilds, lies the vibrant modern business district of the City of London. Today’s Royal Exchange has been transformed into a luxury shopping center but its neighboring Bank of England, nicknamed The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street,  still busily carries out its original mission and purpose.

5. Old Bailey. The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, nicknamed Old Bailey, treats London’s major criminal cases as well as major cases from other parts of the country. It has been featured in literature such as Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and more recently has appeared in movies such as Witness for the Prosecution and Patriot Games.

6. St. Paul’s Cathedral. Sir Christopher Wren’s great church and monument, St. Paul’s is one of London’s most beloved places of worship. Lady Diana Spencer chose this church in which to wed Prince Charles in 1981, although traditionally royals had given precedence to Westminster Abbey for their nuptial ceremonies. The present cathedral was built 300 years ago but there has been a church on the site for 1,400 years.

*As mentioned in a previous blog, this manuscript is a work in progress. Each highlight above currently links to Internet sites providing general information. Eventually they will link to relevant sections of PrayerWalk London.

 

Prayerwalking: How to Pray

25 November 2011

These suggestions for prayer will apply whether you are prayerwalking in your own neighborhood or cities around the world. The following prayer points are excerpts from Prayerwalking by Steve Hawthorne and Graham Kendrick (Creation House 1993)

1. Concerning Christ

 Proclaim him to be the one Mediator and the ransom for all. Name him Lord of the neighborhood and of the lives you see.

2. Concerning leaders

Pray for people in positions of authority — for teachers, police, administrators and parents.

3. Concerning peace

Cry out for the godliness and holiness of God’s people to increase into substantial peace. Pray for new churches to be established.

4. Concerning truth

Declare openly the bedrock reality that there is one God.

Pray that minds would cease to be blinded by Satan so that they could come to a knowledge of the truth.

5. Concerning the gospel

Praise God for his heart’s desire that all people be saved.

Ask that heaven would designate this year as a “proper time” for the testimony of Christ to be given afresh with simple power (I Tim 2:6)

6. Concerning the blessing of God

Give God the thanks he deserves for the goodness he constantly bestows on the homes you pass by.

Ask to see the city with his eyes, that you might sense what is good and pleasing in his sight as well as what things grieve him deeply.

Ask God to bring forth an enduring spiritual awakening.

7. Concerning the Church

Ask for healing in relationships, that there be no wrath or dissension among God’s people.

Ask that God would make his people, men and women alike, expressive in worship with the substance of radiant, relational holiness.

PrayerWalk London: The London Central Mosque

9 April 2011

The last excerpt of PrayerWalk London took us from Park Crescent, south of the Regent’s Park, through Harley Street to St. Marylebone Parish Church. This part of the route takes us clockwise around the park to London’s Central Mosque.

London Central Mosque

Visitor information. The Islamic Cultural Centre & The London Central Mosque. 146 Park Road, London, NW8 7RG. Tel. 0207 725 2213; 0207 725 2152. Email: info@iccuk.org. Website: www.iccuk.org. Guided tours by appointment only.

London Mosque from Regent's Park

The idea of building a mosque in London was originally put forth by Lord Headley, an English convert to Islam. After several decades of advocacy, a prime building site on the edge of Regent’s Park was presented to the Muslim community by the British Government as an “unconditional gift.” Construction of the mosque began in 1974 and was completed in 1977.  

The main hall can hold 5,000 men, with women praying separately on a balcony overlooking the hall. The mosque includes six important features: 

  1. The mirhab, a special room where the imam (spiritual leader) stands to lead the congregation in prayer. It also helps indicate the direction of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
  2. The minbar, or pulpit, where the imam stands to deliver sermons on Fridays, the Muslim holy day. Every Muslim man is required to attend jumu’ah (congregational) prayer on Fridays.
  3. The minaret, perhaps the most visible part of the mosque as it reaches to the sky and can be seen from miles around. A muezzin stands in the minaret to deliver the call to prayer.
  4.  The dome, a common architectural feature of mosques. The London dome is crowned with a crescent. The dome serves the practical purpose of helping with the acoustics and air circulation within the main prayer hall.
  5. The facilities for wudu, or ritual washing, which are crucial in a mosque as they provide a place to wash and purify parts of the body before prayer. The washing areas are separate for men and women. 
  6. The library, an integral part of a mosque, because the Prophet Muhammad taught his followers that seeking knowledge was obligatory to their faith. 

Point to Ponder: Pray continually 

Muslims pray five obligatory prayers per day, and are encouraged to do so in congregation with other Muslims. This encourages a discipline and builds a sense of fraternity and community among those who pray, and an opportunity for them to exchange thoughts and help each other with problems. Can you imagine the wonderful things that could happen if Christians prayed fervently five times a day, every day? Consider putting this theory into practice and setting an alarm on your phone or other device to go off at five preset times during the day as a reminder to drop everything and focus on what’s most important: God and prayer.

If Time Permits: Prayer Hall

A visit to the mosque, while perhaps controversial for some Christians, can be an excellent way of gaining insight into the Islamic faith and of praying for Muslims “on location.” Check in at the security gate at the Park Road entrance. Out of cultural respect, women should consider covering their heads with a scarf before entering. If positions were reversed and a Muslim were visiting a Christian church, wouldn’t we be grateful for his consideration in not removing his shoes?

Prayer Points

  • Pray against any religion and any creed that hinders or prevents knowledge, sets itself against the knowledge of Christ and that does not acknowledge Christ for who He is – The one and only Savior of the world, the Way, the Truth, the Life.
  • Pray that God might continue revealing His Son to Muslims through dreams and visions of Jesus Christ, as is happening throughout the Middle East.
  • Pray that Christians might lead lives so blameless through the help of God that their Muslim neighbors have nothing to hold against them.
  • Pray that true friendships might be forged between Muslims and Christians and that without ignoring our fundamental differences we might realize and respect what we have in common: sincerity in our search for God and for the Truth, zeal in our worship and proselytizing, and a deep faith and conviction that God is real and governs the lives of men.
  • Pray that God might move on the heart of Christians and grow both their desire to pray and their discipline to make prayer a priority.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

PrayerWalk London: A Peek at the Manuscript

27 March 2011

(This excerpt covers the walk from Regent’s Park underground station to St. Marylebone Parish Church; next excerpts will cover London Mosque to Queen Mary’s Gardens to complete the walk. Click here for Walk 5 key facts, highlights, and summary of area.)

Walk 5 — PARKS & RECREATION

Step out of Regent’s Park underground station and follow signs to Marylebone Road and Harley Street. Once at street level, take time to admire John Nash’s elegant semicircular terraced houses.

1. Park Crescent

These dramatically curving flats with stucco facades were designed by famous architect John Nash and completed in 1821. There are situated on the north end of Great Portland Street, just across busy Marylebone Road from Park Square and its gardens. Supposedly there is a “Nursemaid’s Tunnel” linking Park Crescent with Park Square Gardens. Park Crescent is now home of the International Students House.

Did You Know? A crescent is an architectural structure where a number of houses are laid out in an arc or semicircular shape. One of the most beautiful examples is Royal Crescent in Bath, England.

Continue walking west along Marylebone Road. You’ll soon come to Harley Street, renowned for its association with eminent medical specialists since the 19th century.

Prayer Points — Harley Street

Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

  • Pray for the more than 3,000 people employed in the Harley Street area in clinics, medical and paramedical practices, medical schools, and hospitals such as the London Clinic.
  • Pray that doctors and nurses will not rely on medicine and science alone but will trust in the Great Physician.
  • Praise God for the progress of medical science and of modern medicine that has contributed to a better quality of living and longer life expectancy than at any time in the past.
  • Pray for miracles of healing that defy explanation and can only be attributed to divine intervention.

Did You Know? Lionel Logue, who cured King George VI of a pronounced stuttering problem, practiced in Harley Street. He is portrayed by Geoffrey Rush in the Academy Award- winning movie The King’s Speech.

If Time Permits: Madame Tussaud’s

Church where the Brownings married

Visitor Information. Baker Street. Open Mon-Fri 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sat-Sun 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Dec. 25. Cost £25-£40. Advanced booking recommended. Tel. 0870 400 3000. www.madame-tussauds.com.

You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see the massive crowds lining the streets, waiting to get in. This most popular London attraction houses over 400 waxwork models of famous people — from religious figures to royal family members to movie stars — arranged in exhibits titled Blush, Premiere Night, World Stage, Chamber Live, Spider-Man, Spirit of London, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Allow a couple of hours in order to get your money’s worth. Skip unless you have teenage children who feel their lives will be incomplete if they don’t visit.

Continue walking west down Marylebone Road until you see St. Marylebone Parish Church, where Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett were married in 1846. Until her elopement, Elizabeth had lived just a few streets away in her family home at 50 Wimpole Street. Cross Marylebone Road toward York Gate street. Take a left when you reach the Outer Circle of the Regent’s Park, and continue walking.

Why Include “Recreation” in a Prayerwalking Guide?

12 March 2011

“Parks & Recreation” is one of my favorites walks in the book because it takes the reader behind the scenes to discover Londoners at play. The most militant prayerwalkers may be inclined to skip this chapter as a waste of time. I would strongly discourage this course of action, and here is my rationale.

Seven walks, seven topics

PrayerWalk London touches on seven areas of London life, from “Church & State” which includes Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament, to “Resident & Alien,” addressing the changing face of London with the influx of immigrants in recent years.

Sunday in Regent's Park

Recreation is an integral part of London life and it would be foolish and neglectful to leave out this all-important area as a subject for prayer. Rest and recreation are not mere frivolous pursuits: they are part of a biblical injunction, provided in the example of God, the Creator, when having finished his masterpiece he “rested from all his work” (Genesis 2:3).

The “real” Londoners

Off the beaten path is where you’ll see the “real” Londoners. If you just see Londoners at work, you see one side: professional, unemotional, proper; if you see them at play with their children, spouses, and friends you see a carefree, tender, vulnerable, playfully competitive, familial side that otherwise you would miss.

The fact that Greater London has 8 major parks covering 4,900 acres of land is an indication of the importance of parks (and the leisure they represent) in the lives of Londoners.

Opportunities “off the beaten path”

BBC's "best street in London"

One of the most fascinating conversations I had in London took place at an outdoor café on Marylebone High Street (voted BBC’s best street in London) with a socialist lady from Bristol as we discussed the British vs. American university system and their respective approaches to online education. And I was ridiculously pleased with my ability to fit in when in that same neighborhood a British woman asked me for directions to the nearest tube station — even though I didn’t feel quite as proud when I discovered later that I’d given her the wrong directions!

In other areas covered by this book, you will encounter shopkeepers, museum docents, Blue Badge guides, and business professionals who will view you as clients and tourists and interact with you accordingly. Here in the northern fringe of the city, you can actually mingle and potentially blend in with the locals and look into the eyes of the people you have been praying for.

PrayerWalk London: “Parks & Recreation” Highlights

5 March 2011

Walk 5

Parks & Recreation: Regent’s Park and Marylebone

Summary of Area

Have you ever wondered what Londoners do in their free time (besides going to pubs)? Uncover the secrets of “London at rest,” as you wind your way along a scenic canal dotted with picturesque houseboats, enjoy spectacular views from one of the highest hills in London, amble through the king’s former hunting grounds, discover a garden with over 400 varieties of roses, and wind down in a street voted “Best Street in London” by listeners of the BBC.

Key Facts

Boating Lake, Regent's Park

  • Starting Point: Park Crescent  (Station: Regent’s Park)
  • Finishing Point: Marylebone High Street (Station: Baker Street)
  • Days to Avoid: Rainy days — but seeing as this is London, grab an umbrella and head out anyway
  • Best Day: Sunday
  • Length of Walk: 2 miles
  • Time Needed: 60-90 minutes

Walk Highlights*

1. Park Crescent. Dramatically curving set of “flats” designed by architect John Nash in 1821.

2. Regent’s Canal. Picturesque, houseboat-dotted canal built in 1820 that stretches eight miles from Little Venice to the Docklands.

3. Primrose Hill. 256 ft-high hill with unbroken skyline views of central London. Surrounding area often associated with the superstars who live there.

4. Regent’s Park. Designed by John Nash in 1812 as a royal park. Bounded by Regent’s Canal to the north and surrounded by terraces and villas.

5. Queen Mary’s Gardens. Described as England’s largest and best rose garden and located in an area of Regent’s Park formerly used as a botanical garden.

6. Marylebone High Street. Quiet shopping street lined with restaurants, boutiques and cafés.

*As mentioned in my previous blog, this manuscript is a work in progress. Each highlight above currently links to Internet sites providing general information. Eventually they will link to sections of PrayerWalk London.

Behind the Scenes: The Making of PrayerWalk London

4 March 2011

I thought I would take you along with me on one of my “reconnaissance” missions from this past summer: my fact-gathering trip to London to research the chapter of PrayerWalk London called “Parks & Recreation.”

From journal entry dated Sunday, July 18, 2010

Research Begins

I discovered my raison d’etre at the birth of the PrayerWalk guidebook series seven years ago. All those seemingly random and diverse “dots” in my life came together and a picture emerged that not only made perfect sense but made my pulse beat faster because it was so completely what I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Today I’ve taken an early train to London to do some research for PrayerWalk London, which I hope to finish in early 2011 in light of the upcoming London 2012 Olympics. My goal is to encourage Christians visiting London to have a prayerful mindset and to realize that they can make an eternal difference even as they enjoy themselves by praying as they walk around the city.

Regent’s Park and Marylebone

My reconnaissance mission for today is the area of Regent’s Park and Marylebone (pronounced “Marly-bone”) just north of the city center.

Narrowing down the area that I’ll cover happens seemingly randomly. With Marylebone, I asked a British friend of mine, Caroline, for a recommendation as to the best place to have tea in London – a pretty general question considering there are hundreds of tearooms! She told me that Marylebone High Street was one of her favorite places to go in London and mentioned a little market on Moxon Street that she likes there as well. I’ve learned to listen to the “natives:” they always know the best little places that often go unmentioned in major guidebooks.

Farmer's Market on Moxon St.

As I did my initial research I prayed that God would guide me and give me a check in my spirit if I was wasting time at any point in my research. I prayed that He would open my eyes so that I could see more clearly what He wanted me to see.

The theme for this walk is “Parks and Recreation.” I think it’s very appropriate that this walk be done on a Sunday. Relaxing alone or with family is a very important – and very healthy part – of English life. Just look at all the parks in London! On any given Sunday all of London turns out to enjoy family and fun in the city’s parks.

The Strategy

Today I’ll be doing the walk in reverse order from what it will probably be in the book. Why? For one thing, there’s a market from 10 am to 2 pm on Sundays only and I’d like to browse there and pick up some picnic items for a picnic in the park.

I have a pedometer on me, and as I walk I’ll make notations concerning the time and distance between each highlight of the route. There will be seven walks in PrayerWalk London, and each chapter will begin by noting the starting point and finishing point of the walk, days to avoid the walk (for example, if the walk includes a museum that is closed on a certain day of the week), and the length and time needed for the walk.

Want to see how the walk turned out? See Parks & Recreation Highlights.

Travel With Purpose: A Divine Mandate

8 September 2010

Sunset in BeijingFrom the beginning, Christian travel has been purposeful travel. An examination of the travel patterns of early Christians reveals that when they traveled, it was for a specific purpose: to make Christ known and to spread the Gospel message.

In our modern era, a few heroes of the faith stand out as men and women who traded everything they had in order to travel the world and tell people about Christ.

One of those heroes is William Carey, known as the “Father of Modern Missions,” who was born in England in 1761 and became a shoemaker at age fourteen. By the time he was twenty he had mastered Greek, Hebrew, Dutch and French. Carey began to realize the implications of the Great Commission by reading The Last Voyage by Captain Cook. He felt God saying to him,  ”If it be the duty of all men to believe the Gospel … then it be the duty of those who are entrusted with the Gospel to endeavor to make it known among all nations.”

 ”If it be the duty of all men to believe the Gospel … then it be the duty of those who are entrusted with the Gospel to endeavor to make it known among all nations.”

And Carey replied, “Here am I; send me!”

When Carey explained his understanding of Christ’s command to “teach all nations” at a ministers’ meeting, he was greeted with skepticism and jeers. One man shouted: “Young man, sit down: when God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid or mine.”

But nonetheless Carey went to India. There were no Indian converts for the first seven years but by the time Carey died in 1834 the Scriptures had been translated and printed into forty languages, leading to the conversion of many.

A number of mission organizations formed as a result of the excitement generated by Carey’s departure to India.  Soon one of America’s first missionaries, Adoniram Judson, set sail for India as well. Among the missionaries of this era was J. Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, of whom it was said: “Never once in fifty years did the sun rise in China without finding him on his knees.” At Taylor’s death in 1905, there were 205 stations with 849 missionaries and 125,000 Chinese Christians in the China Inland Mission.

River Scene, BeijingWherever they went, these godly missionaries built churches, schools and orphanages, and helped bring technological advances to those who had not benefited from the European industrial revolution. Others, like Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone, helped to open trade routes while carrying out their divine duties.

Their example reminds us that we, too, must be willing to bring help and hope wherever we travel, carrying out the divine command to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.”

For more information on how you can leave an eternal “footprint” when you travel see PrayerWalk Beijing.