Posts Tagged prayerwalking

The Crown Jewels

17 April 2012

This segment of PrayerWalk London takes you from the Tower of London’s Opening Ceremony through the Crown Jewels in the Jewel Tower.

Jewel House Entrance

Once inside the front gates, resist the temptation to go on the first yeoman warder’s tour. Instead, go directly to the Crown Jewels exhibit. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200 just go directly – go, go, go! – to the Crown Jewels. You’ll enter the Jewel House just under the clock in the Waterloo Barracks.

The lines inside the Jewel House have a bit of a Disneyland feel. Large electronic screens on either side of the anti-chamber play scenes from the last coronation to date, that of Elizabeth II, to entertain the waiting hordes. But because you were very smart and came early, you will not be one of them! You can breeze through at the speed of light to the Crown Jewels exhibit.

In this room are displayed the regalia, scepters, orbs and swords used for coronations and other ceremonies of state. The value of the objects in this room is inestimable. They have been used through the centuries and are still in use today; in fact, it is not unusual to find one of the swords missing because it is in use that day for a knighting.

As to the age of the jewels, when Oliver Cromwell acceded to power as Lord Protector in 1653, he ordered the jewel collection of his predecessors – those powerful symbols and reminders of the monarchy – be destroyed, melted down and dismantled. Therefore, most of the regalia on display today date from 1661 and the reign of Charles II, whose first order of business was to replenish the royal jewel collection.

The Crown Jewels are displayed in five glass cases. Visitors pass them on a sort of moving sidewalk. No photos are allowed. When you’re done, hop off and have another go at the moving sidewalk, congratulating yourself once again on beating the crowds.

Be sure to notice:

  • St. Edward’s Crown. This is the crown that the Archbishop of Canterbury places on the monarch’s head at the moment of coronation. It weighs nearly five pounds and contains 443 precious and semiprecious stones.
  • The Sovereign’s Scepter. The largest cut diamond in the world, Cullinan I (a.k.a. the First Star of Africa) is set in this scepter. The diamond weighs 530 carats.
  • The Imperial State Crown. Used annually by Queen Elizabeth II for the State Opening of Parliament, this spectacular crown contains the legendary “Stuart Sapphire,” the “Black Prince’s Ruby” and “Queen Elizabeth’s Pearls.” It includes 2,868 diamonds, 273 pearls, 17 sapphires and 11 emeralds.
  • The Crown of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. This crown contains the famous Koh-i-Noor diamond from India, which weighs 106 carats. It belonged to the Queen Mother, who died in 2002.
  • Queen Victoria’s Diamond Crown. A tiny crown, it weighs only 4 ounces and was commissioned in 1870 by special request of Queen Victoria. It cost £50,000 to make.
  • The Anointing Spoon. The oldest surviving piece of regalia on display in the Jewel Room, the anointing spoon is from the 12th century and is used to pour holy oil.

Point to Ponder. 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.”

Tower of London — Visitor Information

16 April 2012

This segment of PrayerWalk London takes you from Tower Hill to the Tower of London’s Opening Ceremony.

Follow “Tower of London” signs down the steps to a tunnel that takes you under busy Tower Hill Street. Take a right after the tunnel and follow signs to “Tickets.” Soon you’ll see the ticket booth for the Tower of London.

NOTE: Be the first to arrive at the Tower of London in the morning. You’ll be glad you did. Arrive twenty minutes before opening time, especially if you did not order tickets online or pick them up early. Lines will form quickly and ticket kiosks open exactly at nine.

2. Tower of London.

Visitor Information. Tues-Sat 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sun-Mon 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; last admission 5:00 p.m. Adult £20.90, Child (under 16) £10.45, Family (up to 2 adults and 6 children) £55, Children under 5 are free. Audio guides £4. Tickets can be booked ahead online or by phone. Be aware that some prices include a “voluntary donation.” www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon. 08444827799 (from UK); +44(0)2031666000 (from outside UK).

Have you ever wondered what life was like inside a moated fortress? Visitors to the Tower of London are often surprised to find that it is exactly that: a thousand-year-old fortress complete with moat, armory, torture chambers, a dungeon – and not just one but dozens of towers.

William the Conqueror built the Tower in the 11th century as a way of demonstrating his strength and frightening his new subjects into submission. Through the years it has been a place of torture, confinement and execution but also a place of refuge for kings and a royal palace. Many of Britain’s most innocent and infamous prisoners were held and executed here, from Lady Jane Grey – a queen for just nine days, whose only crime was being born on the wrong side of the royal family tree – to the notorious criminal Jack the Ripper.

Full of mystery and intrigue, the Tower is bound to top the list of every family’s favorite London destinations. Little princes of all ages will enjoy exhibits of ancient weaponry, squirm in fascination at the gruesome details of imprisonment and torture while little princesses will delight at the yeoman warder’s romantic tales of prisoners in love, shiver at the heartbreaking stories of innocent victims held captive within the towers and gaze in awe at the glittering crown jewels.

Did You Know? The Tower of London is home to a whole community of yeoman warders and their families. They live here full time in a little village around Tower Green, complete with a church, a doctor and their own little pub, the Yeoman Warders’ Club.

Fun Fact. The Tower of London, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes over 2 million visitors every year.

Opening Ceremony

If you arrive early enough and have your tickets in hand, be at the main entrance by 8:45 am to witness the unlocking ceremony. It isn’t an elaborate ceremony but features a small military contingent escorting the Yeoman Sergeant as he opens the Tower gates for the day.

Interview with Mark Williamson prayerforlondon.com

22 March 2012
I’d always been interested in London, and learning about its history, and praying for God to bring revival to the city, since that would lead to a massive change across the whole of the UK, and maybe beyond. — Mark Williamson, Prayer for London

Prayerforlondon.com is a website that exists solely to help generate prayer for the city of London, England. On the site, you’ll find prayer points for the major spheres that affect British life, you can sign up to receive real-time prayer needs for London via Twitter or book guided prayerwalking tours of the city. The last item particularly caught my attention.

Mark leading tour in London

From a continent away, Mark Williamson answers my questions concerning the tours and Prayer for London.

Nathalie Jeter: What is the focus of these guided prayerwalks?

Mark Williamson: The walks have three aims:

1. Tourism – we wanted it to be a genuinely fun and informative walking tour around the sites of central London.

2. Intercession – we wanted to do some serious and strategic praying outside different places of influence.

3. Evangelism – we wanted others to see what we were doing, ask questions, even come and join us, and ultimately help introduce some people to a relationship with God. (We had one guy called Ivan meet us outside Buckingham Palace in 2009, and he gave his life to Jesus!)

NJ: How did this idea of guided prayerwalks of London come about?

MW: Some friends of mine coordinate a huge Christian festival in London in the week before Pentecost. The first of these was in 2008, and I remember thinking “what event can I bring to the festival?” Previously, I’d always been interested in London, and learning about its history, and praying for God to bring revival to the city, since that would lead to a massive change across the whole of the UK, and maybe beyond. So I got together with a friend (Vicki Sokolowski), we got introduced to two other people (Richard Smart and Sarah Bingham) [and we began to run these walks].

NJ: How long have you (and the other team members) been leading these walks?

MW: [We] started at Pentecost 2008, then did more at Pentecost 2009 and 2010. In 2011 other groups and churches then started hearing about it, and asking whether tours could run at other times, not just during Pentecost Festival. So we started to run a few more. And alongside that we’ve run various prayer meetings around central London, and started to meet other intercessors and networks with a heart for praying for London. So in January we said, let’s set up a website to advertise the walks, try and list all the many different prayer meetings actually happening for the capital. And that then led to us starting a blog, and trying to put a list of resources together. And who knows where God will lead us…?

NJ: What is the main thing you want people to know about this ministry?

MW: I’m actually not sure! We don’t know what it will end up becoming. But I guess we want people to know the website is there as a resource, that they can come to events or sign up to the Twitter account to get prayer points/ requests, and hopefully that there will be more prayer for London happening as a result of the site…

If you are passionate about prayer for the nations and want to find out more, check out Prayer for London.

 

Tackling Crime & Punishment

16 March 2012

Woohoo! I just love the hour or two first thing in the morning when I get to work on PrayerWalk London. It feels like such a luxury to spend time on something that’s so exciting to me and that I’m so passionate about. I could spend the whole day on it but I usually have to transition to other things like the writing and consulting work that actually pays the bills! :-)

I’m thankful for bills, though. Sometimes they act as a great motivating factor. I’d be a lot less productive were it not for that added incentive!

So, back to prayerwalking. I’ve set aside 52 days – until April 25 – to make the PrayerWalk London manuscript an absolute priority. If I don’t do that, then too many other “important” things take precedent and PWL gets shoved back farther and farther on the agenda, kind of like those thank you notes I’ve been meaning to write since February.

The chapter I’m currently working on is CRIME & PUNISHMENT. It’s the third chapter in the book and follows CHURCH & STATE and CROWN & GLORY. It tackles the “underworld” of London and takes the reader through the parts of the city related to crime, law and justice:

  • The Tower of London that dates back to the 11th century and has been a royal palace, a prison and a place of execution. It’s also where the Crown Jewels are displayed.
  • The Central Criminal Court nicknamed “Old Bailey” where infamous criminals like Jack the Ripper were tried and held.
  • The site of the former Newgate Prison, written about by Charles Dickens and other writers, and another site of public execution.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral – to throw in an element of God’s justice versus man’s, along with the aspect of forgiveness and redemption.

London's busy business district

Did You Know? London is divided into two “cities”: the City of Westminster and the City of London.

The first two walks in the book take place within the City of Westminster where you’ll find Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, the West End and many other popular places to visit. The City of London is the main financial and business district and can be easily spotted by its glittering skyscrapers and modern buildings. CRIME & PUNISHMENT takes the reader through the heart of the City of London.

The Royal Exchange or "REX"

Take a Break. As you walk from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral, take some time to pause at the little park in front of the Royal Exchange, where business has been transacted since the Middle Ages and that they’ve now turned into a commercial establishment selling luxury goods. You’ll see to your left the famous Bank of England, looking like a fortress surrounded by a high windowless wall. Behind you is Mansion House, the residence and office of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Okay, so much for the sneak peak. Gotta get back to writing the chapter!

PrayerWalk London: Good News, Bad News

6 March 2012

Several people have asked lately how PrayerWalk London is coming along. With the London 2012 Olympics just a few months away, it’s an understandable question. Well, as the saying goes, there’s good news and bad news.

Westminster Abbey

The bad news is that due to a technological mishap, I’ve lost all my PrayerWalk London manuscript files. I have all my hard copy research documents but it would take months to retype and rewrite all the walks. I had transferred all my files onto a jump drive — temporarily — while I returned a loaner laptop from work and waited a couple of weeks for my new laptop to be delivered. When I put the drive into the new machine, it did not recognize the device. In another laptop, the device was recognized but it said there were no contents. Yeah!! Just what every writer wants to hear!

My dad asked the IT people at his office and they said there was nothing that could be done. I have a vivid memory of him coming home from the office and almost casually tossing the flash drive in its Ziploc bag to me and saying, “Sorry. They said it’s dead and there’s nothing that can be done about it.” I was nearly in tears — but c’est la vie! 

I contacted IT at my work to see if by any chance they could still access the loaner laptop’s information … but it had been sent out for recycling.

Picturesque Pub

So much for that. Discouraged, and with only myself to blame, I put the project on hold for a few months while I grappled with the realities of my new job as a freelance writer and editor (esp. the part where if you don’t work, you don’t get paid!). I’m only just now coming back to it and have looked up some data recovery businesses in town that may, just may, be able to help recover the files.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that I’m reenergized about the project and the need for prayer and prayerwalking in London. Today, I searched online for “london prayer walk” and found that after the first search result (which was a dead link), results #2 and #3 direct to my PrayerWalk Guides website. That was pretty neat. But I was actually wanting to see if there are any prayerwalks currently going on in London and couldn’t find much of anything. That’s okay, though, that’s what PrayerWalk London is for: to fill a gap — a “prayer” gap.

Tower of London

On Thursday I should find out if the documents on my flash drive can be saved. Please pray!!!!

In the meantime, I’m working on the only chapter I was able to salvage: the Crime & Punishment Walk, starting at the Tower of London and winding its way through the narrow streets of London’s “City” district to a monument called, ironically, Monument (where the Great Fire of London started in 1666) then to the Bank of England and finally to St. Paul’s Cathedral and Old Bailey, the court of justice. It’s an exciting chapter and I’m loving going back through it and trying to remember little descriptive details from my own walks in the area.

Stay tuned for more! I hope to have some of the chapter posted within the week.

Your prayers for this project are most appreciated!!

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.

Give Grace a Chance

2 November 2011

This Halloween, Give Grace a Chance

By Nathalie Jeter

(Published on CBN.com)

With a hammer in one hand and a large scroll under his arm, Martin Luther approached the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. He paused to take a couple of nails from a pouch hidden in the folds of his dark woolen habit then began pounding his 95 theses to the church’s heavy wooden doors.

The date was October 31, 1517 and the event changed the course of human history.

Today many Christians debate the proper stance to take toward Halloween. Some believe that the holiday glorifies witchcraft and evil, while others see it simply as innocent fun. One of Satan’s most successful tactics is to incite Christians to fight each other on matters of doctrine. Perhaps we would do better this October 31 to focus on what is most important to God, just like Martin Luther did on that fateful day in history.

Luther’s protest was not against ghosts and goblins or children dressing up to trick-or-treat. He chose All Hallow’s Eve because it was the night before All Saints’ Day, a day when most of Wittenberg’s inhabitants would be in church. It was good advertising.

Click here to read more.

PrayerWalk Paris — Walk 1 (Sneak Peek)

7 September 2011

Notre Dame, ParisThe Historic Heart of Paris

Ile de la Cité & Ile St. Louis

Summary of Area

It is thought that Paris began around 250 BC as a primitive Celtic fishing village on Ile de la Cité, a little island in the middle of the Seine. Ile St. Louis, the other island in the Seine, is tree-lined and picturesque these days but was a swampy pastureland prior to development efforts in the 17th century. Today, Ile St. Louis houses one of the most exclusive residential neighborhoods of Paris. Enjoy centuries of natural and man-made history as you walk from the Gothic masterpiece of Notre-Dame to King Louis IX’s intimate royal chapel, Sainte-Chapelle.

Key Facts

      • Starting Point: Point Zéro (metro: St. Michel; Cité)
      • Finishing Point: Palais de Justice (metro: Cité)
      • Days to Avoid: None
      • Length of Walk: 1 mile 1/2
      • Time Needed: 3 hours

1. Point Zéro

Point Zéro (also Kilomètre Zéro) is a circular bronze plaque on the ground about 30 yards from the central doorway of Notre-Dame that marks the geographical center of Paris. It is also the spot from which all highway distances in France are measured. The equestrian statue to the right as you face the church is of Charlemagne (“Charles the Great”), known as the first Holy Roman Emperor. Catholicism was the “politically correct” religion of the French people until the Revolution in 1789.

 

2. Notre-Dame

Visitor Information – Free admission; church open daily; hours vary depending on day of the week: 8:00 am-6:45 pm weekdays, 8:00 am-7:45 pm weekends. Free English tours available. Visit early in the morning when the cathedral is at its brightest and least crowded. Free organ concert on Sunday afternoons. Website: www.notredamedeparis.fr

It took 170 years to create the Gothic masterpiece of Notre-Dame de Paris, with its flying buttresses, rose windows of stained glass, 295-ft spire, two massive towers and host of gargoyles. The colorful windows were designed to tell Bible stories in pictorial form to an illiterate populace.

Kings and emperors were crowned and blessed in Notre-Dame. It was here in December 1804 that Napoleon took the imperial crown out of the hands of Pope Pius VII and laid it on his own head, as depicted by Jacques-Louis David in his painting Coronation of Napoleon, which now hangs in the Louvre.

Notre-Dame is designed in the shape of a Christian cross, with the altar where the crossbeam intersects. The cathedral can hold up to 10,000 people and often does so when hosting classical music concerts. The South Rose Window depicts Christ in the center, surrounded by virgins, saints, and his twelve apostles while the North Rose Window pictures the Virgin encircled by figures from the Old Testament.

Prayer Points:

  • For the warmth of the Gospel to envelop Parisians who have only known the coldness of an impersonal religion.
  • That a genuine, transforming encounter with Christ would replace ritual and religiosity.
  • That the complete story of Christ would be preached: that the hope of his resurrection might replace the sadness of his death.
  • That the spiritual walls of stone and gates of iron that have separated a “religious” people from their Savior since the Middle Ages would be broken down.

Point to Ponder: Sitting in one of the hundreds of wooden chairs in the nave, feel the coldness of the stone and how far away God seems among the gilt and statuary. This is the god of millions of Parisians: a distant, cold and impersonal deity.

Take a Break: The café directly to your right as you exit the cathedral is a wonderful place to sit and reflect on what you’ve just seen. It’s called Aux Tours de Notre-Dame and though pricey – as are all cafés in Paris – you can enjoy a good cup of coffee and a sweet snack that will help you through the rest of your sightseeing. And you’ll need energy, especially if you plan on climbing to the top of the towers. This side street is a great place to buy postcards, too.

Tip: Candles in Churches. In visiting the many churches of Paris, you may be tempted to buy some candles to burn. Before you do, consider that – though they look pretty – Catholics consider candles an integral part of their sacred ritual of praying to saints and to Mary.

3. Towers of Notre-Dame

Visitor Information – Admission: €8 adults, €5 ages 18-26 (must meet certain conditions) and seniors, children under 18 are free. Tower entrance covered by museum pass but no bypass line for pass holders. Open daily 9:30 am-7:30 pm, with seasonal variations. To avoid crowds, arrive before 10:00 am or after 6:00 pm.

To get to the top of the towers of Notre-Dame, you must climb 387 spiral stone steps that get narrower as you get closer to the top. The reward for such painful labor is a breathtaking view of Paris. The towers are 246 feet high and the main bell, called the “Emmanuel” was last rung in 1944 to celebrate the liberation of France.

Gargoyle Fact: As you look out over Paris, notice the eerie stone creatures that are also gazing down on the city and have been doing so for centuries. These gargoyles are meant to represent souls caught between heaven and earth. Their main practical function, however, is as rain spouts.

Take a Break: Square Jean XXIII, behind the cathedral, is a delightful place to eat a picnic lunch, to read, or to watch people.

4. Ile St. Louis

Charming, enchanting, and picturesque, Ile St. Louis is quintessential Paris. Among the attractions of this quaint little island are the 17th century hôtels, cafés, chic restaurants, art galleries, and boutiques that line its main street, St.-Louis-en-l’Ile. The wealthy and the famous have resided here for centuries. The best way to view this tiny island may be to wander through the streets without any specific trajectory.

Lines at Berthillon can stretch around the block

Tip: There’s a post office here that may be a convenient place to buy stamps for your postcards. Ask for stamps for the United States:“Des timbres pour les Etats-Unis, s’il vous plait”. Show them your postcards so they know what the stamps are for. Try your French but they will probably respond to you in English.

Take a Break: Berthillon, an ice cream parlor on Ile St. Louis, is famous for having the best ice cream in Paris. Their selection includes over 70 varieties. Order a single-scoop (“Un cornet seul”) or a double (“Un cornet double”). Note that eating ice cream in-house is usually more expensive than ordering to go. Berthillon, 29-31 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004; Open Wed-Sun 10:00 am-8:00 pm; Closed Mon, Tue, and August.

Looking Back & Looking Forward

7 September 2011
"Point Zero"

Point Zero in front of Notre Dame

In celebration of this blog’s one-year anniversary, here is a reminder of the site’s reason for being. This post was first published on September 1, 2010.

I looked down at my calloused and blistered feet and thought with a bit of sarcasm, “So these are the beautiful feet of those who bring good news! God has a sense of humor.” I’d just walked and prayed over what seemed like every inch of Paris.

Paris was no stranger to me – it was the land of my birth and childhood. My missionary parents had moved to France from the States before I was born and we’d lived there until I relocated to the U.S. for college. Now I’d returned to France for the summer not just to see old friends and enjoy the food but to spend some time praying over the city I loved so much. My goal was to walk and pray in each of Paris’ cultural and historical districts over a two-week period.

As I walked the streets of Paris, I felt the Lord directing my thoughts and showing me how to pray. I met God in strange places there: I thought I would find Him in the magnificent cathedrals, but He was made a beggar there – a statue with downcast eyes and upturned palms, with a sign asking visitors to spare four euros for the upkeep of the sanctuary. I thought He would be far away from the red light district, but that is where I felt the need for Him most strongly. He is close to the broken-hearted.

This prayerwalking journey was the inspiration behind PrayerWalk Paris, the first in a series of Christian guidebooks that weave a spiritual dimension into the act of sightseeing. Prayerwalking changed the way I see Paris and Parisians, the way I see God, and also the way I see myself. I was hooked. When I “prayerwalked,” I looked like an ordinary person on the outside, but inside I felt like a superhero.

A New Chapter — Literally!

15 April 2011

After a couple of months’ work, the “Parks & Recreation” chapter of PrayerWalk London seems to finally be done. At least in rough draft form. It’s so much easier at this stage to go back and edit, rather than having to do the hard, creative work of putting the words originally on the page. All that’s needed at this point is to let is sit for a little while and to go back with “fresh eyes” to do another round of editing.

In the meantime, I’ve moved on to a new chapter: “Walk 1. Church & State: Westminster Abbey and Houses of Parliament.” This chapter deals with the geographic and political center of London — the “heart” of London, as it were. Whereas Regent’s Park is relatively unknown to most foreign travelers, who hasn’t heard of Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and Westminster Palace (aka, the Houses of Parliament)?

This is going to be an exciting chapter to write, but the key will be to narrow down tons of information into a palatable and readable dozen of pages. So far I have 52 pages of “essential” information!

If you’d like something specific to pray about in this endeavor, please pray that I’ll have wisdom to discern what to include and what to delete. I don’t want just to repeat information that you could get from any guidebook. As I write, I’m praying that my eyes will be open to see “behind the scenes” and present facts and information to the reader and prayerwalker that are more insightful and go deeper into the spiritual dimension of what goes on/has gone on in this square mile filled with history, intrigue, and mystery.

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