Mar 182011

DUBLIN: Jan 27-28, 2012

Our 2 days in Rostrevor, prior to our 2 days in Belfast had already given us a good insight into the history and current situation in the Irish Republic. It was nevertheless good to have some further input from speakers in Dublin when we arrived, particularly concerning the spiritual heritage of the nation represented by St Patrick and others.
In the city we divided into groups on both days and prayed at a variety of locations: the Post Office, scene of the Easter Uprising in 1916, the Famine Monument, the financial quarter, the University, Dublin Castle and the Guinness quarter, among others. In this way we were able to pray into many aspects of life in present-day Ireland.

Team in front of the Dublin parliament

Concerning the government, 3 people were able to go and pray in the Prime Minister’s office and we all gathered at the Parliament building to declare scriptures we had received and to pray for those leading the country. Our main prayers both here and back at the church concerned a desire to see:
-God’s truth and integrity come into the government
-a renewed vision for the city and the nation, particularly among church leaders
-a new wave of God’s Spirit blowing through what is now a post-Catholic nation
-healing following the revelation of child abuse scandals in the church
Our time in Dublin ended with a prayer concert with one of the local churches who had just finished a week of prayer and fasting.

Mar 182011

Belfast: Jan 25-26, 2012

Our days of prayer in Belfast were preceded by 2 days at the YWAM centre in Rostrevor, situated right on the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and formerly a Christian Centre for Reconciliation. These days were very rich as we received teaching from dedicated intercessors on the history of Ireland and spiritual insights into the impact of these things on the nation today. We learnt, for example, about the 800 years of English domination, the partition of Ireland in 1922 and the “Troubles” which although basically political, caused much bloodshed between Catholics and Protestants.
The first day in the city itself saw us praying at the City Hall where the Ulster Covenant was signed one hundred years ago this year. By this, the Protestants declared that they vowed to remain a part of the United Kingdom and would refuse any attempt to unite them (under Home Rule) to the southern (Catholic) part of the country. This was a significant event in deepening the rift already there and continues to have an influence today.
Following this, we prayed around various areas of the city where the “peace walls” (high walls and fences) still divide the Catholic and Protestant communities from each other. We were privileged to meet people who work for peace and reconciliation, reaching out across the divide to show God’s love and we prayed with them and for them.
Our time in Belfast also coincided with a week for Christian Unity and we were invited to a meal celebrating this at Clonnard Monastry.

Worship inside Stormont

Worship inside Stormont

A highlight for us was joining for an evening with a prayer group in Stormont – the Northern Ireland Parliament. We had a powerful time of worship and prayer, making declarations as God led us, both for the government and for the nation in general.
Finally we prayed at the docks where the Titanic was built 100 years ago this year. This particularly led us to pray into the identity of the nation – that she would find her value and identity in God rather than in trying to make a name for herself in human terms.
Before returning to Rostrevor, we stopped in Armagh – the ecclesiastical capital of Ireland and seat of both the Church of Ireland and the Catholic church. We joined with members of a Catholic prayer group calling out for God to restore the nation and bring true healing and forgiveness to this broken land. At this time and in other moments of prayer, we were able to bless each other across denominational and national divides. A real privilege!
It was a deeply moving 2 days which marked us by what we saw and heard. We believe God is making promises to this nation to gave her a hope and a future and 2012 is evidently a very significant year. We look forward with interest to see what God will do!

Jan 232012

Edinburgh: 19-20 Jan 2012

We began this trip with 3 days of preparation at the YWAM base at Seamill. The first 24 hours were set aside for a “burn” – 24 hours of non-stop worship – led entirely by Scottish people or people living in Scotland. It was a powerful time of lifting up God’s name over the nation, and excellent start for what was to follow.
During the next 2 days, we were very blessed to have quality speakers: Jean Black (Prayer for Scotland), Ann McIntyre (Parliamentary Prayer Scotland), Andy Hall, Angela and Steven Boler who all have a huge heart for Scotland and have been praying in this nation for many years. They shared about the history, the spiritual state of the nation and the parliament amongst other things as well as inspiring us with their revelations. Several powerful times of prayer came out of these sessions, especially regarding the proposed referendum on Scottish indepence which has been so much on the news over the last weeks.
Once we arrived in Edinburgh, we were introduced to the spiritual history of the Royal Mile, the mile long road leading from Edinburgh Castle down to Holyrood Palace. It’s an area containing many spiritually significant places and later that day we went out to pray at St. Giles Cathedral, the memorial for the Covenanters and the Castle amongst others. We also prayed into the whole area of the Enlightenment as Edinburgh became known as the Athens of the North and many philosophers such as David Hume and Adam Smith influenced the world from Edinburgh with their ideas.
The following day we had a very good time of worship and intercession, including prophetic words and acts for the nation. We then went out to pray at a Freemasonry lodge, Holyrood Palace and the Canongate church before finishing up at the Parliament where we prayed and declared the things that God had put on our hearts. The subjects of Scotland’s identity and destiny were particularly prayed into as we reminded the nation of Edinburgh’s motto from Ps 127;1 : “Unless the Lord build the house, its builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain”